The Plot

(Critical Survey of Science Fiction and Fantasy)

The Immortals served as the basis for the television series The Immortal. The color series included a seventy-five-minute pilot (1969) and fifteen fifty-minute episodes that aired in 1970 and 1971. James Gunn novelized the series in The Immortal (1970).

Marshall Cartwright sells a pint of blood to a hospital. Later, Dr. Russell Pearce transfuses the blood into the veins of his dying patient, Leroy Weaver, a seventy-year-old millionaire. With its rejuvenating gamma globulin, the blood gives Weaver the health of a vital thirty-year-old man, but Pearce discovers that the gamma globulin is effective for only forty days. Weaver wants immortality and pressures Pearce to reveal the name of the blood donor. Pearce hires a private detective, Jason Locke, to find Cartwright in order to warn him that men like Weaver will bleed him for his gift of immortality. Before he dies, Weaver fathers a son.

Fifty years later, the National Research Institute (NRI), a secret organization funded by millionaires and directed by Locke, searches for the immortals, the children of Cartwright. An employee of the NRI, Eddy Sibert, locates Barbara McFarland, one of Cartwright’s children. Goons from the NRI seriously wound Eddy, and Barbara, who loves him, saves his life with a blood donation. The couple flees Kansas City, and the rejuvenated Eddy, plotting to turn Barbara over to the NRI, convinces her to go to New York.

NRI thugs nab Eddy and Barbara. Eddy bargains for immortality when he tries to sell Barbara to Locke. Barbara confronts Eddy with his unfaithfulness and tells him that he lost immortality with his deceit. A secretary frees Eddy...

(The entire section is 685 words.)