Twilight Zone: Season 1, Episode 9

Perchance to Dream (27 Nov. 1959)
"The Twilight Zone" Perchance to Dream (original title)

TV Episode  -   -  Fantasy | Horror | Mystery
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 943 users  
Reviews: 20 user | 3 critic

A fatigued man fights to stay awake as he explains to a psychiatrist that if he falls asleep it will trigger a nightmare, which will cause his heart to fail.


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Title: Perchance to Dream (27 Nov 1959)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Edward Hall
John Larch ...
Dr. Eliot Rathmann
Suzanne Lloyd ...
Maya / Ms. Thomas


Edward Hall visits the psychiatrist Dr. Eliot Rathmann that was recommended by his doctor and he explains that he is extremely tired since he has not slept for many days. Edward believes that if he sleeps, he will die and explains that he is dreaming in "chapters" with the evil Maya, the Cat Woman that will kill him in his next nightmare. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis





Release Date:

27 November 1959 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The title of the episode, and the Charles Beaumont-written short story that inspired it, is taken from William Shakespeare's Hamlet's "to be or not to be" speech. "To sleep, perchance to dream-ay, there's the rub." The very next line, "For in that sleep of death what dreams may come," was used by fellow Twilight Zone (1959) writer Richard Matheson as the title of his novel/movie What Dreams May Come (1998). See more »


Dr. Rathmann: All right, Mr. Hall, suppose you tell me all about it. Everything. Start anywhere.
Edward Hall: Okay, but I'm warning you. You're gonna think I lost my marbles.
Dr. Rathmann: No, marbles can be found, Mr. Hall. Go on.
See more »


Referenced in Atop the Fourth Wall: Twilight Zone #9 (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

Quite Intriguing
26 September 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

While some may not like this episode, I found it quite captivating. A man is dying. Either he is going to die from a heart condition, from over-stressing himself, or he is going to die at the hands of woman whom he meets in an episodic dream. Most of the story takes place in a psychologist's office. The man relates his seemingly insane story. There are many layers here, including whether a dream is a reality, or, even more interesting, what is a dream. The concluding foray by Rod Serling talks about the momentary nature of dreams, how they may be a second long yet seem an eternity. One can only feel for the man who is trapped in a consummate no win situation. He hasn't slept for days. He is tied up in knots. The psychologist must deal with what he knows. At the end, we don't even know the reality we are supposed to believe in. Of course, this could be a criticism of this episode.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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