Dupont Show of the Week
"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