View Full Version : Psychology/Survival Expert needed

12-18-2009, 12:39 PM
I'm currently working on a TV concept that involves a "Fountain of Youth" type scenario. Basically whats going on is this character, lets call him Dr. X, has stumbled across a vaccine that essentially cures the body of any disease that could attack the human body. Inadvertently, our doctor does that but entirely too well. He cures the human body of Everything that could attack it including aging.

Now I know this is a fantasy concept, I know that it could never happen that's not what I'm asking about. My dilemma is this, the character goes from the time of the original vaccine creation (1960-ish) to the not too distant future (2020-ish) and has somehow managed to evade a group that has been chasing him that entire time.

My questions are these:

1) What would be the psychological implications of this on the human mind?

I could only imagine that over time he would become relatively distant and detached from people.

2) How could he last this long with nobody finding him?

It seems like it would be impossible simply because he has had the exact same face since the 1960's. I have entertained the thought of plastic surgery but there is just something about it that seems fake to me (No pun intended). I mean honestly would this guy be able to actually change a nose or a chin and have truly someone go "Oh, that's not our guy. Our guy doesn't have a cleft chin. Oh well, moving on."

To clarify, our guy simply doesn't age anymore. He ISN'T Immortal, he can still die. We are trying to do write this in a way that makes it "believable"; not so much in the sense that our audience will go "I can believe that because it's true" but more along the lines of "I can believe that because I can understand it. It sounds logical".

It's kind of like theory, in a round about way, "It probably won't happen but if it did this is how it would likely happen". Kind of thing.

Thanks in advance for any advice - if anybody can decode my jibberish.

12-19-2009, 09:59 PM
There's no easy answer to this. The biggest factor is your MC's personality. A loner won't react in the same way as someone family orientated. A sensitive person will be different to someone selfish and self centered. A psychopath might even be having a great time.

I'd start by deciding what your character wants out of life. Is he a scientist who wants fame and fortune or a doctor who wants to help people? He could even be a loner who prefers test tubes to people and simply enjoys messing around in the lab.

Next, why isn't he sharing the vaccine? This seems to suggest he isn't out for fame or to help people so what does he want?

Why is he on the run? Is it to protect himself? Did he leave his family against his wishes to protect them or did he just fancy going exploring? Someone who left his family to protect them will miss them and this might stop him from getting close to anyone else. If he's selfish he might go from fling to fling discarding people when he needs to move on.

The most likely reason for him to be unhappy / depressed / lonely is if he can't have what he wants. If he can meet his needs then there's no reason to become isolated or fed up....of course he might find out that getting what he thought he wanted actually doesn't make him happy. A couple of brief flings might be great but after the 30 or 40th it might wear thin.

Next, your timescale means that a 30 year old adult in 1960 might still be alive in 2020 aged 90. If he's family orientated then some of his family may still be alive or he may have only lost them in the last 20 years. If he is family orientated then their loss might trigger isolation.

2. How does he stay hidden.

Again, think timescale here. If he's evading the group how do they know what he looks like? Think about photo technology back in 1960 and the fact that the people chasing him in 1961 will have retired unless they're also not aging. It might now be the third of fourth generation of hunters. If he's good at evading them then they might never have met him. He might not need that good of a disguise. Changing hairstyles, facial hair, the way he dresses and his location every few years might be good enough. If there are lots of good photos in his enemies hands then he will have a tough time hiding. Plastic surgery can make significant changes to a face but think of Michael Jackson to see what happens if you have too much of it...although if his healing is ramped up this might not apply.

Your answer as to whether he'd be spotted depends on the situation. A person walking past him in the street who has only seen a good photo a few weeks ago might not spot him if he's grown a beard. A person with a good photo in one hand and enough time to study your MC's face in detail will probably see through plastic surgery.


12-19-2009, 10:08 PM
also, strangers wouldn't realize that he hasn't aged, so it wouldn't be difficult to hide the fact that he doesn't age from the majority of fthe populace.

People who do see it, may not realize it for 10-20 years anyway, depending upon what age they are in relation to him when they meet, because there are lots of people out there who 'age' well. After 30-40 years they'd be gone anyway because of their aging, disease, accidents etc.
Also, he could use make-up and some sort of trickery to avoid always looking young around certain people.

Plus, it depends upon what age he is currently, when he does stop aging (as to how young he looks).