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|“||You could have taken over his life, but you chose to come back! You truly are unique, Six Echo!||„|
|~ Dr. Merrick to Lincoln Six Echo|
|“||I brought you into this world... and I can take you out!||„|
|~ Dr. Merrick to Lincoln. Also his last words.|
Dr. Bernard Merrick is the main antagonist in the 2005 sci-fi thriller film The Island.
He was portrayed by Sean Bean, who also portrays Sean Miller in Patriot Games, Alec Trevelyan in GoldenEye, Patrick Koster in Don't Say a Word, Ian Howe in National Treasure and John Ryder in the remake of The Hitcher.
Dr. Merrick is at a glance, very polite, charismatic and helpful with his "patients". This is proven when he seems to be worried about Lincoln' health in general during an appointment. However, when Lincoln and Jordan discover the truth, his true self comes to the light. In reality, he is a ruthless scientist with little to no care about the clones he created. He has no qualms doing to them whatever he seems necessary to achieve his goals, even if the treatments are unethical.
It is implied Merrick has also a God complex, proclaiming himself he can "give life" and liking to be compared to God by Laurent. This gives him a delusional side because he believes his acts are essentially for the greater good. But despite this monstrous side, he has a remnant of honor inside him, demonstrated when he allows Laurent to go away with his check even if he overtly protests about Merrick' mistreatments of the clones.
Dr. Merrick is introduced as a scientist who is the president of the compound where some survivors of an unspecified disaster live. One of the inhabitants, Lincoln Six Echo, begins to have dreams that he knows they not come from his own experiences. Dr. Merrick shows concerns about that and injects robotic probes in Lincoln's body to examinate his brain activity.
However, it does not take long to Lincoln to discover the truth. In fact, Dr. Merrick is the founder and creator of Merrick Biotech, a powerful mega-corporation that secretly breeds clones of famous celebrities. When a celebrity is in need of a particular organ, Merrick takes that organ from their clone and sells it to them. The clones live within the compound with no knowledge of sex or the outside world, as Merrick makes them believe the world was contaminated long ago and they are the sole survivors. Merrick also initiates a lottery system which helps him keep the clones under control and avoid any suspicion. When he needs a particular clone, he makes them believe they have won the lottery and are going to travel to the Island, a supposed paradise outside the compound unaffected by the worldwide contamination. In reality, these clones are killed and their desired organs are donated.
Seeing Lincoln in a camera, Merrick orders his men to catch him. Lincoln and his friend Jordan Delta succeed to escape Merrick Biotech. Determined to have them back, Merrick hires the mercenary Albert Laurent to find them and bring them back to the compound.
Lincoln meets up with his real life counterpart, Tom Lincoln. But unberknowst to Lincoln, Tom contacts Merrick because he absolutely needs Lincoln's liver to survive. The doctor then sends Laurent and his men to Tom's house. Bernard speculates that a cloning flaw was responsible for Lincoln's memories and behavior, which caused him and all future generations of clones to question their surroundings and even tap into their sponsor's memories. Willing to stop this in order to prevent the rest of the clones from discovering the truth, Merrick plans to eliminate them all and the newest generation. He nearly succeeds, but Lincoln and Jordan return to the compound and manage to free the clones.
Lincoln is discovered by Merrick and the pair of them fight. As the compound is gradually destroyed, Lincoln wraps a cord around Merrick's neck and the pair of them are knocked over a ledge. Lincoln manages to prevent himself from falling, while Merrick is slowly hanged.