|Index||4 reviews in total|
This "TZ" episode number 23 from season one is interesting as it's
theme of the future of both segments make it enjoyable and watchable.
The segments titled "Shadow Play" and "Grace Note" are both good
stories that makes one wonder if you can really see into the future.
"Shadow Play" stars Peter Coyote(in a role before he became the famous voice narrator of many documentary works) as Adam Grant a man who's on death row after being found guilty of murder. Only strangely he believes everyone around doesn't exist and that everything is just a dream! Only it's a catch if he's killed then everybody else will not exist, but yet Adam once again finds he's once again in a recurring nightmare. It's like some people are doomed as their dreams are constant nightmares as they are caught up in everyone else's world. It's a never ending sentence, really this was a strange and interesting segment.
Better segment is "Grace Note" it involves a middle aged lady(Julia Migenes-Johnson)who's in New York City in 1966 still living at home, and her dream to escape and a better life is the chance to perform on the stage of the grand opera. Her home life is still a drag her younger sister is sick with terminal cancer, but yet a gift of hope comes from her little sister on her deathbed she gives the power of showing big sister a glimpse into the future of then present day 1986 and this glimpse is certainly a high note of startling success at the opera! Overall good segment that shows one never knows what the future holds, gifts of success may be given from falling loved ones, it proves life is worth living.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
***SPOILERS*** "Grace Note": With her little sister Mary, Sydney Penny,
dying of leukemia aspiring opera singer Rosemarie Miletti, Julia
Migenis, has her hands full taking care of not only Mary but her family
to whom she's the sole bread winner. Making a promise to her dying
sister Mary that she's not sure that she can keep Rosemarie tells her
she'll do her best to make her dream of her her becoming a major opera
singer come true. Rushing to the hospital after finding out that Mary
has only minutes to live Rosemarie gets a massage or vision from the
beyond where she's then transported into the future from 1966 to 1986
to see if her promise to Mary will be kept.
As things turned out not only was Rosemarie able to keep her promise to Mary but was also able, by going back to 1966, to thank Mary who's on her death bed for encouraging her to continue with her singing career, which was almost non-existent at the time, when was was about to give up on it. It was a promise that Rosemarie made to her dying sister that was signed sealed and delivered in the far out reaches of the "Twilight Zone".
***SPOILERS*** "Shadow Play": Remake of the 1961 "Twilight Zone" episode of a convicted murderer waiting to be executed who's execution has been put on hold not only for now but until the hell freezes over. Adam Grant, Peter Coyote, is scheduled to hang at one past midnight but seems to be far more worried in him being alive then becoming dead.
As the hours tic away for him to be executed it's not Grant that's afraid of what's facing him but the the local D.A Mark Ritchie, Kay E. Kuter, who by having him convicted by a jury of his peers put him on death row! It seems that Grant's wild fantasies about all this not being real and him dying together with Grant has really gotten to D.A Ritchie as well as his very pro death penalty wife Carol, Deborah May.
At first thinking that Grant is just a raving lunatic or trying to get out of being hanged by faking an insanity plea together with his lawyer Erin Jacobs, Janet Eliber, it become apparent that Grant knows something that the future hold for him and it has nothing to do with his trip to the gallows! ***SPOILERS*** Whatever Grant did he's to pay for it not with his life but with the lives of all those that he somehow conjured up in his "dream" that takes up this entire "Twilight Zone" episode. In "Shadow Play" it's not only Adam Grant who's condemned to die but everyone else in it! The judge the jury the prosecution and defense attorneys as well as those on death row, poisoners and guards, together with Grant. Not just for now but over and over until the end of eternity if that's at all possible!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Although the ending is never in doubt (follows close enough to the
Dennis Weaver original TZ in terms of eventual results), Peter Coyote
and the cast are so damn good (as is Paul Lynch's direction) they grip
you anyway. Coyote is sentenced to die by hanging but he insists the
courtroom verdict and sentencing, the trip to jail, the waiting for the
execution, the visit to him by the opposing counsel, and the eventual
execution itself are all a nightmare looping over and over, with the
people in the dream often in different parts (Janet Eiber is his
defense and then later the judge, William Smith is a grinning, abusive
guard one time, and the opposing counsel the next, William Schallert is
the priest and the jurist reading Coyote's verdict the next time) with
the same outcome over and over. Coyote states his case to anyone who
will listen. His description of the green mile until the execution
while two of the other death row inmates listen on is quite chilling. I
love how when the others talk, you can see Coyote mouthing what they're
saying as they say it
it is those little things that make Coyote such a
pro. There's Eiber talking it over with opposing counsel, Guy Boyd,
over how memories seem vacant and oddly there is no press or audience
in the court room. Coyote, expecting Boyd (or someone representing the
prosecution), knows that he will be too late, convincing him through
things his "wife" (Deborah May) says when they are along that the
nightmare scenario has merit. Schallert's priest is actually Coyote's
father while May is his sister (Schallert died and Coyote believes his
presence is one to bring guilt while May and him hated each other so
she's always the character that wants him dead), which testifies to the
validity of his dream theory
that and how this trial and execution
always results right back where it started. What an anchor Coyote is:
he was everywhere in the 80s, too. Though based on the same story shown
in the 60s series, still this 80s update was compelling despite
Dying daughter, Sydney Penny (regular on multiple soaps), uses a wish beholden to her to grant her talented mother a chance to go forward in time to witness her operatic success, watching herself perform before an audience. If you are interested in time travel wrapped within a sad story of death and embracing your talent instead of lingering in woe then here you go. Not my cup of tea. 5/10
SHADOW PLAY is a largely uninteresting story from THE NEW TWILIGHT ZONE
which is actually the remake of a tale from the original 1960s TV
series. It stars veteran actor Peter Coyote as a Death Row convict
who's convinced he's living in some kind of nightmare where his death
will spell the end for everyone involved in the dream.
Unfortunately the plotting is largely uninteresting despite the presence of some notable cast members, like biker star William Smith playing a prison guard. The tale just feels convoluted throughout and the denouement is a big disappointment.
GRACE NOTE isn't a bad story for THE NEW TWILIGHT ZONE; it doesn't have much in the way of a decent narrative, but it makes up for this with a ton of emotion that you don't expect.
In it, an aspiring opera singer sees her life wasting away as she cares for her terminally ill younger sister, but then she has a glimpse of the future that changes everything. There's tragedy in this story, but it also teaches a moral lesson in which a person's hopes and aspirations can be rewarded by their morally decent behaviour.
GRACE NOTE is a well acted story and a heartwarming one too; not my favourite of genres truth be told, but certainly well made for this show and a surprise given the junk that pads out other episodes.
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