Revisiting The Twilight Zone: S05E33: The Brain Center at Whipple's
When I originally watched this episode, the title made me think it was set in an ice cream parlour. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. Indeed, the episode itself is an excellent tale on the modernisation of companies during the middle of last century, and a peek into the future itself.
The idea is solid, and is probably as relevant today as it was when it was released all those years ago. Good old Mr Whipple decides to automate some of his manufacturing business in order to increase productivity, which leads to inevitable layoffs of the human workforce. This causes some consternation and some of those people confront Whipple and try to convince him that it is a bad move. Of course, Whipple is impressed with the increased workload at less cost, and continues to employ more computers, which leads to an almost complete loss of the workforce. As always in the Twilight Zone there is a final twist of the tail, one that leads to a satisfying conclusion.
As an address on the increase in technology in the workplace, this episode shines a great big light on the industrialisation of manufacturing, while highlighting the human effect of it all as well. It mightn’t be a nice episode, but it is one that has its own story to tell.
Rating: When a machine can do your own work for you. 3.5/5