Dr. John Franklin is tall and gangly. He is clumsy and always knocking things over and bumping into things. He is also a brilliant scientist. He is conducting research experiments on an African plant that might produce a new drug that treats an African disease. He seems to be indifferent when it comes to his wife and her illness. When his wife dies, he seems relieved and tells Hastings that he has accepted the job in Africa. He admits to Hastings that he and Barbara were in love, but shortly after they married, each of them fell out of love with one another.