The Island of Dr. Moreau (feat. Joe Ruppel, History Nerd) : Episode 62

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The Island of Dr Moreau

What: Marlon Brando goes to island, does creepy things to animals
Directed by: John Frankenheimer
Starring: Marlon Brando, Val Kilmer, David Thewlis, Fairuza Balk, Mark Dacascos, Ron Perlman

Featuring guest co-host
Joe Ruppel Photo
Joe Ruppel, history nerd

Recommended and Related Media

The Limits of Individual Plasticity by H.G. Wells
Wells explored some ideas in this essay that would eventually form the basis for The Island of Dr. Moreau.
Read the essay Google Books

Frankenstein (feat. Joe Ruppel, History Nerd) : decipherSciFi Episode 29
A lot of commonalities that we were surprised to find between Moreau and Frankenstein. And this was a good episode! So check it out.
Listen to the episode on this very site

Show Notes


Definitions. Victorian science and protest movements. John Hunter and the John Byrne Irish Giant. Behaviourist views of animal feelings.

Humans as an animal

Coming to terms with our place in nature in Wells’ time. Natural selection vs selection by Moreau.

Individual plasticity and heredity

More vivisection. Human body modification and evolution.

Religious analogy

The “father” and the “laws.”

Should we do x?

Chris plays the amoral scientist monster every time we ask this question.

Carnivore vs herbivore

Moral of the story: Moreau really should have bred a race of herbivores. Would have side-stepped a lot of issues.


Strategies in evolving humanity and combining with our replacement life form.


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