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Series / The Immortal (1969)
aka: The Immortal

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The Immortal was a short-lived 1969–70 TV show based on a series of stories by James E. Gunn, who also wrote the novelization. It was canceled mid-season by ABC, but has been reshown more recently by Syfy.

Ben Richards (Christopher George) is a race car driver who has special blood characteristics. He has every antibody to everything — cancer, old age, etc. — making him virtually immortal. After a wealthy, dying man named Jordan Braddock receives a blood transfusion from Richards, he realizes how much better he feels from it. But the effects of the transfusion wears off, so he'd need regular transfusions of Richard's blood, and must keep Richards alive in order to use him as a living blood bank. So, he sends out his henchmen to capture and imprison Richards, who escapes. After Braddock dies, one of his ex-henchmen, Fletcher, approaches another wealthy old man named Arthur Maitland, who hires Fletcher to capture Richards for himself.


So now Richards has to go on the run from Fletcher, plus there's another reason: He has a brother, and if his brother has the same extremely rare blood, he needs to be warned lest Maitland or another aging billionaire grab him instead.

This series is the mirror image of the Ben Gazzara series Run for Your Life; where Gazzara's character was traveling because he had a terminal disease and was dying, Richards has to run because, barring accidents, he will live forever, and so would anyone receiving regular transfusions from him.

Not to be confused with the later but equally short-lived year 2000 work, The Immortal, a Highlander clone starring Lorenzo Lamas.


Tropes used by this series include:

  • Chase Scene: Every episode.
  • The Dragon: Fletcher, for Maitland.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Richards is/was a race car driver, so he can drive himself out of the chases Maitland's men put him through.
  • Entitled to Have You: Maitland wants transfusions of Richards' blood.
  • Fantastic Medicinal Bodily Product: A man discovers that his blood not only makes him immortal but can cure diseases in any person it's transfused into.
  • Ideal Illness Immunity: Richards is immune to all known diseases, and a lot of people want to chase him down and get his blood because of it.
  • Made-for-TV Movie: The pilot was a Movie Of The Week of the same name.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Maitland's reason he can make Richards his personal living blood bank.
  • Stern Chase: Maitland wants Richards' blood, so he needs him alive, and his henchman Fletcher will do anything to capture him.
  • Superhuman Trafficking: Richards' blood contains every immunity and antibody possible, making him effectively immortal. Maitland wants to capture and imprison and effectively enslave Richards to ensure a constant supply of this (literally) life-giving substance. They even covered the point about paying Richards to frequently donate some blood, and the old man refusing by postulating that serious injury could kill Richards, thereby cutting off the supply of blood.
  • Superhuman Transfusion: Richards' blood makes him immune to all diseases. An ailing bazillionaire wants him for transfusions.

Alternative Title(s): The Immortal