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"The Ordeal of Dr. Shannon"
Episode 2.9 (Dec. 16, 1962)

Rod Taylor played Dr. Robert Shannon in this installment of a 60-minute NBC anthology series.

Shannon is a brilliant American physician who abandons a promising career and resigns his hospital post to find a vaccine against a new and fatal influenza germ. He faces pressures from all sides -- from his friends, medical superiors and the woman he loves.

The show was the first co-production deal between NBC and the BBC and was shot in November 1962 on location in England and Scotland. It is an adaptation of A.J. Cronin's best-selling novel, "Shannon's Way."

The April 1963 edition of Rod's fan newsletter, "Rod-Lore," further describes the show and Taylor's portrayal of Dr. Robert Shannon:

During his research, he becomes emotionally involved with a young medical student, Jean Law (Elizabeth MacLennan), and she becomes his assistant. ... Hampered on every side by unfair treatment and outmoded equipment, he eventually finds a cure for the flu only to learn that it had already been discovered in the United States a short time before.

Between this monumental disappointment and finding out that Jean Law, with whom he is so very much in love, is going to leave him to follow her own desire to work in foreign lands, Shannon falls into a pit of despair.

However, Jean realizes she really does love Robert and returns to him and they decide to go to the Continent and continue their joint careers there.

The actual location filming abroad endowed this hour-long production with realness that could not be captured in a studio production. Rod's portrayal was finely etched, bringing forth a rounded character, both light at moments and containing timely emotional blackness.

The show aired in England on Jan. 4, 1963, as part of "ITV Television Playhouse."





IMDb // Wikipedia



This episode is in the NBC Television Collection of the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.