Episode #7 is… Shadow Play (Season 2, Episode 62) On YouTube!
I absolutely love this episode! It was so good they remade the same episode in the 1980’s version of “The Twilight Zone.” A lot of good things came from the 80’s and the re-made version of “The Twilight Zone” is not one of them! Don’t waste your time! Unwatchable with no hint of the original storytelling we love from the 60’s.
Just go back and watch the original. It is excellent and has one of my favorite endings of all time. The twist isn’t that shocking because you pretty much expect it, but the way they lead up to it is ingenious. They also put a little sub-twist in there, so if you do figure it out, you will at least smirk when you see how they go about revealing it. I mean, this is some old “Matrix” type storytelling and Harold Ramos obviously was aware of this episode when he and Danny Rubin wrote “Groundhog Day.” The whole dream versus reality thing is masterfully implemented in this episode. I love the subject matter and Rod Serling obviously did too because he created a couple of episodes on the same theme.
But “Shadow Play” is definitely the best of its kind by far. The only reason it scored lower is because there are 7 other twists that are way more shocking. So I have to keep to the theme of this blog and put this one lower due to the lack of shock value. But this episode is definitely in my top 5 of best “Twilight Zone” episodes ever. It is a great, complex story that keeps you thinking about it for days after. Hell, I still catch myself thinking about it every now and then, admiring how amazing the story is.
The description- We open up with Adam Grant who is convicted of murder. The trial has just ended and Adam is sentenced to death. The problem is, Adam believes this whole trial is a reoccurring nightmare he is having while asleep. He adamantly tries to convince those about to execute him that the world around them is all in his head and he refuses to die again. He claims that the district attorney and lawyers are all people he has known in his past and are playing parts in his dream. So every time he is executed, he wakes up screaming and then has the same dream, that starts right from the death sentence, all over again. He obviously wants this to stop, due to the lack of sleep he is experiencing.
Of course everyone thinks he is nuts until he starts to show them the odd way the trial runs. He explains that if this is not a dream, then why is he tried, prosecuted and put to death all in the same day? The district attorney is the only one who listens to him. So Adam spends his whole night trying to convince the lawyer that this is all a dream, so he will stop the execution and Adam will not have to have this nightmare ever again.
I will say no more. That should be enough to get you interested, if not, then I don’t know what to tell you. All I can say is this episode is fantastic! It’s so good you will probably watch it again! I know I did. “Shadow Play” is truly a “Twilight Zone” episode. When Rod Serling describes the unknown mystery of space and time, he is describing stories like this one.
Also, don’t forget to come and take “A Seat on a Train.” If you like twists, then come and support my television series by watching the 1st episode “Out of Place” at http://www.aseatonatrain.com