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Bruce Willis ( 5th Element ) is drinking in a bar. Back when this was made he was a jobbing actor, making most of his money as a bartender, so there is a certain irony. He tries to make a phone call, accidentally dials home, and ends up speaking to himself! They wage war on each other, conducted over the phone - one in a comfy apartment, the other in a cold wet phone booth.
Willis carries the entire story, and he does a great job of it. The Producers must have seen his potential, because this is the first episode of a show they invested a lot of money in. The director was Wes Craven and the script is based on a short story by Harlan Ellison , so they certainly pulled out all the stops.
An American suburban housewife is stressed out by her family. However, she discovers she has a superpower. Every time she tells them to shut up, she somehow freezes all of space and time.
Her power does not just work on her husband and children. When some friendly people drop by to tell her about the dangers of nuclear war, she uses her superpower to humiliate them. Yes, instead of using her power to prevent global armageddon she mocks the people who actually care about the world.
Eventually, Russia nukes the USA. However, the woman can use her power to stop the bombs from landing. The down side is that she is the only one who does not freeze, so she will spend the rest of her life alone.
A middle-aged telesales worker is stressed by having to learn the names of new products he has to sell. However, things get worse for him when he realises that everyday English-language words have changed their meaning. Dinosaur means lunch, lunch means pink and so on. His wife ( Annie Potts ) is shocked and frustrated by his apparent inability to make coherent sense. Worse, their son is taken seriously ill.
There is no moral to the story, only a question. Is it better to have a long life in depressing servitude, or to live briefly in a beautiful dream?
A NASA space shuttle, portrayed through the use of actual NASA mission footage, collects a sample from orbit. Back on Earth, scientists led by Terence Quinn ( Lost ) investigate the alien life form.
The alien is incredibly powerful. First, it disentigrates one of the scientists who touches it. Then it appears as a duplicate of the scientist. Finally it becomes the man's wife ( Lin Shaye ), created entirely from the dead man's memories.
An impoverished burglar (Eric Bogosian - Under Siege 2 ) steals a magical rock. It gives him healing powers. However, he does not realise that there are strings attached.
A young girl is troubled by her parents' constant arguing. However, she gets them to take her to a new zoo that she has a free ticket for. When they arrive at the zoo, the parents are sent to a waiting area while the youngster gets sent in alone. It turns out not to be a petting zoo, more of a choose-one-to-keep sanctuary.
A female photo-journalist ( Season Hubley ) is torn between her career and her personal life. Her boyfriend, a middle-aged man, wants to settle down and have children. However, she has other plans.
While out on a photo assignment, she meets a young boy. She takes him to the zoo. Luckily it is not the same one as The Twilight Zone (1985) [Season 1, Episode 7] Children's Zoo.
Will she live in order to work, or simply work in order to live? The boyfriend is portrayed as villainous, or at the very least unsupportive, but at the end of the day the dilemma is of the woman's own making. She must merely evaluate her own values and goals in life.
Dee Wallace Stone attends a garage sale with her gal-pal Julie Carmen . They discover a magical oil-lamp with the caveat certain restrictions may apply! Rather than meet an Arabian Genie, she materialises in a bank with Nigel Havers lookalike who offers her three wishes. However, the wishes come with a lot of red tape.
It is a dark and stormy night. A police officer stops off at a roadside diner for coffee and donuts. He is soon joined by a crazed loner, who creeps everyone out with a cliched tale of carnage in the Vietnam conflict.
In the second half of the story, the stranger's nightmares come true. He and everyone else in the diner must relive a murderous gunfight.
A widowered man drives his pre-teen daughter to school. Unfortunately the car crashes, and the girl ends up in hospital.
On the way home from hospital the man sees a ghostly little girl. This inspires him to buy some antiques from a nun who is raising money for charity.
A 1980s Cupid tries to get a yuppie to fall in love. Unfortunately it is not as easy as it seems.
The Yuppie decides to accept Cupid's gift. But first he must return the favour, and help Cupid get back with his lost love, Megaera ( Carolyn Seymour ).
In a utopian future, a young boy celebrates his twelfth birthday. However, his parents are nervous because the law states he must sit a special mandatory IQ test. It turns out that the society is not dissimilar to that of Harrison Bergeron .
A Massachussets college boy in the 1980s (Robert Duncan McNeill - Star Trek: Voyager ) falls ill. He develops a psychic bond with Charity, a girl of the same age who lived in the same town ... three hundred years earlier. They talk a lot, telepathically, like pen-pals. Unfortunately this incurrs the suspicion of her father (James Cromwell - Star Trek: First Contact ).
This is a double-length story. In the second episode, shown from Charity's perspective, she is arrested by the Salem witch-hunter. She goes on the run, with Tom Parris giving her real-time advice from the future. Finally, at her suggestion, he looks up a history book.
Michael Fox is listed in the credits as a character named Tom Carter. This is not the familiar actor from Back To The Future , who inserted a J to pad his name out.
Adrienne Barbeau is teacher at a US High School. The place is run by a 1980s interracial street-gang, and the Principal states the school has more gang fights than graduations. However, they filmed it on location at a nice suburban school reminiscent of Sunnydale High in Buffy the Vampire Slayer , and the tweenager gang members all have matching jackets like in Grease.
The teacher invokes the wrath of the gang leader simply by doing her job. Luckily for her, the school has a magical gargoyle on the roof. Well, the school was only built within the last fifty years and the statue is technically a grotesque and not a gargoyle, but it certainly has some kind of magic powers. It somehow possesses her or something, and gives her the strength to defeat the gang. However, it wants to take over her body, and she starts to metamorphose.
This was written by Harlan Ellison , based on a short story of his, and directed by the world-famous Alan Smithee .
An old white man (Danny Kaye - ) is mugged while visiting his wife's grave. The muggers are African-American, a typically racist stereotype, but the bystander who comes to rescue him is also African-American (Glynn Turman - ). The victim and the bystander bond, and eventually the bystander learns why the victim's pocket-watch is so important.
An off-Broadway playwright owes money to Avery Schreiber ( Galaxina ). The man then gets his hands on a magical amulet. Unfortunately the amulet only allows one wish per person.
The amulet decides certain things for itself. For example, when a wish invokes the greatest playwright in the world the amulet makes a judgement call about who that might be. Yes, everyone is a critic - and so is every magical artefact, it seems.
Piper Laurie takes her nephew for a drive in the Great Depression era. They pick up a hitch-hiker, a crazy old hobo who claims he is being chased by the sun. Unfortunately he turns out to be just as crazy as he seems.
M Emmett Walsh (Red Scorpion) and Morgan Freeman ( Bruce Almighty ) enjoy their weekly poker game with Nick (Dan Hedaya - Alien Resurrection ). However, Nick has to come out of the closet and admit he is ... the Devil. This explains his love for the sin of gambling, and the fact that he is so supernaturally good at it.
They end up in a poker match for real stakes - a man's soul. Will the Devil cheat, or is he a good loser?
A timid woman ( Helen Mirren ) works in a thrift store. One day she tries on an expensive-looking pair of black shoes. Unfortunately they are haunted by the spirit of a bitchy rich lady, so the timid woman gets possessed. Worse, the ghost has unfinished business with her husband.
A Chinese-American named Wong enters a Lost and Found Emporium in San Francisco. There are no staff members on duty in the shop, but soon he meets other customers. They are seeking metaphysical things like lost time and lost love.
A bunch of High School kids play a prank on a nerdy kid. Obviously they have never seen Carrie , so they do not know that this is a bad idea. Well, genre blindness is a major trope in Horror fiction. After all, if nobody transgressed they would not get their come-uppance.
The victim has another shock that night. A monster lives under his bed - The Shadow Man. The good news is, this monster cannot harm him. This does not protect the school bullies, who are off-screen targets for the monster.
The small print in the arrangement is that The Shadow Man cannot harm the one under whose bed he sleeps. Unfortunately the teenage protagonist does not see how this could go wrong for him.
A suburban couple ignore their young son as he watches a TV show that encourages him to perform Black Magic rites. In this heavy-handed slam on parental irresponsibility, it turns out that the Black Magic has real consequences.
Of the three eps in the portmanteau, this is the odd one out, with its comedic tone. It was directed by someone named David Steinberg - he is not a recognisable name the way the others ( John Milius, Joe Dante ) are, but apparently he has directed a lot of comedy stuff for television.
Jeffrey Jones ( Howard the Duck ), here credited as a young Jeff Jones, is married to a beautiful woman. She is having an affair with his best buddy (Martin Kove - Karate Kid). The Femme Fatale seduces Kove into killing his friend. But Kove must relive the day ... in his victim's role.
This was directed by John Milius and co-written by Gerrit Graham ( Now and Again ). The odd one out from the all-star cast and crew is the female lead ( Elan Oberon ). It turns out she is the Director's wife, and all her acting credits are in his films!
A doctor (Charles Martin Smith - The Untouchables) gets lost driving home. His car breaks down, so he walks to the nearest village. As always, the villagers are a strange lot. The shopkeeper (Martin Landau - Ed Wood ) is a curmudgeonly sort. A local boy, Teddy, does not know what a doctor is - even though his sister Katie is in her sickbed.
The doctor helps Katie, but then discovers the villagers' secret. The Beacon of the title is the village's lighthouse, which has magic powers. It apparently protects the villagers, but in return it takes human sacrifices. Shades of The Wicker Man ...
A thirty-something writer (Peter Riegert - The Mask ) visits his childhood home in Ohio. He discovers himself back in time, circa 1960, where he befriends his younger self and tries to stop himself from making bad life choices.
Gary Cole ( American Gothic (1995) ) is research assistant on a project to build a perfect hologram. He discovers an apparent glitch in the computer program. It self-generates a foetus.
The head scientist and his wife have a rocky marriage. She wants to have a child, but he prefers to concentrate his attention on the project. Ironically the computer glitch grows into a hologram girl.
The holo-girl grows ten months per hour, or ten years a day. Is she an artificial intelligence, a ghost or a time-traveller? To be continued!
An African-American scientist cannot finish his equation. He inadvertently summons a demon (Ron Glass) who offers to sell him the answer in exchange for his soul.
This is based on a short story by Joe Haldeman .
A Department store Santa (Richard Mulligan - ) is late back to work after a liquid lunch. His boss (William Atherton - Biodome ) is not happy with him, but has bigger problems to worry about. The item intended as his wife's gift has disappeared.
The Store Santa discovers that his prop sack is a magical bag of holding. He can pull gifts out that are precisely what the recipient wants. He even has a pair of spectacles that have the precise prescription for the wearer!
The store manager assumes that all the gifts have been stolen from the store. He calls the cops, including a young Jeff Kober ( Tank Girl ). They believe that Santa is guilty until proven innocent, and that the burden of proof is on him to prove that he paid for the items. Can the bag magically produce itemised reciepts for everything?
A hard-working secretary ( Pam Dawber ) does all the work in the office, but her boss takes her for granted. Then she discovers that the photocopier opens a magic portal to a parallel universe.
The alternate universe is one where secretaries are highly valued, due to their very specific set of skills. After all, they are to offices what engineers are to spacecraft. Without them, the bureaucracies would be unable to run. One of the benefits of her newfound status is that Jonathan Frakes ( Star Trek: TNG ) attempts to seduce her.
This is based on a story by Arthur C. Clarke . A starship captained by Donald Moffatt ( The Thing ) explores the remains of a star system that went supernova over three thousand years before the Common Era.
The ship's Chaplain finds his faith tested when the remains of an alien civilization is discovered. Worse, the peaceful aliens were wiped out by an explosion that was not seen on Earth until just over three thousand years later.
This was written and directed by J.D Feigelson , obviously a believer in the auteur theory.
The story starts in Kelly's Pub in good old Oireland, bejaysus. O'Shaughnessy the drunk claims to have seen The Little People of Killany Woods. The other drinkers do not take kindly to this, because they are out of work and they evidently blame the Wee Folk.
The town bully threatens to make a report to the Constable. Presumably this is set before 1921, when the Royal Irish Constabulary was replaced with the Garda Siochana.
Restuarant critic Elliott Gould ( Capricorn One ) is an unethical bastard who writes fraudulent critical reviews of establishments he has never dined in. He tries that on a Chinese Restuarant, and discovers that the fortune cookies they give out have fortunes that come true! Unfortunately he discovers that people only get the fortunes they deserve.
The boy discovers his new neighbour is Old Man Bendicksen (Ralph Bellamy - Trading Places). The old man is friendly, and knows a lot about monsters. Also, he has a fridge full of blood-bags.
The boy gets a summer cold. His mother ( Kathleen Lloyd ) does her best to look after him. Soon the whole family is down with it. It turns out that this has something to do with the old man, but not in the way you would expect.
Alien Ambassador Jon Glover ( Smallville ) arrives at the United Nations, and in his electronically modified voice he tells the ambassadors that the human race is about to become extinct. His armada will arrive in 24 hours time. Can they come to an agreement and save the world?
Nobody asks the question, if the aliens are pacifists then why do they have an armada of planet-destroying ships? And the UN diplomats are sceptical that they can make common cause together. How ironic, since the UN was invented by FDR during the Second World War as an alliance between the five allied superpowers, who are still the five permanent members of the UN Security Council.
A man (Adam Arkin - ) and his wife ( Karen Austin ) wake up to discover stranger men in blue uniforms re-decorating their house. In fact, the men are re-dressing the entire suburb.
Luckily, a foreman is around to give exposition. This is like The Langoliers , but with the set-up crew instead of the clean-up monsters. However, can they get back into real time again?
This was written by Ray Bradbury .
A couple of young men break into a disused factory at night. They are in search of the owner, their father, who has not been seen lately. He was conducting secret experiments to create a cheap nutritious food source. One hates to invoke A Modest Proposal, but it sounds like he invented Soylent Green .
The scientist has discovered a secret formula that allows organisms to grow to gigantic sizes. However, he never thought this through.
In a dystopian future, the Personality Police convict a man of having a cold-hearted personality. The punishment is a year of invisibility. Not physical invisibility, but rather social invisibility. He is not physically exiled, merely The theory is that a year of such psychological torture will make him more empathetic to others.
Basically, the victim is branded on the forehead. The high-tech brand mark is like a nipple, and it is caustic enough to burn through any hat he tries to cover it with. A flying robot follows him around to make sure Anyone who sees him is under orders to ignore him. Invisible people are forbidden from speaking to each other. They can get access to food, but not medical care. Yes, the superficially empathetic society is quite hypocritical. We must judge a society by the way in which it treats its convicts.
A chronically depressed dentist wishes his life was better. Then he meets the Tooth Fairy. Unfortunately he forgets the maxim be careful what you wish for .... Some people are never happy!
A young woman ( Elisa Cook ) rescues a hospital patient from the Man In White (Gerrit Graham - Star Trek: Voyager ). She takes him to a tiny out-of-the-way town named Winfield, where everyone dresses like in the wild west era.
Three weeks later, the Man In White blunders into the same town. It does not show up on any map, and the town Mayor (Henry Gibson - The Burbs) tries to help the stranger to move on as quickly as possible.
The Man In White is a grim reaper. By incredible coincidence, his predecessor once visited the town.
Jim Foreman (Scott Wilson - The Walking Dead ) gets woken up by a doctor ( Tess Harper ). He was put into suspended animation in June 2023, and has been thawed out after three hundred and twenty-four years. Unfortunately society now looks like an Amish village.
The locals do not need technology to heal the sick. Instead they perform psychic surgery. Yes, they have super-powers.
Foreman is a satellite technician. He has been thawed out because a giant asteroid is about to crash. His job is to contact a military satellite and use it to destroy the asteroid before it hits the Earth. They cobble together a computer system, including a CRT monitor with a touch-screen (sensitive to a light pen). However, Foreman never considers that the telepaths might have an ulterior motive.
Darlanne Fleugel goes out shopping, and leaves her young son alone in the house with his grandmother. Momma ordered him to never go near granny's room, no matter how much the old lady asks for a cup of tea. But the boy foolishly gives in.
This was written by Harlan Ellison , based on a short story by Stephen King .
Martin Balsam ( Murder in Space ) plays a writer named O'Bannon after the man who wrote this episode, Rockne S. O'Bannon . The protagonist realises that he cannot write anything original. Luckily he sees a demonic dwarf, something that looks like an Ugnaught dressed as a Jawa. At first he is distracted and cannot concentrate. The writer's Agent (Clive Revill - Empire Strikes Back ) cannot offer any useful advice.
This is set in the 1940s, in the era of live radio broadcasts. A young actor is that called in to work on a play - Dick Noble: African Adventure. Unfortunately the script has been entirely rewritten, and there has been no rehearsal.
The foly artist, responsible for sound effects, has obtained a voodoo artifact. Unfortunately it turns out to have actual magic powers, and the Director-Producer wishes for all sound effects to be real. Can the actors improvise safely? Will the writers be able to sanitise the script in time?
Three boys go for a ride on their bicycles. Well it was the 1980s - and for many of us, The Goonies was practically a documentary.
The boys catch a leprechaun, who is on holiday from Oireland, bejaysus. He offers them three wishes - one each, that is. Naturally they all go wrong. The boys forget that once they have a power, they cannot control it properly.
This is based on a short story by Greg Bear .
A truck driver (Steve Railsback - The Visitor ) is down on his luck. He teams up with a friend (Barry Corbin - Northern Exposure) on a secret job. It turns out that they are shipping the damned to Hell.
The damned are revolting. Literally, they are starting a revolt. Management (John De Lancie - Star Trek: TNG ) is a religious fundamentalist, who sets a very low bar for damnation. John LeMay ( Friday's Curse ) and Brent Spiner ( Star Trek: TNG ) both end up on the low road. Will our hero take a moral stand?
Lane Smith ( V: The Series ) is a lecturer at Harvard University in November 1963. It turns out that he is a time-traveller from 2172 AD.
The traveller's job is to observe JFK (Andrew Robinson - Star Trek: DS9 ) but not interfere. After all, LBJ (Jerry Hardin - X-Files ) is supposed to inherit the throne. Naturally, our hero interferes. But how bad will it get, and how will he fix it?
As a side note, JFK was assassinated by an ex-military rifleman and Robinson's most famous role was as just such a character - Scorpio in Dirty Harry.
Mare Winningham is a very selfish, materialistic woman who makes her poor husband's life a misery. One day a strange man delivers a mysterious box with a button on top. If someone presses the button, two things will happen. Firstly, the presser will receive two hundred thousand dollars. Secondly, a complete stranger somewhere will die. The only question is, how long will it take the greedy woman to press the button?
If this story sounds familiar it was used in a movie that starred Cameron Diaz in the lead role. In all fairness the shorter version is better, unimpaired by a massive an unnecessary backstory or any other padding.
William Petersen ( Manhunter ) takes a bus to small-town mid-west USA. His job is to help Frances McDormand investigate a series of people going mysteriously insane. McDormand thinks it could be caused by a virus, and tries to track down Patient Zero.
Peterson does the field-work. Discovering that the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything may be the equivalent of the World's funniest joke from Monty Python.
This was written by Sidney Sheldon, better known for writing lots of pot-boiler novels. And I Dream Of Jeanie , but we do not talk about that.
This was made in 1986, when the Cold War was still raging. KGB goon George Dzunda (The Beast) is made to look like a liberal by rival Andrew Divoff ( Lost ). As a result, Dzunda is sent to investigate a couple of mysterious deaths in a small village north of the Arctic Circle. Once there he discovers the village is filled with people exiled from Russian society. Also, it is so far North that they get six months of darkness and six months of sun - like the Al Pacino film where he investigated a murder in Alaska.
Dzunda meets Victoria Tennant , who was sent to the Gulag fifty years previously and has not aged a day since. And since the village is currently enjoying six months of sunless winter, we automatically think of the more recent effort 30 Days of Night .
TV Comedian Billy Diamond (Tim Thomerson - Trancers ) is car-jacked by rival performer Xander Berkley ( The Walking Dead ). The car crashes, and Billy ends up in Purgatory. He must audition before the toughest crowd he has ever had.
Adam Grant (Peter Coyote - E.T. - The Extra Terrestrial ) is convicted of murder and sentenced to death. However, he insists that the proceedings are a dream. Is this a case of solipsism, or is he really in The Matrix ? And if he dies in a dream, does he die in reality? And does everyone else die too?
The Defence Lawyer meets up with the Prosecutor to discuss a plea. They discover certain anomalies in the world. They realise they could just be imaginary characters in someone else's dream.
This starts in 1966. It concerns a woman who could have been a world-class opera singer. However, she always put her family first.
This was written by David Gerrold
A young Astronomy Professor (Victor Garber - Alias ) and his much younger-looking girlfriend are driving in the desert near a small town named Beaumont.
They see a flying saucer land nearby. When they investigate, they see insect-faced bipeds emerge carrying mysterious people-sized pods. Yes, all the cliches are present - paranoia sets in as our heroes discover that the aliens are disguised as humans, and distinguishable only by a congenital mutilation of their fingers.
A sword-stick-wielding old man is on what is meant to be a street in London, but looks more like a back-lot set based on New York City streets. He encounters three mockney street thugs with punk haircuts, led by Anthony LaPaglia ( ). They have been sent to summon him to meet a young gypsy fortune-teller who is actually Morgana LeFay ( Jenny Agutter . The old man is Lancelot, the last survivor of Camelot. Merlin is awakening, in a cave in Cornwall.
This is an interesting take on the Arthurian legends because it reverses the moral standing of the characters. Morgana justifies her actions in opposing Merlin, pointing out that he was okay with helping Uther to father Arthur out of wedlock, but wanted Guinivere burned at the stake for similar adultery with Lancelot. When Lancelot finds Merlin again, he realises that Merlin's archaic morality has no place in the modern world.
A young Elvis impersonator (Jeff Yagher - V: The Series ) is in a car crash. He wakes up, Rip Van Winkle style, but instead of the future he finds himself in the past. In the 1950s, just before Elvis recorded his first song. Our hero befriends the pre-fame King-to-be of rock and roll. However, things take a nasty turn for the worst.
This was filmed from a teleplay by George RR Martin
A lonely waitress ( Shelley Duvall ) has a close encounter with a flying saucer. A television crew broadcast this event around the world, but her new-found fame is not as positive as 21st-Century celebrity status. She keeps up her day job at a greasy spoon diner, and gets harrassed by crazies who want to know what message the UFO gave her.
This was written by J. Michael Straczynski , and features one of the strongest casts of any episode of the show.
Alex Mattingly (Tom Skerritt - Alien ) has just divorced his wife, and he brings his young son Jeff (Fred Savage - Goldmember ) back to live with him in his childhood home. The son gets bored, but makes friends with a mysterious local boy named Mike (Lukas Haas - Space Camp ).
Jeff gets injured, and Alex goes looking for Mike. It turns out that Mike was Alex's imaginary childhood friend, somehow created by Alex's imagination and with the power to create things from his own imagination.
An American newscaster celebrates her fortieth birthday. However, she fears that her career will suffer as she gets older. A female cow-orker suggests she try a secret cure for aging - Aqua Vita. She has a workman install the special water cooler. The first bottle is free, which should be the first clue that there is a steep price to pay afterwards.
Aqua Vita is Latin for Water Of Life. In gaelic this would be Usque Baugh, from which we get the English-language term Whiskey. Which is ironic, because she would have been better off just buying whiskey instead.
This was written by Rockne S. O'Bannon .
An old lady and her twenty-something niece leaving the New york Public Library. Aunt Dorothy sees a man of about her own age, and decides to chase him. The rest of her story is told in flashback.
In 1933, Dorothy took a job as a school-teacher in a small town in Appalachia. One of the children, Micah Frost (David Faustino - Married with Children ), had very special requirements. He claimed to be a modern-day Shaherazade. His ancestor is centuries old, but stays alive in order to hear the next day's story.
Lisa Eilbacher works in a radio station, not unlike her character in Nighthawk.
Terry Farrell visits a clothing store in a shopping mall, just as it is about to shut down for the night. The other customers seem to take an unusual interest in her.
This is based on a short story by Phyllis Eisenstein, adapted by George RR Martin .
A young African-American woman discovers things missing from her apartment. Is her flat-mate messing with her? Or is there something else going on?
Barney (George Wendt - Cheers) is a henpecked husband who has failed as an inventor. He confides to his best friend (Jeffrey Tambor) that he feels he is living two simultaneous lives.
Barney discovers a doorway to an alternate lifetime. In an era reminiscent of 1885, a century before this episode was filmed, he is a successful inventor.
A special-needs teenager is cared for by his elderly parents. Unfortunately he has a superpower - he can summon any item he thinks about. When he teleports himself some doughnuts for a midnight snack, he over-indulges and ends up in hospital. His doctor is Richard Biggs ( Babylon 5 ).
A nosy social-worker tries to take the boy into foster-care.
Cliff DeYoung ( ) is a happily married suburbanite with a wife and daughter. However, the family are beset by visions of a man in a wheelchair. He cannot be suffering from PTSD caused by experiences in the Vietnam war, because he spent that conflict safe in Canada. Soon he experiences an alternate version of events.
Susan Blakely is a stay-at-home mother who needs to boost her credit rating. She takes out a credit-card from a mysterious agency. Their contract is non-standard, and demands payment within seven days instead of thirty. She does not even bother to read the small print!
The protagonist and her husband (William Atherton - Biodome ) use the card to buy household electrical goods from Ken Lerner ( Babylon 5 ). Of course, they do not bother to make the repayments in time.
The company starts repossessions. It starts with the family cat, then the dog. They are not kidnapped or killed, they are removed entirely from existence. Technically the company is doing her a favour by removing these drains on her financial assets.
This story is about an African-American coal miner. He gets trapped by a cave-in, and discovers another miner (Chris Mulkey - Grimm ) is stuck there too. The only problem is that the two men are from almost a hundred years apart. Will they paradoxically prevent themselves from ever meeting?
A sleazy teenager (Robert Knepper - Heroes: S4 ) takes his brother and their girlfriends on a joyride in their dead neighbour's 1950s car. Unfortunately the car takes them back to the 1950s.
Joe Mantanega (House of Games) is a survivalist with a military-grade fallout shelter in his basement. His wife ( Joan Allen ) takes their children (including Danica McKellar ) to her sister's house for the weekend, while the Cold War heats up and nuclear war seems imminent. Then a nuke detonates at a nearby Air force base, and the survivalist gets trapped in his shelter ...
A tweenager with a fancy new walkman-style radio gets onto an airplane. Soon his device stops working as the manufacturers intended. Instead of picking up radio waves, it starts to pick up the thoughts of his fellow passengers.
One of the other passengers has a bomb, and is about to destroy the plane. This is definitely a flashback to the pre-9/11 era. Apparently in the 1980s you could take dynamite in your carry-on luggage! But who is the mad bomber? Luckily, the only other passenger who gets any lines is the man sitting right next to the protagonist! This stranger is Andrew Robinson ( Star Trek: DS9 ), best known to mainstream audiences as the mad killer Scorpio from Dirty Harry. Yes, with a list of suspects like that the mystery will never be solved!
A musical composer drops dead, but gets given a second chance. He is sent back to the age of sixteen.
The composer's younger self (Grant Heslov - True Lies ) gets exposition from Gina Gershon . A girl he knew at High School is about to kill herself because none of the boys spoke to her at a party. Can he give her something to live for?
A starship arrives at planet Earth a thousand years after it had become uninhabitable. Tim Russ ( Star Trek: Voyager ) stays aboard the ship, while Donald (Martin Balsam - The Brother From Space ) and Jenny Agutter go out to explore one of the dead cities.
Donald discovers the Earth is still inhabited - by ghosts. They ask for his help, and tell him that they cannot bear to live without the ruins of their former civilisation. Will Donald convince the other humans not to strip-mine the place for its resources? Of course, he forgets that the ghosts are the same selfish idiots who destroyed Earth to begin with.
As a mark of its time, the Earth's apocalypse was not caused by nuclear war. In the late Eighties the Cold War was nearing its end while environmental awareness was on the rise.
An inmate in a Victorian Reform School falls for the warden's daughter ( Jennifer Rubin ). The old man forbids them from hooking up, on pain of death.
The daughter has a plan. She has found a book that holds the secret of transmigrating the human soul. Her plan is for them to transfer their souls into the bodies of a couple of wolves in the nearby woods. What could possibly go wrong?
A couple of middle-aged suburbanites are unhappy that they have become middle-aged suburbanites. They then meet their younger selves, not unlike Ghosts of Us by Philip Henry .
This is let down by the poor makeup, which could have been avoided if they had used a dual cast.
A Past-Life Regression therapist wishes she had past-life memories of her own. Worse, she wakes up in a world where everyone is already aware of their past lives. Nigel Bennett ( Lexx S4 ) tries to help her put her skills to good use.
An alcoholic signs up to the ultimate detox method. It turns out to be an extreme form of aversion therapy. He must go cold turkey, or else ...
Lonely working man William Sanderson ( Blade Runner ) accidentally phones a wrong number, and makes contact with a lonely woman named Mary-Ann.
A shyster who looks like Marc Singer ( V: The Series ) give public shows where he claims to channel the spirit of a man who died thousands of years ago.
The shyster starts to manifest genuine voices. Unfortunately, the spirit that speaks through him is a cynical asshole. So he gains a superpower, but loses his opportunity for personal gain.
The protagonist is a woman who is being abused by her husband (Kenneth Walsh - Twin Peaks ). Then she gets a porcelain statue of a dobermann pinscher for her birthday ... and a real dog starts to menace her husband every time he is mean to her.
This was written by J Michael Straczynski .
Warren Cribbens (Michael Moriarty - Q: The Winged Serpent ) is Loans Officer at a bank.
A 1980s business executive returns to work after a heart transplant. But he begins to act differently, going for walks on the riverbank and eating lunch at a greasy spoon diner. For some reason he is stalking a brunette waitress ...
Obviously, he is being influenced by the heart he was transplanted with. But this is not Hands of Orlac , and nobody has any evil intent. In other words, there is a complete lack of conflict in the story. It lacks anything that would make it watchable.
Terence Knox ( Star Trek: DS9 ) is a starship pilot, taking a vaccine to a remote outpost on a distant world. Unfortunately, he discovers that his ship has a stowaway. The ship does not have enough fuel to land. As long as the girl is aboard, the ship will crash - killing her, the pilot and everyone who needs the vaccine.
This is a heart-wrenching drama. There is only one real viable outcome, so the characters must embrace this dreadful truth.
However, in all fairness the characters do not work hard to find an alternative. They needed to trim an extra 25 kilos of dead flesh, so to speak, but do not even bother to take their clothes off. And why does a spaceship need heavy metal internal doors?
This week's protagonist lives a life of quiet desperation ... living with his wife and daughter in a homeless shelter. He has a chance encounter with a millionaire, and they end up in each others' shoes.
This is not exactly original - The Prince and the Pauper with a sci-fi body-swap embellishment.
A psychiatrist takes a new job at a sanitarium. He is intrigued by a self-admitted patient ( Deborah Raffin ). She is paranoid that the patterns in wallpaper (and blankets, clothes, anything with a pattern on it) can come alive and are plotting to kill her.
This was written by J Michael Straczynski , creator of the villainous Shadows ...
A pool shark (a very young-looking Essai Morales from Caprica ) would give ANYTHING to play against the greatest player of all time - Fats Waller (Maury Chaykin - ). Well, be careful what you wish for ...
The Fat man's ghost plays the pool shark a visit. Their game is for the highest stakes - life and death!
A US Military test-pilot is sent through a mysterious portal. This being the 1980s, they do not have unmanned probes. He discovers a beautiful landscape on the other side, inhabited by a peaceful society of farmers. Naturally, they all speak perfect modern-day American English.
As in B5, our hero must decide whether he should blindly obey orders, or if he should follow his natural instincts and preserve the paradise?
The title seems to be a vague reference to Room 101, the interrogation room in Orwell's 1984 .
Academic scientist and researcher Dean Stockwell ( Battlestar Galactica ) has been imprisoned, evidently by a Stalinist regime, for refusing to hand over his research notes because he realises they will be weaponised by the military-industrial complex.
Can his new cellmate teach him how to Quantum Leap (yes, I had to say it) out of his cell?
The unemployment rate is 32%, and there is no Welfare system. Little surprise that the only the Pawnbroker is still in business. Thus, the protagonist has to pawn things to get enough money to live on. He ends up pawning his memories, like in We Can Remember It For You Wholesale.
Once he has money, our hero can make himself presentable and do a job interview over his video-phone. Unfortunately, the Job-Seekers counsellor ( Ilse Von Glatz ) is interested in the minutae of the job applicant's memories rather than any actual skills they might bring to the job.
A cat lady lives along and spends time with her pussy. But this is not any pussy-cat, he is a were-cat who turns into a European Gigolo. But he is also a tomcat with a wandering spirit. Unfortunately, cat ladies think they can treat people the same way they treat pets - as property!
A new plague hits the USA. People are going blind for no known reason. A lady thinks that people without a conscience are suffering the fate of the three monkeys - see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.
An average white-collar worker discovers a hidden video-camera installed in his bathroom. It turns out he is the unknowing star of a Reality TV show, like The Truman Show .
The repair man tells him that Some people are famous just for being famous. This is even more though-provoking when you consider that the episode dates back to the 1980s, to the birth of Reality TV.
A truck-driver thinks his wife is cheating on him. He follows her to a bar, and gets a lesson in morality from a mysterious blind musician.
A degenerate gambler sold 51% of his soul to a double-crossing demon. He then goes to his loan shark (Anthony Franciosa - Beneath The Planet Of The Apes ) for protection. George Buza ( Mutant X: S3 ) is one of the Shylock's leg-breakers.