The Twilight Zone (1959–1964)
24 user 6 critic

Perchance to Dream 

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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Episode complete credited cast:
... Edward Hall
... Dr. Eliot Rathmann
... Maya / Miss 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



Parents Guide:





Release Date:

27 November 1959 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The opening upward pan of a skyscraper appears to be from MGM's 1928 silent classic "The Crowd". See more »


When the protagonist appears in the psychiatrist's office and lays on the couch, his feet are completely on the couch. At the end of the episode, his feet are off the end of the couch, and the psychiatrist says he fell asleep two seconds after he laid down, which would mean he would be in the same position. See more »


Edward Hall: [opens the window] Can I open this?
[looks down]
Edward Hall: Quite a drop.
Dr. Rathmann: Mr. Hall, I'll ah... I'll have to close the window.
[closes it]
Edward Hall: I only wanted some air.
Dr. Rathmann: Well I'll ah... I'll turn the conditioner up. It works best with the windows closed.
Edward Hall: Did you think I'd jump?
Dr. Rathmann: You might have.
Edward Hall: Not a chance. I want to live. That's my problem.
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 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.

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