While Escape's attempts at presenting heroic stories about poets fell flat, (see El Guitarrero and Evening Primrose), Suspense produced 2462, a superb episode about an American poet who rebels against the system. In this story, a man is put in prison in Arizona for wasting time and writing "doggerel" at his government job. His world, the Earth as it is 400 years into the future, is grossly overpopulated. "Nonproductive" workers like this poet are superfluous because they are not contributing to the survival of mankind with mathematical and scientific skills. He has spent his time at his job expressing himself creatively and now he has to face a trial by a computerized judicial system. Here we also learn that workers of the future are given "tranquil gum" and "happy gum." So, the future doesn't sound all bad.
"2462" is a thought provoking episode that makes a statement about the value of artistic expression. It was written by George Bamber and starred Lawson Zerbe as the poet and Robert Dryden as the old prison guard.
This episode aired on January 21, 1962.
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