Sunday, February 25th 2018    |   

Donovan's Brain

Friday, May 23, 2008   |   Music
Here is Donovan's Brain by Suspense. Not many two-part episodes were produced for Suspense, and this one which aired May 18 and May 25 of 1944 was the first. Both of the episodes are included here, with about four minutes of commercials and introduction removed from the second episode. This story stars Orson Welles.
Donovan's Brain is a 1942 science fiction novel by Curt Siodmak.

The story revolves around an attempt to keep alive the brain of millionaire megalomaniac W.H. Donovan after an otherwise fatal plane crash. Donovan, who has been pioneering the method of keeping the brain alive in electrically charged saline solution, becomes the first recipient of his treatment. Gradually, the increasingly evil brain develops telepathic abilities and becomes able to control the mind of Dr. Patrick Cory, the character who is keeping the brain alive.

The brain uses Cory to do his bidding, mainly to ensure that his hefty fortune is inherited by his chosen benefactor. Cory becomes increasingly like Donovan himself, his physique and manner morphing into the image of the departed scientist. Donovan's crazed bidding culminates in an attempt by Cory to kill a young girl who stands in the way of his plan. After this, Cory turns on the brain and resists its hypnotic power by repeating the rhyme "He thrusts his fists against the posts and still insists he sees the ghosts" over and over. He destroys the housing tank with an ax and leaves the brain of Donovan to die, thus ending his reign of madness once and for all.

The novel has been adapted for the screen several times, most notably as The Lady and the Monster (1944) and Donovan's Brain (1953), the latter starring Nancy Reagan née Davis. Imitations of the story have included the Star Trek episode "Spock's Brain" and the character of Uncle Irvin in The City of Lost Children, the 1995 fantasy film.

The novel has become somewhat of a cult, with fans including Stephen King. King discusses the novel in his own book Danse Macabre and the line Cory uses to resist Donovan is repeated to similar effect in his horror novel, It.