Robby the Robot.
No, not a Da Vinci, but a robot just the same. And, fully functional. Well, at least enough to have co-starred in the 1950’s sci-fi film, Forbidden Planet, a movie about medical groups and their physician leaders.
Well, okay, if you’ve seen the movie, you’ve caught me.
On the surface, the film, set in the 23rd century, is about the crew of a spaceship, commanded by John J. Adams, sent from Earth to the planet Altair IV to investigate what happened to a lost expedition. Robby is one of the co-stars, but the monster in the movie and, specifically, its creation, is what stole the show. It’s what provides the central message for physicians and medical group leaders.
In the movie, the only humans Adams and his crew find alive are a scientist, Dr. Morbius, and his daughter, Altaira. They learn from Dr. Morbius that some mysterious force killed the rest of the original crew. Only he and his wife, who subsequently died of natural causes, survived. Altaira was born on the planet.
Over his 20 years on Altair IV, Dr. Morbius discovered the incredible technology left by the Krell, a dead race, including the “plastic educator” that enhances the intellect.
Adams wants to take the Krell technology back to Earth, but Morbius strenuously objects because humanity is not yet ready to receive such limitless power.
Then, a monster appears, immune to all weapons and defenses. It kills several of Adams’ crew.
Cutting to the chase (and major spoiler alert) we learn that the Krell’s technology would materialize anything that they could imagine. The weakness in the design was that that included materializing their darkest thoughts, their “monsters from the Id.” Just as the Krell’s mental monsters had materialized to wipe out the Krell, the mysterious forces that killed Morbius’ crew and the monster that attacked Adams’ men were creatures of Morbius’ own subconscious mind.
And, that’s the message: We often mentally create roadblocks and boogeymen big and small (e.g., the “competition,” “that’s the way it’s done,” “the hospital controls us”) and throw them up in front of us as if they were real, when the truth is that they’re simply self-created, imagined limitations.
Dr. Morbius died on the planet Altair IV, a victim of his own monster. Don’t let his thinking limit your future.
Comment or contact me if you’d like to discuss this post.
Mark F. Weiss