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"The Tommyknockers"
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"The Tommyknockers" (1993) More at IMDbPro »TV series 1993-

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The Tommyknockers: :  -- A buried UFO slowly turns local inhabitants into gizmo-building alien mutates.


User Rating:
5.4/10   8,373 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Down 2% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers (WGA):
Lawrence D. Cohen (teleplay)
Stephen King (novel)
View company contact information for The Tommyknockers on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
9 May 1993 (USA) See more »
Tommyknockers, Tommyknockers, knocking at the door... See more »
A buried UFO slowly turns local inhabitants into gizmo-building alien mutants. Full summary »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for Primetime Emmy. See more »
User Reviews:
nothing great, but certainly better than expected See more (47 total) »


 (Series Cast Summary - 28 of 29)

Jimmy Smits ... Jim 'Gard' Gardner (2 episodes, 1993)

Marg Helgenberger ... Roberta 'Bobbi' Anderson (2 episodes, 1993)

John Ashton ... Trooper Butch Duggan (2 episodes, 1993)

Allyce Beasley ... Deputy Becka Paulson (2 episodes, 1993)

Robert Carradine ... Bryant Brown (2 episodes, 1993)

Joanna Cassidy ... Sheriff Ruth Merrill (2 episodes, 1993)

Annie Corley ... Marie Brown (2 episodes, 1993)

Cliff De Young ... Joe Paulson (2 episodes, 1993)

Traci Lords ... Nancy Voss (2 episodes, 1993)

E.G. Marshall ... Ev Hillman (2 episodes, 1993)
Chuck Henry ... Chaz Stewart (2 episodes, 1993)
Leon Woods ... Hilly Brown (2 episodes, 1993)
Paul McIver ... Davey Brown (2 episodes, 1993)
Yvonne Lawley ... Mabel Noyes (2 episodes, 1993)
William Johnson ... Elt Barker (2 episodes, 1993)
John Steemson ... Barney Applegate (2 episodes, 1993)
Rick Leckinger ... Jingles (2 episodes, 1993)
Peter Rowley ... Benton Rhodes (2 episodes, 1993)

John Sumner ... Mr. Arberg (2 episodes, 1993)

Elizabeth Hawthorne ... Patricia McCardle (2 episodes, 1993)

Craig Parker ... Student Bartender (2 episodes, 1993)
Kay Helgenberger ... Pearl (2 episodes, 1993)
Larry Sanitsky ... Neurologist (2 episodes, 1993)
Helen Medlyn ... Neurologist #2 (2 episodes, 1993)

Jim McLarty ... Dr. Etheridge (2 episodes, 1993)
Daniel Bieber ... Boy at Vet (2 episodes, 1993)
Timothy Bartlett ... Mr. Allison (2 episodes, 1993)
Karyn Malchus ... Tommyknocker (2 episodes, 1993)

Series Directed by
John Power (2 episodes, 1993)
Series Writing credits
Lawrence D. Cohen (2 episodes, 1993)
Stephen King (2 episodes, 1993)

Series Produced by
Jayne Bieber .... producer (2 episodes, 1993)
Lawrence D. Cohen .... co-producer (2 episodes, 1993)
Frank Konigsberg .... executive producer (2 episodes, 1993)
Larry Sanitsky .... executive producer (2 episodes, 1993)
Jane Scott .... producer (2 episodes, 1993)
Series Original Music by
Christopher Franke (2 episodes, 1993)
Series Cinematography by
Dan Burstall (2 episodes, 1993)
David Eggby (2 episodes, 1993)
Series Film Editing by
Tod Feuerman (2 episodes, 1993)
Series Casting by
Judith Holstra (2 episodes, 1993)
Series Production Design by
Bernard Hides (2 episodes, 1993)
Series Art Direction by
Virginia Bieneman (2 episodes, 1993)
Laurie Faen (2 episodes, 1993)
Kim Sinclair (2 episodes, 1993)
Series Makeup Department
Amanda Butler .... assistant makeup artist (2 episodes, 1993)
Marjory Hamlin .... makeup supervisor (2 episodes, 1993)
Joan Petch .... key hair stylist (2 episodes, 1993)
Francia Smeets .... hair stylist / makeup artist (2 episodes, 1993)
Series Production Management
Honor Byrne .... assistant production manager (2 episodes, 1993)
Jane Gilbert .... unit production manager (2 episodes, 1993)
Joan Petch .... unit manager (2 episodes, 1993)
Peta Sinclair .... unit manager (2 episodes, 1993)
Series Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
John Martin .... second assistant director (2 episodes, 1993)
Chris Webb .... first assistant director (2 episodes, 1993)
Series Art Department
Mark Brown .... stand-by props (2 episodes, 1993)
Mark W. Brown .... stand-by props (2 episodes, 1993)
Chris Hollyer .... props (2 episodes, 1993)
Neil Kirkland .... set designer (2 episodes, 1993)
Sue Mercer .... graphic designer (2 episodes, 1993)
Ray Pedler .... scenic artist (2 episodes, 1993)
Peter Remmers .... harry artist (2 episodes, 1993)
Philip Worth .... construction coordinator (2 episodes, 1993)
Series Sound Department
Peter Bergren .... sound effects editor (2 episodes, 1993)
Gary Bolger .... re-recording mixer (2 episodes, 1993)
Myron Nettinga .... sound effects editor (2 episodes, 1993)
Tom Perry .... re-recording mixer (2 episodes, 1993)
Fred Schultz .... sound mixer (2 episodes, 1993)
Larry Stensvold .... re-recording mixer (2 episodes, 1993)
Bruce Tanis .... sound effects editor (2 episodes, 1993)
Richard Taylor .... supervising sound editor (2 episodes, 1993)
Richard Thomas .... sound effects editor (2 episodes, 1993)
Series Special Effects by
Kevin Chisnall .... special effects coordinator (2 episodes, 1993)
Tony Gardner .... project supervisor: Tommyknockers design and creation: for Alterian Studios Inc. (2 episodes, 1993)
Vance Hartwell .... alien supervisor (2 episodes, 1993)
John Henry Jr. .... project coordinator: Tommyknockers design and creation: for Alterian Studios Inc. (2 episodes, 1993)
Clint Ingram .... special effects (2 episodes, 1993)
Brian Penikas .... alien supervisor (2 episodes, 1993)
Arthur Spink Jr. .... special effects technician (2 episodes, 1993)
Richard Taylor .... alien supervisor: New Zealand (2 episodes, 1993)

Tim Turner .... special makeup effects: Alterian Studios (unknown episodes)
Series Visual Effects by
Heather Davis Baker .... rotoscope artist (2 episodes, 1993)
Jenny Fulle .... visual effects producer (2 episodes, 1993)
Rick Hilgner .... visual effects (2 episodes, 1993)
Richard Malzahn .... visual effects supervisor (2 episodes, 1993)
Tad Pride .... mechanical props supervisor (2 episodes, 1993)
David B. Sharp .... model supervisor (2 episodes, 1993)
Jesse Silver .... matte artist (2 episodes, 1993)
Series Stunts
Shane Dawson .... lead stunt double (2 episodes, 1993)
Series Camera and Electrical Department
Neil Cervin .... assistant camera (2 episodes, 1993)
Donald Duncan .... director of photography: second unit (2 episodes, 1993)
Darrin Keough .... first assistant camera (2 episodes, 1993)
Brian Mahoney .... additional lighting assistant (2 episodes, 1993)
Rob Marsh .... clapper loader (2 episodes, 1993)
Danny Thompson .... gaffer (2 episodes, 1993)
Dennis Williams .... key grip (2 episodes, 1993)
David Williamson .... camera operator (2 episodes, 1993)

Michael Pinkey .... director of photography: additional unit (unknown episodes)
Series Casting Department
Maggie Maxwell .... additional casting (2 episodes, 1993)
Series Costume and Wardrobe Department
Taryn De Chellis .... costume consultant (2 episodes, 1993)
Caroline Skakel .... assistant costume designer (2 episodes, 1993)
Series Editorial Department
Terry Blythe .... assistant editor (2 episodes, 1993)
Dave Hussey .... colorist (2 episodes, 1993)
Scot J. Kelly .... associate editor (2 episodes, 1993)
Michael S. Murphy .... additional editor (2 episodes, 1993)
Series Location Management
Maude Heath .... location manager (2 episodes, 1993)
Series Music Department
The Berlin Symphonic Film Orchestra .... music performed by (2 episodes, 1993)
Christopher Franke .... musician: additional performance (2 episodes, 1993)
Richard E. Roth .... music producer / music recordist (2 episodes, 1993)
Alan Wagner .... conductor (2 episodes, 1993)
Marty Wereski .... music editor (2 episodes, 1993)

Edgar Rothermich .... music producer / music recordist (unknown episodes)
Series Transportation Department
Spencer Faulkner .... unit driver (2 episodes, 1993)
Series Other crew
Honor Byrne .... production coordinator (2 episodes, 1993)
Lynn-Maree Danzey .... script supervisor (2 episodes, 1993)
Vance Hartwell .... puppeteer (2 episodes, 1993)
Dianne Mapp-Cheek .... production accountant (2 episodes, 1993)
Susan Parker .... production coordinator (2 episodes, 1993)
Bonnie Weis .... assistant production accountant (2 episodes, 1993)

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated R for sci-fi terror/horror
181 min | 120 min (cut version) | Japan:120 min (video version)
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Stephen King is a former drug addict and used it as a metaphor for alien takeover in The Tommyknockers.See more »
Revealing mistakes: The Nutcracker doll's knife has blood on it before it stabs Ruth.See more »
Roberta 'Bobbi' Anderson:[to Gard] It wasn't the plate that kept them out. It was you.See more »
Movie Connections:
The Star-Spangled BannerSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
4 out of 5 people found the following review useful.
nothing great, but certainly better than expected, 13 November 2009
Author: MisterWhiplash from United States

Usually the norm for Stephen King adaptations, particularly with those directly adapted for television or as a miniseries, to stay away. They're mostly produced by hacks who have to cut apart King's works, even then ones that don't need or shouldn't be adapted (or the ones he comes up with himself like Storm of the Century), and place them in a set running time meant for commercial breaks and to (sometimes) tone down explicit language and whatever bloody violence tends to happen in the original stories. But somehow Tommyknockers came to me (via the wife of all people), and decided to give it a chance purely based on the premise. It's about a small town in Maine (for King, color me shocked and awed!) and what happens to them when one of the townspeople, local writer Bobbi, comes across a strange object buried in the ground. She keeps digging and digging, and it just becomes an obsessive thing to unearth the entire metal-maze that seems to be underground. But then a green substance or other overcomes her, and the town, and they're slaves to some extraterrestrial entities - all except for one, a man with a metal plate in his head who can't be made zombified.

With a good premise and a few interesting cast prospects (Jimmy Smitts, Marg Helgenberger, EG Marshall, Traci Lords), I was prepared for anything. It could have been a horrid telling of the story, or perhaps something truly surprising and brilliant. It's in the middle; it's not very brilliant nor bad at all. The Tommyknockers works, more or less, how one sees a Stephen King book (one of the really good ones) work as a story: introduce the characters, let us get to know them very well and maybe empathize with them or sympathize with their troubles (alcoholism, infidelity, superstitions) or just understand them, and then just put them through total HELL (in caps). Most of the first half is just set-up, seeing the relationship between Bobbi and Jim, who has been on the wagon until an incident that sends him in turmoil, the fractured marriage of a cop and a postal worker- the latter cheating with a sultry temptress (Lords) every day- and the little boy who wants to master, and believes, in magic.

But once the effects of the Tommyknockers spreads through the town, it gets equally interesting and hokey. Some of the acting is just terrible, as one might expect (the kid playing the would-be magician is the kind one would usually find on low-rated episodes of Are You Afraid of the Dark), and some of that green visual effects stuff is rather cheap even when nifty coming out of a lipstick container. And the writing in some scenes is silly too, and I'm not sure if that's a criticism of the movie or of King. Yet what does work is that it's a solid story, told with a degree of professionalism and some creativity that makes it worth watching. Smitts and Helgenberger give as good as they've got, which is a big boost, and some scenes like the 4th of July climax of the first half of the movie are staged in a creepy manner and style (cutting between the zombies, the dolls, the kid repeating and the telekinetic typewriter typing Tommyknockers over and over). Even the aliens are a lot of fun to watch towards the end, with the end result revealed as just a rip on what would later be seen in the Matrix.

Some of this is predictable, and silly, and its ending is equally tragic and unintentionally funny. But I was entertained and didn't want to get up or stop the DVD during its running time, and that's my two cents.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (47 total) »

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Does anyone know what the Tommyknockers means? Tony587
Deleted Scene? Reference to 'It'??? andersen_sister
Reboot fatalframe80
A real tommyknocker bobbiekaye69
Anyone know where I can purchase Stephen Kings 'The Tommy Knockers' Domnio52
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