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I'm trying to identify a short SF film I recall seeing on public TV back in the late 70s or the 80s, don't recall the title and the actors I didn't recognize at the time, nor recall now.

It starts showing an elaborate mansion in a naturalistic setting. A man is having a meal in an atrium, being served by a butler/manservant. The first man refers to the manservant as "Friday" (a la Robinson Crusoe).

The manservant makes a statement to the effect that he's "been working on his emotions", he says "I've decided that I love you", and strokes the first man's hand, who withdraws his quickly.

Through some initially cryptic conversation we finally realize that the man is a marooned spaceman stuck in a survival pod on a planet with a hostile environment. The pod is controlled and maintained by a computer AI, which works to keep the spaceman alive.

To keep him "sane", the spaceman is linked into the AI via a virtual world, consisting of a small area containing the house and some natural surroundings, including day/night cycles. The AI can only animate two avatars within the virtual world: the spaceman himself, and his own representation as the manservant Friday, everything else is inanimate.

The spaceman spurns the AI's efforts to the point where the AI's Friday avatar disappears. The spaceman is concerned that he's hurt Friday's feelings (not to mention he doesn't want to be alone) so he searches for Friday, but can't find him anywhere within the virtual environment. The environment persists, so clearly the AI is still working to keep the spaceman alive (and sane?).

The spaceman finally gives up searching when darkness comes and he returns to the mansion and goes to bed.

Later during the night a woman in lingerie and wearing a bridal veil shows up in the mansion.

She joins the spaceman in bed, to his surprise and delight. "So Friday found a solution?" he asks her. She says something that triggers recognition, "Friday?" he asks her. Friday has changed his/her appearance for the spaceman.

The spaceman then shudders, "What was that? That was amazing," he asks.

Friday answers with words to the effect: "I'm wired into your central nervous system, silly. That was just a taste of what I can do for you."

And that's more or less the end.

  • Have you checked episode lists (on IMDb) of 'The Twilight Zone', 'The Outer Limits' and 'The Ray Bradbury Theater'? Perhaps other SF anthology series? Colour or B/W (to exclude old TZ & OL)? – user45485 May 17 '15 at 1:10

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