Escape – The Adaptive Ultimate

Escape’s “The Adaptive Ultimate” was taken from the short story of the same name by science fiction author Stanley G. Weinbaum. The story was first published in the November 1935 issue of Amazing, and the author was credited under the name of John Jessel. Escape changed a few things about the story, but it was essentially presented as it was written.

“The Adaptive Ultimate” was also dramatized on the television program Studio One under the name “Kyra Zelas.” In 1957, it was turned into a film titled She Devil.

As the episode opens, Dr. Scott is attempting to convince Dr. Bach that he has a theory about human adaptability than he can prove. He has a serum that he tested on insects and animals, but now he wants to try it on a human being. To do that, he needs help. Dr. Bach reluctantly agrees that if he comes across a hopeless case, who consents to the experimental treatment, he will allow it.

It isn’t long before Dr. Scott gets his chance. Dr. Bach calls him in to help a young woman named Kyra Zelas, who is dying of tuberculosis. They administer the serum, and she soon gets well.

Not only does Kyra recover, but she begins to adapt to her new life…rapidly.

“Adaptive Ultimate” was adapted for radio by Chet Spurgeon and Herb Futrand. The producer and director was Norman MacDonnell. Edgar Barrier played Dr. Bach and Stacy Harris played Dr. Scott. Also appearing were Elsie Holmes, Frank Gerstle, Lawrence Dobkin, Tom Charlesworth, and Ann Morrison. This episode aired on March 26, 1949.