Tales from the Darkside: Season 2, Episode 8

Distant Signals (17 Nov. 1985)

TV Episode  |  TV-14  |   |  Fantasy, Horror, Thriller
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 107 users  
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Mr. Smith is a cult follower of the failed 60's TV show MAX PARADISE and approaches Hollywood studio executives about recreating it, despite the reluctance of its now-alcoholic leading man Van Conway.

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Title: Distant Signals (17 Nov 1985)

Distant Signals (17 Nov 1985) on IMDb 6.9/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
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Van Conway
...
Mr. Smith
...
Gil Hurn
Joseph Bova ...
Lew Feldman (as Joe Bova)
Sheila King ...
Amy
John Bennes ...
Loomis
Dog Thomas ...
Grip
Paul Sparer ...
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Mr. Smith is a cult follower of the failed 60's TV show MAX PARADISE and approaches Hollywood studio executives about recreating it, despite the reluctance of its now-alcoholic leading man Van Conway.

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17 November 1985 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Tales From the Darkside goes sentimental and it works beautifully!
12 November 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

It may sound like I'm being facetious, but 'Distant Signals' is honestly one of the most touching pieces of entertainment I have ever encountered. To be fair, there is probably a lot of subjectivity at play, but whatever chord this episode strikes in me is astoundingly potent for a low budget horror anthology show of the 1980s. It all starts with a wonderfully whimsical premise. A "visitor" from far, far away (only referred to as Mr. Smith) comes to town to track down the men behind a long-since-canceled television program, which his "people" lovingly adore and wish to see put back into production to conclude the cliff-hanging story of it's hero, Max Paradise. The original short story by Andrew Weiner is a wonderful work of it's own, but it translates beautifully to the screen here and becomes all the more intoxicating for it. The fairy tale-esque atmospherics, the enchantingly gloomy bits of black and white photography, the dreamy trumpets swirling away in the background, the hauntingly earnest portrayal of Max Paradise by the great Darren McGavin, and the oddball mystique of "Mr Smith", all add up into something truly heart-warming that pushes the viewer's nostalgia button in the most loving way possible. I've watched this episode again and again for years, and I never fail to get goosebumps and a big fat smile on my face every time. I urge you to sit back, put down your smart phone for 20 minutes, and allow this episode to wash over you :)


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