The Dead Zone (TV Series 2002–2007) Poster

(2002–2007)

User Reviews

Review this title
77 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
Interesting blend of drama and science- fiction
Blade_Le_Flambeur13 May 2003
"The Dead Zone" stands out as one of the better shows on Television today. The acting, especially by Anthony Michael Hall is completely belieavable and dramatic, sucking you into his life and his pains as he see disturbing images of the future and past. This show sometimes gets gory with the images of blood, death, etc. However, it isn't too hard to watch and the amount of blood stays reasonable. The script doesn't stand out as much as the other features. It's still relatively solid, but has some flaws concerning the love between Sara and Johnny, making it a bit too cliche and corny. Sometimes, the script also loses sight of the episode and eventually just spins out to human drama. Other flaws include the occassional boring episode or Hall's performance as Johnny sometimes falls flat. The special effects though, are amazing. When Johnny touches someone and sees the past or future, the editing and the effects quickly change to show what happened or what's going to happen. It's amazing to see it work, everything builds together so well and the effects of murder, or the entire area being frozen with Johnny walking through is spectacular. I applaud the USA channell for restoring Television with the two arguablly greatest shows to watch: "The Dead Zone" and "Monk". 9.5/10
38 out of 43 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
8/10
good characters make good stories
figment1114 June 2006
This is one of those shows where the main characters are driven to put aside the problems they have with each other because they know that there are more important things. Those are the kind of characters I can enjoy watching. In this case they all know that Johnny (Anthony Michael Hall) has real visions not crazy visions or psychic hotline visions, but real visions. And that they can help him thwart the events that would otherwise lead to deaths or disaster if they trust each other and work together. This leads to the compelling stories that aren't about his visions. Sarah (Nicole de Boer) and Johnny were engaged before his car accident turned 6 year coma. However, during that coma she married the local sheriff (Chris Bruno). So watching as Johnny and the sheriff become friends is very interesting. Rev. Gene Purdy (David Ogden Stiers) as the man in charge of Johnny's inheritance is also an interesting study in suspense because the viewer can't tell if he is an imperfect man trying to do good, or someone with malicious intent. Johnny's best friend Bruce (John L. Adams) is someone he can share all his secrets with and their conversation is also where some of the quality humor of the show comes through. This show is definitely one to watch.
23 out of 25 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
this show is fantastic
jericho318 July 2002
I am an enormous Stephen King fan, and it is always with great anxiety that i watch a movie/tv series based on his work. The dead Zone was a great book - a great concept, but tough to translate to screen. The movie made in the 80s with christopher walken was half decent but nothing to write home about.

thankfully - the show is wonderful. Four episodes old and i am completely engrossed. This will be the first time I ever watch a show religiously in the summer. It is wonderfully put together, and though there are bad spots in the dialogue, its is translated well, and they have done a great job with showing the viewer the visions johnny smith finds himself having. they are wonderfully done.

I like how they arent sinking into just having johnny smith solve a murder each week, as evidenced by the latest episodes when he uses his powers to re-unite two long lost lovers (not to mention have an out of body sexual experience). the biggest worry i had was that the show would become very formulaic - and it still might, but hopefully they keep things going the way they are.

the real revelation in this series so far has been anthony michael hall. when i was young i loved this guy - and still love him when i watch "the breakfast club" or "weird science" - but since he has tried to revive his career I have had a tough time accepting him as an adult actor. I kept seeing the kid from the 80s movies. until now. I think he is doing a marvelous job with this part, playing it with a great combination of wide eyed wonder and fear of his new abilities. All of a sudden with this role he seems so believably adult, its kind of amazing. every now and the you can see the kid fro the 80s but for the most part its like watching a new actor. he plays the tortured role excellently - i can't say enough about how impressed I am

so far - this is fantastic and i hope they keep it up and release a dvd.
30 out of 34 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
7/10
One of the better shows on television - but handled poorly by USA network
Asteri-Atypical24 January 2005
In a word of cardboard characters and poor writing, The Dead Zone is a joy to watch. I have enjoyed every episode and some episodes have been excellent.

The only tragedy with this series is not with the series itself but with the way USA handles the scheduling and marketing. Most of the time I don't know when the season is going to begin or when the new episodes will air. Scheduling is erratic and promotion is often non existent. Someone in the USA main office must not want this show to succeed. Frankly, it's an amazing testament to the show's appeal that it still is in production despite this utter mismanagement.

USA, please recognize the gem you have in both Monk and The Dead Zone and, at the very least, air them on a regular schedule on which we can rely.
62 out of 75 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
9/10
Impressive
fiksve6 August 2006
I was very skeptical when I sat down to watch this. I loved the book when I read it a long time ago, but had a hard time imagining how the concept could possibly be stretched over a series. Nor had I heard anything about the show, and its currently in its fifth season.

The pilot is taken from the book, an excellent dramatization of Stephen Kings thriller, and a perfect appetizer for those of us who has read it. Then the series continues on its own, and although it occasionally suffers from the absence of the original author, most episodes are excellent -- Sporting engaging plots and good acting.

I consider 'Dead zone' among the best cinematic productions based upon the works of Stephen King, right up there with 'Storm of the century'
24 out of 28 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
10/10
The Dead Zone is continuing as a great show through the current season
TraciCarroll22 September 2006
The Dead Zone is an excellent show. Cutting-edge graphics and subject matter, interesting twists on each show, plus compelling continuing story lines threaded throughout the individual episodes, make this a great watch. Kudos to the creators (Michael Piller and his son Shawn, who is carrying on his legacy) and actor/producer Anthony Michael Hall (he's come a long way since "Sixteen Candles") plus the rest of the excellent cast. The show has improved with every season, as the cast chemistry increases, rather than fades, and the story lines become even more creative instead of growing stale. Great TV in an era of yawn-same-old-same-old detective/mystery/police shows. Set it on your DVR like me and NEVER MISS ONE EPISODE!!!
12 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
All the right elements.
SILENCEikillyou15 July 2002
This pilot and show have all the right ingredients to make a strong mainstream television show. Adapted from a great book and well-known writer. A good lead role and actor, Anthony Michael Hall. For all the adults out there who enjoyed his movies in our youth. And a great premise for an eerie and intriguing adventure. Plenty of room left for progression in the plot and characters. I have to give this pilot and the next three episodes thumbs up. If they don't screw it up, this show could last for a long time.

A. M. Hall still has it. With his producing skills and acting, its really nice to seem him doing something big again. Sometimes I can even see him in braces still, but he's changed so much. I didn't know how to take him in a dramatic role, but like Jim Carrey, he seems to be doing just fine. He's just got several spine tingling, eerie expressions that fit well for this character.

I know his therapist is supposed to be his sidekick and comic relief, but he could end up being just as key as Hall if he continues to improve with each show like he has. At first I didn't know if he was going to work out well. Now, though, he's becoming a great supporting icon to John Smith.

9/10 pts. - that could very well go down as much as up as the show continues. thank you.
17 out of 21 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
6/10
Losing its focus
pninson12 April 2008
Warning: Spoilers
The Dead Zone was one of my favorite Stephen King books, and I liked David Cronenberg's film. So I was delighted to find that the characters and ideas had been re-worked into a TV series with high production values, good scripts and acting.

The first two seasons held me spellbound. I watched them on DVD, so I was able to see them in widescreen with the best picture and sound. By the time I got into the third season, though, my interest was starting to fade. I was glad that the love triangle had been resolved so we could move on to something else. Unfortunately, there hasn't been much of an ongoing plot line to replace it.

I've watched the first couple of episodes of Season 4, and I have to say, the last one was downright boring. No show can hit on all thrusters all the time, but Dead Zone just isn't holding my interest. I'm not sure why, but I think it's because the characters haven't changed very much. Johnny is still the same guy he was at the beginning. The supporting cast, ditto. What the show needs to revitalize it is an arc that expands on some of the "future" plot at the end of Season 3, or some major changes in the characters.

Perhaps I'm missing something by not continuing with it, but with limited time and hundreds of films and shows I want to see, this one is on the back burner for now. It's a shame --- for a while it was one of the best shows on TV.
7 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Writer's Using Their "Dead Zone" For A Change...
hassenpheffer6 January 2003
What a pleasant surprise it is to see a cable TV show that actually has good writing. It joins Stargate SG1, Farscape and the X-Files in the well deserved and well received sci-fi/horror genre of "goodies". It's not really sci-fi and it's not really horror so let's stick it in the X-Files type. Who cares where it belongs as long as the great stories, good acting and terrific photography stay true for it's running. Michael Piller (co-creator/producer) has been in the business for years writing teleplays for all the Star Treks and the X-Files (among others) and he's done a great job updating the Stephen King story to the small screen. Kudos to all involved. Keep it up! :D
12 out of 17 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Johnny BE GOOD!!!!
Victoria13 August 2002
Bless you who(M?)ever had the idea for this program and an extra special thanks to Stephen King for writing the original book and giving them the idea....what took them so long!? I sure hope this program is going to stick around for awhile and I am sick thinking about the fact that it's first season will be over so soon! This is terrible....what are we supposed to do with ourselves now? (smile) I will be waiting for that email coming to tell me when the new season will be starting and if anyone from USA is reading these, can't you do something about all those commercials? They make it a bit hard to concentrate on the program....of course, I'd **** at my own beer party. Seems I should just be grateful the program is on at all! Oh by the way, I do realize there are unrequited feelings between Johnny and Sarah, especially with the child but....that's getting a bit old. She seems like a lost puppy following him around everywhere.
11 out of 18 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
5/10
Lacking ...
martoni6431 March 2012
Warning: Spoilers
So this is based on Stephen Kings novel "The Dead Zone"? Not so much, apart from that the character names are the same or similar. It's about a guy that falls into a coma after a traffic accident and wakes up 6 years later with weird powers. He also tries to take down a politician named Stillson. End of similarity.

The problem with this series is that it lacks coherence and continuity. At the end of series 6 you know as little about the characters as you did at the end of series 1 - which shows one of the monumental failings of the series. You simply don't care about the characters. That it lived for 6 (short) seasons is actually a miracle in itself. Sure, some episodes are actually pretty fun - but once you turn it off - ... poof staying power gone.

The second ginormous problem is continuity. There is no thread the episodes follow. The main plot should have been Johnny Smiths interaction with Stillson, at least for a season or two. Instead, the writers pile on disconnected self-contained episodes, one after another - with a scattered few episodes related to Stillson in between as an excuse for calling it based on S.Ks novel. It's not. At all. And when they do have a thread running through a couple of episodes (like the end of season 5 or Stillsons wedding) they rapidly move on to the self-contained episodes again or kill off all the characters (as in season 6). It's as if the producers didn't know what they wanted to do with the series in the first place.

The acting finally, isn't all that impressive either. At times it honestly pretty awful compared to other TV series I've been following, while plot quality varies a bit (there are the downright silly plots) but generally it's quite high standard, although a bit repetitive - probably due to the continuity issue.

All in all, it's completely forgettable. Good enough for a few hours entertainment, but nothing you care much about after you've seen it.
4 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
10/10
yes/no buttons no working
cewtv19 December 2007
I wanted to second the opinion expressed by Dr_Hieronymus from Orlando, FL, but my buttons weren't working. So, I guess I'll just do it here:

--------

"In a word of cardboard characters and poor writing, The Dead Zone is a joy to watch. I have enjoyed every episode and some episodes have been excellent.

The only tragedy with this series is not with the series itself but with the way USA handles the scheduling and marketing. Most of the time I don't know when the season is going to begin or when the new episodes will air. Scheduling is erratic and promotion is often non-existent. Someone in the USA main office must not want this show to succeed. Frankly, it's an amazing testament to the show's appeal that it still is in production despite this utter mismanagement.

USA, please recognize the gem you have in both Monk and The Dead Zone and, at the very least, air them on a regular schedule on which we can rely."

--------

As I said, I agree. USA, please get reliable with your good shows.
5 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
9/10
First three seasons are excellent,(the later seasons are a disaster)
chrichtonsworld25 June 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Making a TV show out of a fantastic Stephen King (book and)movie is a bold move! But with a great Anthony Michael Hall they succeeded in creating a series full of drama and suspense! I saw things in the first three seasons that were exciting and thrilling! Almost every episode contained a surprise in some form! Anthony Michael Hall created his own character very different from the movie! He adds some humor but also is intense and even frightening when needed! The sound and visual effects that are used to show how John's visions work are one of the highlights of the show! I also liked that Johnny was constantly improving in using his ability! I don't know what happened after these three wonderful seasons! Season 4 had it's moments but already was a sign that the series was getting worse! Inconsistencies in the plot,no improvement in skill,repetitive story lines,no real surprises) I do not want to talk about fifth season,because that season doesn't even come close to what "Dead Zone" was! After seeing 2 episodes from the sixth season I only can conclude that this one is even worse than the fifth season! It is very disappointing to see a fantastic show being turned into a show that it is now! Nothing inventive,boring (repetitive) story lines,one major character killed off,for some reason the Armageddon is stopped (for now,just like that) and almost no John L. Adams as Bruce! I think the character of Bruce was necessary since he kept John Smith sane! And also provided some great interaction between them! It should have been better if they would have stopped this show after the third season! I will keep on watching the show for closure but I sincerely hope that the show will improve to the high level of the first three seasons!

The grade (9) I have given is for the first three seasons!

Season 4: 7

Season 5: 5,5

Season 6: ???
3 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
being a king fan
Brooke11 January 2003
If you are a true king fan, you realize that this story is only loosely based on the book. Basically, all they use it for is the character names and basic plot line. Anything above that is purely fabricated. The television company has even said "with characters based on the Stephen King novel". Now, doesn't that sound a bit broad? Something to think about... I like this show, and I am a King fan. But I realize these things, and I take it for what it is, a television show. Great films like The Green Mile and The Shawshank Redemption are better examples of "by the book".
4 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A really good show with a good premise!
rainbow41415 July 2002
Yes, there is finally a really good show to watch on Sunday nights, now if the network doesn't lose track of it between now and the fall, I'm willing to bet it picks up an even greater audience then!. It's a combination of Quantum Leap, Early Edition,etc. and it works!.
4 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A few Maine accents, if you please!
Pro Jury15 February 2003
THE DEAD ZONE is a fairly good television series. Anthony M. Hall does a fine job and the charisma and personality of his charactor easily carries the occasional slow plot.

It is a good guess that this series is filmed somewhere far from the state of Maine. Most characters with speaking parts have Long Island or New York accents. Unlike real life northern Maine, the Bangor, Maine seen in THE DEAD ZONE is very multi-cultural place. In reality, the small cities of Maine have two main ethnic groups, the French (French Canadians) and regular people.

I think most fans of Fantasy drama will enjoy this series.
8 out of 18 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Where PSI becomes CSI ...
vram2218 September 2007
The Dead Zone has managed to keep its episodes fresh over the years and that has made it interesting to watch. The way the lead character's "psychic" ability is limited allows stories to unfold in unpredictable ways.

The series is basically about a man who wakes up from a long coma with a new ability. He can touch people and things and get flashes of their background - often things that deal with something important that has or will happen to them.

This gives him a reason to pursue finding out more so he can make a positive difference. What keeps the stories interesting is that his flashes are limited and uncontrolled - he can't just "get the answer" to something. He gets bits and pieces which are also sometimes not in sequential order. It's a little bit like the "CSI" shows, but with a little more novelty.

The F/X used are really interesting too. During his flashes, he's sometimes able to get them to 'freeze'. Then he can actually walk around the whole scene while all motion is stopped (including things in midair). Nicely done.

The only part that is a little bit of a negative is his bizarre extended relationship with his former girlfriend, her (and his) son and her husband; it's a little too weird and adds nothing to the show.

If you like good stories dealing with "psi" (short for psychic) or "CSI"-type shows where bits of evidence take the stories in unpredictable directions, you should check out this series.
3 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
I love this Television Show! Anthony Michael Hall is Great!
StephanieGould17 June 2002
I saw "The Dead Zone" last night on the USA network and it was fabulous. I think Anthony Michael Hall has made his come back! He is amazing in this series already. His range of acting has certainly broadened since he was in "Sixteen Candles" and "The Breakfast Club". The director also did a fabulous job with the filming. The effects and the different styles of camera work were amazing. I can not wait until the second episode airs. I will be a loyal fan of the show. It was great. From the acting, to the plot, to the setting and characters, this is one show no one can afford to miss! Thanks for such a refreshing and wonderful show !
3 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
5/10
Half past dead
jc-osms14 February 2013
I've now watched the first three episodes of this TV series based on the Christopher Walken 1993 movie adapted from Stephen King's novel. Let me start by saying I really enjoyed the original movie, a dark fantasy involving a search for a serial killer. Although one of the episodes here also involves a serial killer, the series would lose credibility if every week, the hero got to solve another baffling murder, so that I anticipate a mix of crime and human interest stories from here on.

There'll no doubt be an eternal triangle played out, among Johnny, his ex-fiancé and her new man, who just happens to be the town's head of police, not to mention his son, unborn at the time of his accident, now "adopted" by his new dad. I'll be less interested in this rather contrived arrangement than the prospect of some insightful, innovative stories which I hope will emerge.

Anthony Michael Hall can't compare to the edginess of wired old Chris Walken and you can see the target audience of middle-teens in Johnny's handsome wholesomeness, ditto his ex girlfriend. On the periphery there's a good-looking but predatory female reporter and Johnny's guardian, a minister of the church who has likely diddled Johnny's late lamented mother of her fortune for his own ends. Plenty of clichéd character's and situations then to antciate and I can only hope the material makes more of Johnny's gift than these rather obvious plot-devices.

The playing is routine TV-by-numbers and the special effects okay. I'll keep watching but feel the series needs to inject some dramatic tension and some genuine thrills and excitement to really garner my vote.
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Amazing! This series gets better and better!
tedu2415 February 2004
This series is really starting to hit its stride. I taped some of the second season, including the summer episodes, on tape and I have to force myself to stop watching. Much better than the first season of which I saw a couple of episodes. Shockingly good improvement. Some of the finest writing I've seen in years. I wholeheartedly agree with those who are big X-Files and Star Trek fans. This series really fills a void. This is the kind of show that John Doe wishes it could have been. Maybe one out of five were okay in that one, but this one is batting at least .750 if not higher. I was very reluctant to give this show a chance because the movie was one of my favorites. I always thought that one was underrated and actually made me into a Stephen King. Christopher Walken was unforgettable and his role in that ranks up there with his Deer Hunter character. However, I'm really starting to enjoy Anthony Michael Hall's interpretation. Much more likable, but still with enough sadness in the character. I'd really like, no, LOVE to see this series go a few more years! To all those involved on the show: THANK YOU! THANK YOU! To everyone else: WATCH THE SHOW AND TELL YOUR FRIENDS!
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
9/10
Annoying, but overall decent. (Spoilers Alert)
Alyssa Sloane19 June 2002
Warning: Spoilers
Spoilers Alert: I taped the first show of the season, and overall I was not too disappointed. Yet, I wasn't hoping for too much since it is a series loosely based on characters written by Stephen King. For those that complain too much about this series, I tell you to watch the Langoliers, and wince at how awful THAT book made into a movie. I am disaapointed that Smith and Sarah (in the series) supposedly slept together and created a son before the coma. That goes totally against what the book says, but there are greater errors in the series than just that, imo. Two VITAL characters have been thrown out, Herb and Vera Smith. Herb was Johnny's father, and lived through all of Johnny's problems. Also, Vera supposedly died before Johnny came out the coma, which is just wrong in my opinion. I would have liked to see the struggle on the screen between the religious mother and pragmatic father. I will continue to tape the series, just so I can fast forward through the commercials and not waste my time on this series. I guess overall a disaapointment, but I will live. I think I will go out and buy the dvd Rose Red for real Stephen King movie, or just watch my copy of the Storm of the Century. For die-hard King fans, even the pleasure of watching King stuff will not be worth the effort to pay attention to the Dead Zone. But, I'll spend half the effort. I just want to know how long people will think this series will last before its canceled.
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Great Show
RockAngel07217 June 2002
I think this is going to be a good show. Anthony Michael Hall is great as Johnny Smith. I think this role is perfect for him, and I'm glad he is doing it because I can't picture anyone else. I hope they give this show time to grow, because it's going to be great.
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
GREAT
jenine13129 June 2002
I really like this show. I think that it is great. I hope that it will run for a long time. Can't wait to see it each week! There aren't too many shows out that has me wanting to see the next episode. Anthony Michael Hall is a fine actor and he plays this role very well. If you haven't tuned in yet..you should do so now.
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Pleasantly surprised!
walkinghorse196428 June 2002
I had fears of bad acting and gaping plot holes but I was pleasantly surprised! The scripts so far have been very nicely done and the characters don't seem to have that awkwardness with each other that is usually associated with a new show (can anyone say Star Trek: Next Generation? Uuuggh, that first season stank). These actors mesh well together and I hope that USA sticks to their guns and allows this series to ramp up and expand. It seems to be well on its way to being a worthwhile hit.
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
loading
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews