IMDb > "The Twilight Zone" Wordplay/Dreams for Sale/Chameleon (1985)

"The Twilight Zone" Wordplay/Dreams for Sale/Chameleon (1985)

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Rod Serling (created by)
Rockne S. O'Bannon (written by) (segment)
View company contact information for Wordplay/Dreams for Sale/Chameleon on IMDbPro.
Original Air Date:
4 October 1985 (Season 1, Episode 2)
"Wordplay": A salesman at a medical firm finds everyone around him undergoing a linguistic transformation... See more » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Facing the language barrier/broken reality/NASA nastiness See more (6 total) »


 (Episode Cast) (in credits order)

Robert Klein ... Bill Lowery (segment "Wordplay")

Annie Potts ... Cathy Lowery (segment "Wordplay")
Adam Raber ... Donnie Lowery (segment "Wordplay")

Robert Downey Sr. ... Mr. Miller (segment "Wordplay") (as Robert J. Downey)
Brian Bradley ... Hotshot (segment "Wordplay")

Bernard Behrens ... Older Salesman (segment "Wordplay")

Anne Betancourt ... Admitting Nurse (segment "Wordplay")

Willard E. Pugh ... Man in Elevator (segment "Wordplay") (as Willard Peugh)

Helene Udy ... Woman #1 (segment "Wordplay")

Mimi Craven ... Receptionist (segment "Wordplay") (as Mimi Meyer Craven)
Brynja McGrady ... Secretary (segment "Wordplay") (as Brynja Willis)
Alexandra Morgan ... Nurse #1 (segment "Wordplay")
Lee Arnone ... Nurse #2 (segment "Wordplay")
Raye Birk ... Bearded Man (segment "Wordplay")
Joseph Whipp ... Doug Seaver (segment "Wordplay")

Dwier Brown ... Robbie (segment "Wordplay")

Meg Foster ... Jenny (segment "Dreams for Sale")

David Hayward ... Paul (segment "Dreams for Sale")

Vincent Guastaferro ... Dream Technician (segment "Dreams for Sale")
Lee Anthony ... Rescue Technician (segment "Dreams for Sale")
Kristi Purdy ... Twin #1 (Segment 'Dreams for Sale')
Deanna Purdy ... Twin #2 (Segment 'Dreams for Sale')

Terry O'Quinn ... Dr. Curt Lockridge (segment "Chameleon") (as Terrance O'Quinn)
Ben Piazza ... Dr. Vaughn Heilman (segment "Chameleon")

John Ashton ... Crew Chief Brady Simmons (segment "Chameleon")
Steve Bassett ... Gerald Tyson (segment "Chameleon") (as Steve Howell Bassett)
Iona Morris ... Annie (segment "Chameleon")

Alma Martinez ... Teresa Rojas (segment "Chameleon") (as Alma Martínez)
Chad Hayes ... Peter Iverson (segment "Chameleon")

Lin Shaye ... Kate Simmons (segment "Chameleon")
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Charles Aidman ... Narrator (segments "Wordplay" and "Chameleon") (voice)

Dan Gilvezan ... Shuttle Columbia Operator (voice) (uncredited)
Russ Marin ... Doctor (segment "Wordplay") (uncredited)

Episode Crew
Directed by
Wes Craven (segment "Chameleon") (segment "Wordplay")
Tommy Lee Wallace (segment "Dreams for Sale")
Writing credits
Rod Serling (created by)

Rockne S. O'Bannon (written by) (segment "Wordplay")

Joe Gannon (written by) (segment "Dreams for Sale")

James Crocker (written by) (segment "Chameleon")

Produced by
Philip DeGuere Jr. .... executive producer (as Philip DeGuere)
Cinematography by
Bradford May 
Production Management
Ken Swor .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Paul Chavez .... second assistant director
Paul Deason .... first assistant director
Dawn Easterling .... second assistant director
Richard Luke Rothschild .... first assistant director
Art Department
James Hegedus .... storyboard artist
Sound Department
David John West .... sound effects editor
Camera and Electrical Department
Bruce Macaulay .... still photographer
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Leslie Joyce .... key costumer
Editorial Department
Marc Wielage .... telecine colorist
Location Management
Orin Kennedy .... location manager
Denis McCallion .... location manager
Music Department
Marius Constant .... composer: original theme
Grateful Dead .... composer: new title theme (as The Grateful Dead)
Merl Saunders .... composer: new title theme
Other crew
Bernadette Caulfield .... production coordinator
Kenneth Gilbert .... script supervisor
Reid Reilich .... craft service (uncredited)

Series Crew
These people are regular crew members. Were they in this episode?
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Rod Serling  creator

Cinematography by
Robert E. Collins (3 episodes)
Film Editing by
Howard Brock 
Makeup Department
Allan A. Apone .... makeup artist
Art Department
Carlos Caneca .... carpenter trainee
Sound Department
John Agalsoff Jr. .... boom operator
Scott Purdy .... re-recording mixer
Don White .... re-recording mixer
Special Effects by
James Cummins .... special effects
Andrew Miller .... special effects
Larry Odien .... special mechanical effects assistant
Visual Effects by
Doug Campbell .... motion control DP cameraman
Bud Davis .... stunt coordinator
Steve Kelso .... stunts
Camera and Electrical Department
Dale Alexander .... key grip
Susan Shaw .... camera trainee
Music Department
Mickey Hart .... special musical effects
Jeff Vaughn .... score mixer
Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

"Wordplay" has no opening narration. "Dreams for Sale" has no narration, at either the beginning or end.See more »
Continuity: Jenny's dream badge identifying her as #17 is located on the left side of her chest until the end, where it switches to the middle.See more »
Bill Lowery:What does "lunch" mean?
Cathy Lowery:It's a color.
See more »
Movie Connections:


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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful.
Facing the language barrier/broken reality/NASA nastiness, 25 March 2015
Author: Leofwine_draca from United Kingdom

WORDPLAY, an early story from THE NEW TWILIGHT ZONE, deals with a classic sci-fi idea of altered reality. In it, a brash salesman finds the world turning to chaos when the everyday language used by people begins to change; what was once "lunch" is now "dinosaur", for example.

It's different, that's for sure, although the choice of horror director Wes Craven to helm the episode is an odd one. Still, this is a tale of intellectual horror and one that works well mainly because it feels original. Forget demons and monsters, this is about mental disintegration in a familiar world turned strange, and it's all the more effective for it. A shame the running time wasn't longer (this is a 15 minute one) to develop the idea further.

The second story in this episode is DREAMS FOR SALE, featuring the memorable Meg Foster (her of the icy blue eyes) playing an ordinary woman who's enjoying a romantic picnic with her partner. Unfortunately for her, reality begins to glitch and break down, so much so that the truth about her real situatin is revealed. This tale's very short but has neat shades of THE MATRIX and VIRTUAL NIGHTMARE, and I liked the execution.

The last segment of the episode is CHAMELEON and it's a lot more interesting, feeling like an episode of THE OUTER LIMITS instead of an episode of this disappointing show. The underrated Terry O'Quinn stars as a NASA scientist who uncovers an odd situation when an astronaut returns to Earth: the astronaut isn't human at all, instead some kind of alien shapeshifter who demands his release. The premise of this one is solid and the execution quite acceptable, with the emphasis on the atmosphere. A shame the ending is weak but hey, it could be (and often is) worse.

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