The Sixth Finger

The Outer LimitsA girl named Cathy delivers bread to an eccentric scientist in a small mining town, and discovers his experiments to increase the intelligence of a chimpanzee. She inquires about becoming the next experiment, eager to escape her working-class drudgery, but when she brings her friend, a miner named Gwylim who has recently quit his mining job in anger, the scientist is much more interested in experimenting on him. When Gwylim proves suitable, he becomes the center of an experiment to advance humankind’s evolution by tens of thousands of years. The most visible evidence of the experiment is the growth of a sixth finger on each hand, and an obvious increase in the size of Gwylim’s cranium, with an attendant increase in his intelligence and the ability to read minds. But what he still lacks is a more practical education, and he sets about trying to acquire this for himself by reading voraciously. But Gwylim continues to evolve even without further experiments, developing the terrifying power to kill with a thought – and an even more disturbing lack of any remorse for the death of his first victim, the professor’s housekeeper. Eager to out-evolve the hatred he still feels for the town, Gwylim now wants to continue the experiment by evolving into humanity’s ultimate form…but Cathy wants to de-evolve him into the man that he once was.

Download this episode via Amazon's Unboxwritten by Ellis St. Joseph
directed by James Goldstone
music by Dominic Frontiere

Cast: David McCallum (Gwylim), Jill Haworth (Cathy), Edward Mulhare (Professor Mathers), Nora Marlowe (Mrs. Ives), Robert Doyle (Wilt), Constance Cavendish (Gert), George Pelling (Policeman), Janos Prohaska (Darwin)

Notes: Stuntman Janos Prohaska has a solid classic SF pedigree; his appearances range from Professor Mathers’ chimpanzee Darwin (along with two other Outer Limits appearances) to the Gumato creature in the original Star Trek episode A Private Little War and as two different creatures in the unaired series pilot, The Cage. He also appeared in Lost In Space, Land Of The Giants, Bewitched, Perry Mason, Gilligan’s Island, and Escape From The Planet Of The Apes, frequently impersonating some kind of animal. He died in a plane crash, along with his son, stuntman Robert Prohaska, in 1974 while working on a TV series called The Ascent Of Man.

LogBook entry by Earl Green