World on a Wire (1973–…): Season 1, Episode 1 - Episode #1.1 - full transcript


- Günther.
- I'll be right in.

Secretary of State Von Weinlaub.

I'm Hirse,
Mr. Von Weinlaub's assistant.

Hello, my name's Lause,
I'm chief of security.

Please, Mr. Siskins expects you.

- Wasn't that Dr. Vollmer?
- It was.

To get right to the point:

Simulacron is almost
fully operational.

I may seem ill-informed

but what interests me is
your definition of "almost".

Of course, Mr. Secretary.

I apologize.

The margin of error
for our prognoses

currently reaches as high as 5.8%.

I see, thank you.

Yes. Professor Vollmer
can tell you exactly

about the state of things.

He's overseen development
of the computer.

We know that, Mr. Siskins.

Professor Vollmer, please...

So, you're secretary of state?


I really don't care, to be honest.

Do you have a mirror on you?

A mirror?


Here, take this.

What do you see?
Come on, what do you see?

Let me help you, Mr....?

Von Weinlaub.

Alright, Von Weinlaub.

You are nothing more than the image
others have made of you.

- That's all.
- Enough.

Thank you. And the rest of you?

You too, Siskins.

Want to look in the mirror?
Go on, look at yourself.

It's a sad joke.

That'll do, Vollmer.

This has gone far enough.
Hirse, let's leave.

Headache. It pounds
and pounds and pounds.

Do you know what's pounding
in my head?

I know.

Please come in.

Why don't you lie down?
Lause will take you to your office.

Come on, Ηenri.

It's not a headache.

It's much, much more.

So much that my head's
about to explode.

Come on.

I'm coming, Günther.

They refuse to understand...

those poor worms.

- Take care of him.
- Yes, Mr. Siskins.

I must apologise
for Professor Vollmer.

He's been working day and night.

His nerves have always
been delicate.

The line between genius
and madness, you know...

Strange kind of madness,
wouldn't you say?

Of course, Mr. Secretary...

very strange.

One moment, please.

Go ahead.

- But I...
- Look at yourself.

- What do you see?
- Me.

Stiller was due back yesterday.

He'll come, Henri.

I'm afraid.

I'm with you.

You're here.

The constant throbbing in my head...

Have you ever heard
of a head exploding?

Like that, into a thousand pieces?

No, never.

Really? Anyway...

Do you remember? As a boy

you must have played

"I see something you don't".

Of course, all children do.

I know something you don't.

Something no one must know.

It would mean
the end of this world.

Sorry, the bar's over there.

It's padding, not muscles.

To look manlier.

It's not all padding, is it?

If you're interested...
Fred Stiller.

I'm in the phone book.

Can't you get a drink?

Guess I'm small fry.

Too bad, but maybe you'll grow.



Yes, with water.

Rainer, two whiskeys:
one ice, one water.

Coming to the funeral?

I'll be there, although...

the dead don't really care, do they?

Your whiskeys.

Can you debug the computer
without Vollmer?

I think so.

We can't afford further delays.
The Ministry's impatient.

By the way...


Oh, nothing.
Tell me, what's your dream car?

Pardon me?

Your dream car.
It's a simple question.

Oh, God... A Corvette.

I see, a Corvette...

And about 40,000 marks.

Beyond your wage bracket?

Somewhat, but you asked about
my dream car, not my wage bracket.

- What bracket do you want?
- The next one.

Why not, if you're
as good as Vollmer.

I'm not, but I'm tough.

I see you're aware Vollmer and
I had our differences of opinion.

I believe so.

He was pigheaded, don't you agree?

Well, I...

Think about it.
Just so you don't misunderstand...

It was simply a hypothesis,
not an offer.

I understood you, Mr. Siskins.

275 HP. Quite something.

I'm Gloria.

Great. Care for a drink?


What else?

Still 42-26-39?

39 1/2.
You get fat, just sitting around.

But every inch is precious.

Thanks. How's the computer coming?

OK, and how's working for Siskins?

No, I mean it.

I'm very interested in Simulacron.

Is it true you've created
an artificial world?

"World" is an exaggeration.

Currently we've some
10,000 identity units.

That's all we need for now.

The world in a nutshell, you see?

1 0,000 people.
They're people, aren't they?

As you like.

To us they're merely circuits.
But to them...

They live just like we do...

build roads, listen to music, eat...

And make love?

That, too.

Make love, enjoy life...

have children.


Pardon me?

Making love?

Yes, that too.
But I mean, a living world...

in a box full of microchips?

We're alive. They're like people
on TV dancing for us.

The way you describe it
is fascinating.

You're fascinating.

Hi. Have you seen Stiller?

Yeah, a minute ago. Come in.

No, I'll wait here.
Bring him to me.

- Fred, come with me.
- Me?

Lause wants you.

Excuse me. See you later.


My God, finally.
I have to see you.

You look awful.
Where have you been?

After Vollmer's death, I drove
to your place in the country.

You found him?

Yes, but... where were you?

I came back earlier than planned.

What's wrong?

Not here.


It's about Vollmer's death.


I thought it was an accident.

I don't know, I didn't see it.

But it was very strange.

What? What was strange?

Vollmer was strange.

Something had happened to him.

I spoke to him
shortly before he died.

He was afraid.

Then he told me something
that was so...

that was... absolutely insane.


I can't tell you,
it's too insane.

Perhaps he was mad.

Do you know what fear is?

I think so.

You've no idea.

Alright, fine. But...

Tell me what he said.

It sounds incredible,
but who knows...

See what you make of it.

My God, I'm so clumsy.
I've startled you.

I'll be right there.

"Vanished into Thin Air.

At a party last night
in the home of Herbert Siskins

- prominent head
of the IKZ Institute -

an Institute employee reports that

Chief of Security
Günther Lause vanished

in the middle of a conversation.

Police have opened
an investigation."

What are you up to, Stiller?

What's this
about Lause and Vollmer?

I told the police what I saw.

Trying to make yourself
and the IKZ look ridiculous?

But it happened
exactly as I described.

Fine, have it your way.

Inspector Lehner,
Missing Persons Bureau

and Detective Stuhlfauth,

our acting technical director.

You seem to be the only one
who saw Lause last night.

What do you mean?

My men have interviewed

everyone at the party.
No one else saw Lause there.

Did you have too much to drink?

No, I wasn't drunk.

It's true that
we didn't find Mr. Lause at home.

But that could be a coincidence.

What did Lause say
about Vollmer's death?

He just said he found it strange.

Where were you
when Vollmer died?

At my cabin.

With others?

We'd like to see
where Vollmer died.

Please show the gentlemen
the computer room.

This way.

See you again.

Let's put this incident
behind us.

You already have.

Good. I'd like to discuss
Vollmer's job with you again.

Go ahead.

As I've already told you...

Vollmer's pigheadedness, I mean...

It was a strain on my nerves.

I'm not pigheaded.

That's what I wanted to hear.

I'm a good judge of human nature.
I knew we'd see eye to eye.

Tell me your dream car,
I'll tell you who you are.

Oh, that...

Good. I'll sound out
the board of directors

but I don't foresee
any obstacles.

Bring me an aspirin, please.

Right away.


Yes, I'm being promoted.

Did he name you
technical director?

You don't seem very pleased.

Why should I be?

I'll have the same problems with
Siskins as Vollmer did, just wait.

Then why did you accept?

Simulacron's the most
exciting research project

in the entire world.

Nothing else comes close.

I'll earn a good salary and...

It's just Siskins.

If Vollmer was right, then...

Forget all this.

I'll forget it.

Has Vollmer's office been emptied?

His things are still there.

Cancel my appointments.
I'll be in Vollmer's office.

What are you doing?

You're hurting me.

Thank you, Fred Stiller.

- You are Fred Stiller?
- Yes, but what are you doing?

The guard at the front desk
showed me in.

Aren't you...?

I'm Eva Vollmer.

- I didn't recognise you.
- Naturally.

I'm here because I was asked
to pick up Father's things.

- I thought you were in Montreux.
- I've been back a month.

You were with your father when...

Was he acting strange?
Did he seem nervous?

Not that I noticed. Why?

Because he...

I think he had made
an important discovery.

He couldn't tell me.

He was a bit preoccupied, no more.

You know, if you were to visit me...

I'd like that, really.

Tell me...

Did your dad see much
of Günther Lause?

Your uncle, Günther Lause.

Never heard of him.

You don't remember your uncle?

I remember him very well.

His name was Jakob, Jakob Meixner.

He died four years ago.

Can I...

Can I be of any help?

I'll manage.

Father left me a bit of money,
and the house.

I apologize, Fred.
I misjudged you.

I thought you were interested only
in taking Father's job.

I should've known better.

I'd like some cake.

Choose what you want
at the counter.

You're under arrest.
Come with me.

Franz, you frightened me.

That one.

And two whiskeys.

What's up, Stiller?


Here's a riddle I came across,
a rebus.

Imagine a drawing of a Greek warrior
holding a spear

looking to his right,
and taking a step.

With a turtle going the same way.


does that ring a bell?


ever seen such a drawing?

Me? What's this all about?

Vollmer left me that drawing.

Does it mean anything to you?

Bizarre, if you ask me.

Bizarre, sure.

- Does it remind you of anything?
- Maybe.


Zeno's paradox.

Achilles and the tortoise.

Achilles tries to overtake
the tortoise, but cannot.

By the time he reaches where it was,
the turtle has moved ahead.

What could the paradox mean
to our work?

I'm only the psychologist
for our creations.


as I recall,
the paradox is meant to show that

movement is an illusion.

What's the link to our work?

Vollmer was acting very strange
before he died.

Who ordered the cheesecake?

Maybe for a reason.
What did he say?

Did you order cheesecake?

No... I mean, yes.
I think I ordered it, thanks.

How was he strange?

I played chess with him
three days before he died.

He wasn't himself, he was
rambling on about philosophy.

He had made a shattering discovery.


He wouldn't say. It was a secret.
Something like that.

Why are you
so interested in it, Fred?

I don't think Vollmer's death
was an accident.

What do you mean?

I know about Vollmer
and Siskins' disagreements

on the applications
of the simulation model.

I said no such thing.


By the way, I can imagine what

Vollmer's shattering discovery was.

I bet it had to do
with his attitude towards

the identity units
we'd programmed in his computer.

You remember how he called them
"my children".

He was only joking.

You can't spend years
feeding data into a computer

that allows for the simulation of
every aspect of human behaviour

without asking yourself
if it might lead to the creation

of something resembling
human consciousness.

Lause spoke of
a "shattering discovery".

Lause? Who's he?

Stop. If I hadn't believed him,
I'd never have told the cops.

Lause? Cops? What do you mean?

Chief of security at
Cybernetics and Futurology.

Our Institute.

Just take it easy.

Stiller, do you see that man?

That's Hans Edelkern.

He's been IKZ's chief of security
for five years.

You remember now?

Got a light?

No, I mean it, for my cigarette.

Understand? I'm not trying to...

Pick me up? Too bad.

Anyway, I don't smoke.

Thanks. Sorry.

Don't mention it.


Do you have a pen?

Then take this down.

The chairman, United Steel Inc.

Dear Mr. Hartmann,

I accept your invitation
with pleasure.

In view of the situation,
I would request

you treat my visit
as primarily a personal one.

I'm sure you will understand

if I insist on
the utmost confidentiality.

Yours truly, Herbert Siskins.

Please come in, my dear Siskins.

A lovely couple.

Rupp, Daily News.
A quick question:

Is your new computer
solely for state use?

Please, I have no comment.

Certainly not here.

Ask at the IKZ press office.

Yeah, yeah. One thing:

Does a certain company have access
to data obtained from the computer?

A suggestion, Mr....?

Why not write about
how our simulation model

is more than a computer?

I'll suggest it to my editor.

It's a new generation
of computer technology.

Who benefits?

Everyone, if it's up to me.

May I see your ID, please?
Regulations, you know.

I know.

How can I help you? For personnel
files, you need special clearance.

No, just the staff directory.

Which letter?

Let's try L.

Alright, L... L what?

Ask it, "Who is Günther Lause?"

Günther Lause is unknown.

Have a look.

Edelkern. Ask it about Edelkern.

What's it say?

The truth, naturally:

"Hans Edelkern is
chief of security at IKZ."

Tell me, Mrs...?

Know anything special about
Hans Edelkern, anything at all?

Mr. Edelkern? I don't think so.
Ask him yourself.

Were there complaints about me?

Tell me the truth.

- No, that's not it.
- Good.

I was afraid...

I mean it.

That's alright, Fred.
You don't have to explain.

I'm sure you have your reasons.

Say, why don't you visit us again?

Laura still talks
about our last dinner.

Says you're the most
charming man around.

Really, am I?

- According to Laura.
- Well, then...

You see.

Just give us a call.

We'd be thrilled, honestly.

I've never met a Laura
in my whole life.

Anything else I can do?

You're welcome.

I'm... I'm here about Lause.

Who's Lause?

Forget it, Fritz.

Something wrong?

I'm a gift.

Siskins thought you'd be pleased.

Of course. Of course I'm pleased.

A sight to behold.
Isn't that what they say?

Yes, they do.

Where's Maja?

She's sick.
Probably will be for some time.

By the way, Siskins was very sorry
to lose me.

I'm deeply honoured.

- A cup of coffee?

I'm delighted to work with you.

The pleasure's all mine.

Get me the police,
Inspector Lehner.

Inspector Lehner, please.

Hello, Inspector. I wanted to ask if
you found out anything about Lause.

Who is this?

At the Cybernetics Institute.

It's about the Lause case,
Günther Lause.

Sorry, I've never heard of a Lause.

My God, you must remember.

Siskins' party, a man disappeared.

I notified the police.

Slowly, Mr. Stiller,
I don't know of any Lause case.

Siskins wants you
in his office at 2:30.

Thanks, Miss Fromm.

How are you feeling?

No idea.

Not good.

What's the doctor say?

I had all the tests...


urine, everything.

But they don't know.

Chronic exhaustion.

And you...

How are you?

Siskins asked me
to a meeting at 2:30.


- Who's with you now?
- Where?

At work.

A woman named Gloria Fromm.


39 1/2. From all that sitting.
You should know.

I'll be going.

Get well soon.

I'm still fond of you.

Have a seat, Dr. Stiller.

Care for a drink?

Alright then, let's begin.

Would you...?

As you may know

I sit on the government-
appointed commission

Perspective 2000

as an expert on steel.

Also in your capacity as

chairman of United Steel Inc.

Of course, naturally.

And in this respect
we're somewhat preoccupied

especially given
certain recent trends

in freight
and transportation systems

that would have major repercussions
in the 80s and 90s

on demand for steel.

Do you have a background
in business?


Well, if I may briefly explain...

In our sector, investments are not
only long-term, they're also...

Very costly.

Let Mr. Hartmann finish, Stiller.

No, no, you can put it that way.
Quite right.

In other words, an investment

to the tune of several
hundred million

if made today, would take,
say, 20 years

to be amortized.

- If your analyses were correct.
- If they were correct, yes.

Naturally we don't make
wild guesses.

We rely on a whole slew of
scientific analytical tools:

economic and market analyses

trend forecasts,
input-output relations...

to name a few.

But you yourself know

the limitations of
the prognostic capacity

of conventional computer technology

and how much larger the margin
of error is of such computers

compared to your simulation model.

Why are you telling me all this?

- I don't understand.
- He does.

We're not talking about
opening a hot-dog stand

but a decision of major importance
to the national economy

for which Mr. Ηartmann, as a member
of the Perspective 2000 Committee...

Then let the committee request it.

Can you imagine
the bureaucracy that entails?

Besides, the software wasn't
designed to access such variables.

It would jeopardise the entire
program and set us back two months.

I'll look like a fool.
From a technical...

Thank you, Stiller.
I'm not asking.

You'll call up the data
from the simulation model

for the demand for steel
for the next 20 years

and have it on my desk by...

by the 23rd.

I don't know. You can't just
let some conglomerate...

Please let me decide what
I can or cannot do, Stiller.

Then you don't need me.

For God's sake, Siskins...

I thought you'd have settled this
internally, at least.

We have, my dear Hartmann, we have.

You see, Stiller is a scientist.

And in every scientist
resides a bit of an idealist.


I'll deal with the little idealist
in Stiller.

Want to check the psychograms
of the new units?

No, we've reviewed them.

Feeling better?

Yes, it just
came over me yesterday.

I should apologise for my behaviour.

Forget it.

Really, I'm sorry.

Excuse me, but...

I need to go to the computer room.

We're up to precisely
9700 identity units.

The equivalent of a small town.

By the way...

I'd like a hook-up.

For you?

To sample village life.

Fine with me, anytime.
Oh, have a look.

She's in the mind
of a millionaire's wife.

Yes, he's here.


Fine, I'll tell him.

The police are here to see you.

The police?

Come with me.

Hello, Dr. Stiller.

You honour me, but this is Stiller.

Excuse me, I'm sorry.

Hello, Dr. Stiller.

I was hoping to speak to you
in private.

Is that really necessary?

I'd say so, yes.

I'll clear out.

I'll be at the computer. See you.

Please come in.

We have questions, Mr. Stiller.

Questions for you.

Questions about the Vollmer case.

You were his assistant?

You know full well.

Yes, of course.

Purely routine.

Part of the job.
Once learned

you never forget it.

Let me be frank, Mr. Stiller.

It's possible that Vollmer's death
was not an accident.

You were away?

I told you,
at my cabin in the mountains.

What do you mean, you told me?


Just that I was at my cabin.

Can anyone corroborate that?

Vollmer was my best friend.

You're not doing too badly
as technical director at IKZ.

No, not too badly.

I can reach you here,
if I need you?

If you need me.

Good-bye, Mr. Stiller.

He was from Homicide.

If anyone makes trouble, I'm here.

The police aren't giving up,
that's good.

Lause hinted that Vollmer's death

might not have been an accident.

Who's Lause?

The Lause who vanished
without a trace at Siskins' party.

Did someone vanish without a trace
at Siskins' party?

Probably one of Siskins'
harmless jokes.

No doubt, Gloria, no doubt.

A simple hook-up
to an identity unit.

Is that alright?

I chose 4388 for you,
a truck driver.

Enjoy the ride.

OK, step on it.

Here we go. Be good,
and stay out of trouble.

Floor it.

Lousy weather we gave them.

Strange, why's there no traffic?
I don't get it.

Maybe it's Sunday here.
I forgot to ask.

Kid, if I hit you, it won't
even cause a short circuit.

What's Walfang done now?
What's that?

You were lucky, young man.
Just a slight shock.

We nearly saw the last of you.

How's it possible?

Search me. I haven't
checked the box yet, but...


Say it, you have a hunch.

Something exploded.

It can only have been sabotage.

lmpossible, with our security.

If it exploded, it must be sabotage.
A computer doesn't just explode.

Sabotage is quite impossible.

IKZ is under our control.

Obviously not.

A technical error, perhaps.
How long will repairs take?

I nearly died,
and that's all you say?

You mustn't get excited,
you need rest.

Don't mention it.
Just doing my job.

I want a thorough investigation.

Check security measures, Edelkern.
If necessary, step them up.


Naturally, Mr. Siskins.

Of course.

Mr. Stiller, I think you should
go home and rest.

Seriously, how long
will repairs take?

Two or three days, no longer.

That's alright.

You startled me.

Something wrong?

I was thinking of my father.

Shall we go for a drive?

Just like that.

You know, I need a change of air.

Some of Father's files
are still on his desk.

Check if there's anything
useful to you.

I'll get ready.

Was anything removed
after your father died?


I asked if anything was removed
after your father's death.

Questioning me?

Come on, let's go.

Have you seen his drawing
since then?

What drawing?

Achilles and the tortoise.

I've never seen it...

Achilles and the tortoise.

I'm going to try to find out

how your father really died.

Do you think...?


I don't want anything
to happen to you.

What's wrong?

Nothing. I don't feel well.
I haven't felt well for a while.

I get dizzy, see things.

Probably, or possibly,
I'm simply overworked.

Want me to drive?

I'll just wait here a bit,
then drive you home.

Come in. Fourteen, fifteen.

What's that?

- For my circulation.
- Your circulation?

I've been having dizzy spells.

Better watch it.

Your puppets are dancing.

I contacted 0001 again.

That system failure
has him worried.

He's being difficult.

You know, I think that was Vollmer's

only major mistake.


The Einstein contact unit.

It wouldn't have worked without him.
We tried everything.

We needed a unit
we could contact directly.

Problems were inevitable.


No one can stand knowing
they're artificial.


But if they suffer
psychological disorders

it shows how successful we've been.

Depends how you see it.

Einstein reported
an attempted suicide.

Unbelievable. Who?

7326, Christopher Nobody.

I'll take him out.
He'll confuse the system.

It's inhuman of us, isn't it?
But we have no choice.

Delete him, this...

Right. Christopher Nobody.

See you later.

Zeno's paradox.

This is no coincidence.

That must be
what Vollmer's drawing meant.

Send me down to see Nobody.

Nobody no longer exists,
he's in heaven.

- Don't joke.
- I deprogrammed him. He's gone.


- He must know something...
- Knew ...

Knew something I need.

Hardly likely, Fred.

I programmed him myself.
He was an ordinary unit. Why?

Nothing, Fritz, nothing.
Just an idea.

Let me speak to Einstein,
he may know.

Give me a projection link.

I'll call you.

- Where do I meet Einstein?
- In a hotel lobby.

You only have 5 minutes.

You've kept me waiting.

Is something wrong?

Not often I meet someone
from above.

Right now I'm just a bundle
of electronic circuits, too.

A projection, if you like.

Shall we sit down?

I only have a few minutes,
it's not really worth it.

It's about Christopher Nobody.

You spoke to him.

Why did he try to kill himself?

He was on the verge of a breakdown.


He knew.

What did he know?

Somehow he'd found out

what he was.

You don't just find that out.

Did you say something?

You know my circuits prohibit it.

Time's running out.
Stiller has to be back

in 1 20 seconds.

In 30 seconds we'll signal him.


My time's up.
Good-bye, Einstein.

Come on, show me.

I can't bear it.
Please, take me with you.

You know that's absurd.

I'll be back.

Let me talk in peace.

We'll meet at 8, Gerda.
In the corner restaurant.

What's the idea, young man?
Where are your manners?

The impertinence.

A light?

Everything alright?

Everything's fine. Except...

I saw Günther Lause.

Sorry, who?

Come with me.

I want to do a test.
Got a minute?

OK, I'm looking
for an identity unit.

Use the list.

No, let's try a different method.
I'll describe him.


55. Male. Single.

Engineering degree.

Psychological traits?

He's good-natured.

But stingy. Drinks quite a bit.

Two minutes.

Too many. Anything else?

Heavy smoker,
gold medallist in sports.

Collects old watches.

That should do it.

Sorry, but...

No, I'm running a test. Listen...

Could you pick me up?
I want to see you.

See you at six.

I've got five.

- That alright?
- I hope so. Their names?

Teiler, Strunz, Kittel

Erdhofer, Lause.

Lause's first name?

Günther Lause.
Didn't you just...?

Yes. What number?



That's fine.


Daily News.
Mystery Surrounding Super-Computer.

For your own sake,
forget everything you've seen.

Or your life's not worth a dime.


Could say that.

Is it about Zeno again?

Or this Lause?

Yes, him too.

You know about the sabotage
during my hook-up.

But that a policeman who'd
interrogated me once

forgot, and interrogated me again...
that you don't know.

Or that the other night everything,

the streets, lights...
disappeared for a few seconds...

that you don't know.

Nor can you imagine my dizzy spells
and depression.

I see.

A street vanished
and then reappeared?

Ice or water?

I've thought a lot
about you, Stiller.

I believe...

with your new responsibility
for the simulation model

and the unusual stress of your job

you're overworked,
psychologically unstable.

Think about it...

Every day you reign like God

over a miniature world
you helped to create

and which you mistake
more and more for a real world.

You can add and delete
people at will.

This leads to feelings of guilt,

depression and fear.

You need to relax, forget it all.

I have to make a call.

What should I do?

You've taken the first step:

You recognize the cause,
realize what's happening,

are aware of the problem.

If you keep working on yourself,
you'll get better

and your mental disturbances
will go away.

You should take a vacation.

Forget it, especially now.

I don't want Simulacron working
exclusively for Hartmann.

I guess I'll be going.

Try to have a little fun
now and then.

And stop brooding.
It's not good for you.

Believe me.

I'll try.

Getting in?

Quite a coincidence, isn't it?

It's no coincidence.
Dr. Hahn phoned me.

He thought I could take
your mind off things.

It was fine with me.

Me, too.

Now I'm feeling better.

But I won't be manipulated.

Manipulated by whom?

By Siskins.

What do you mean?

I won't be intimidated.

I can be just as pigheaded
as Vollmer was.

Vollmer wouldn't let private
interests take over his computer.

And I won't, either.

Let Siskins do what he likes.

Isn't Siskins a danger to you?

No, because he needs me.
Let's dance.

Any mail?

Need an aspirin?

Important calls?

But Siskins wants
to see you urgently.

Last night I said
some pretty stupid things.

Forget them.

Were they all just stupid things?

So, what's wrong?

I need your help.

We have to do something.

The media are getting impatient.

One question, just to be sure:

Could you convincingly explain
our computer to a layman

if all of society
depended on it?

I have my convictions,
and I can present them convincingly.

That's exactly what
I expected you to say.

Send them in.

My colleague, Dr. Stiller, and I

have a statement
about the simulation model.

we'll offer refreshments.

A misunderstanding
has led to the publication

of a report in the press
that was misleading for the public.

We wish to take the opportunity

to dispel this misunderstanding.

Dr. Stiller developed
the simulation model

together with Professor Vollmer.

Dr. Stiller will say a few words
about the new computer system.

Strictly speaking, it isn't
a computer in the conventional sense

but rather an electronic
simulation system

with tremendous storage capacity.

As Professor Henri Vollmer put it

with this system we achieved

the qualitative jump
to an autonomous computer.

We've created
an artificial miniature world

out of circuits, switches,
electronic impulses and reflexes.

When fully functional,
it will lead a life of its own

according to our rules,
and with its own dynamics.

Concretely, Dr. Stiller,
what does the thing do?

Naturally Dr. Stiller thinks
in scientific terms.

If you'd prefer
a practical point of view...

I'm at your disposal.

Go on, Dr. Stiller.
We'd like to hear from you.

I'll try.

You have to imagine the inside
of our simulation model

- we call it Simulacron -

as a reproduction in miniature

of our society.

At the moment

we have slightly over
9000 so-called identity units

each of which has the faculties
of perception, thought

memory, imagination

and so forth

of a real human being.

With Simulacron, we have

in a word, a tiny universe
identical to our own.

Into this universe we can

introduce certain impulses which...

- I'm coming back to your question -

impulses which

lead to highly specific reactions.


that precisely replicate
human reactions.

20 years in the future.

This means we can use
Simulacron to avoid

the mistakes we'd make
in that period.

For example...

We can, to be extremely concrete

use Simulacron to learn

consumer habits 20 years from now...

how housing needs will evolve

which transportation modes
will become obsolete

and which ones will be in use.

Then you could also calculate

if in 20 years we'll need
more steel or plastics.

Yes, of course.

In time manufacturers will have
access to this data

to avoid socially
unproductive investments.

What do you mean, "in time"?

As you are aware,
our research project

is state-initiated and sponsored.

We do not define its mandate.

Our sole mission is
to carry out government policy.

There are questions about

your relationship to United Steel.

There are always questions.
That's why you do research...

to find answers.

Here, in our Institute, we seek

to devote our energies
to designing a better

new, more humane
and equitable world

to meet the hopes and dreams
of Mr. Stiller and us all.

Now, a snack.

What's your true relationship
to Ηartmann?

Mr. Hartmann is a friend.

A good friend.

In private, Mr. Rupp,
only in private.

Hahn's advice from the other day...

I think it helped.

At least I know
what's wrong with me.

I'm sure you'll be better soon.

About the other night,
I'm truly sorry.

I was out of it.

Hahn called it "paranoia".

He's probably right.

I'll be so happy
when everything's OK.

Yes, and...

now with all the coverage
in the papers,

the TV and so on...

I just hope he's painted himself
into a corner. And you?

I hope you're right.

Please excuse me.

Of course.

See you sometime.

Say something.

She's not there.

Could I have a light?

Now she's disappeared, like Lause.

Lause disappeared too,
and everyone's forgotten him.

Except me...

He's in my head

and he refuses to come out.

My Eva...

my darling little Eva.

They'll forget you too.

But in my head,
she'll stay there.

I mean...

my head's a funny head.

There are things in it

that don't go in any other head.


One second.

I tried to reach you
all last night.


Siskins wants you.

Where were you?

Were you with Eva Vollmer?

You should go see Siskins
right away. It's important.

- It's Stiller.
- Send him in.

Aren't you a sight.

A night on the town, I bet.

Have a seat.

What's up?

I wanted to introduce
a new addition to your staff.

I believe you know him.
A top-notch fellow.

He sent me his résumé and

I didn't want to lose him.

That will be him.

Mr. Holm can join
your team immediately.

Where'd you work before?

The Trau Institute, but...

Isn't that

a subsidiary of United Steel?

It is, Fred.

Thanks, I was just curious.

My God, Eva.
Where were you?

I searched the entire house
for you.

Hold on.

- So where were you?
- At home, of course.

I fell asleep on the couch.
You just didn't see me.

- I searched every...
- It doesn't matter.

I wanted to apologise
for running away. I love you.

I'm happy. I've thought it over,
I'm not worried anymore.

I need you, Eva.

I've been looking for you.
How's it been?

I hate it.
Mark Holm's been nosing around.

I'm going to hook-up
with Einstein.

I want to know
what's going on with him.

Like to come?

No, not today.

See you later.

Fritz, what's wrong?

Nothing, Mr. Stiller,
it's nothing.

You're not Fritz Walfang.

You're Einstein.

My God, what is this?

Let me go, please.

Don't send me back.

It's my only chance.

I want to be a human being.

And I will.

This is the first step.
I'll make the next one, too.

Into the real world.

What do you mean?
This is the real world.

Still want your beer?

That's what you think.

But the truth is

this world,
which you take for reality,

is only a simulation model
of the real world.

Fred Stiller,
the big computer boss...

You're nothing but a mass
of electrical circuits.

The identity unit Fred Stiller.

You're a number,
like everyone here.

A number in
a research laboratory.

in a highly advanced one.

Professor Vollmer knew it.
That's why he had to die.

And now you know.

It can't be, Einstein.

Tell me it's not true.