The Twilight Zone (1985–1989)
10 user

Wordplay/Dreams for Sale/Chameleon 

"Wordplay": A salesman at a medical firm finds everyone around him undergoing a linguistic transformation. "Dreams for Sale": A woman finds that her idyllic picnic may not be what it seems.... See full summary »


Rod Serling (created by), Rockne S. O'Bannon | 2 more credits »

On Disc

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Klein ... Bill Lowery (segment "Wordplay")
Annie Potts ... Cathy Lowery (segment "Wordplay")
Adam Raber Adam Raber ... Donnie Lowery (segment "Wordplay")
Robert Downey Sr. ... Mr. Miller (segment "Wordplay") (as Robert J. Downey)
Brian Bradley 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 Brynja McGrady ... Secretary (segment "Wordplay") (as Brynja Willis)
Alexandra Morgan Alexandra Morgan ... Nurse #1 (segment "Wordplay")
Lee Arnone Lee Arnone ... Nurse #2 (segment "Wordplay")
Raye Birk ... Bearded Man (segment "Wordplay")
Joseph Whipp Joseph Whipp ... Doug Seaver (segment "Wordplay")


"Wordplay": A salesman at a medical firm finds everyone around him undergoing a linguistic transformation. "Dreams for Sale": A woman finds that her idyllic picnic may not be what it seems. "Chameleon": Something unusual returns with a Shuttle mission. Written by A. Nonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Release Date:

4 October 1985 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


"Wordplay" has no opening narration. "Dreams for Sale" has no narration, at either the beginning or end. See more »


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 »


[phone conversation]
Doug Seaver: Listen, Bill, can I get back to you? My wife's waiting for me; today's our 17th wedding throw-rug and I'm taking her out for a sail, and then to dinner.
Bill Lowery: I'm sorry, Doug, today's your what?
Doug Seaver: It's our throw-rug.
Bill Lowery: Your throw-rug?
Doug Seaver: That's right, seventeenth. Talk to you tomorrow.
Bill Lowery: [to dialtone] Uh oh-oh Doug wait!
Bill Lowery: [to himself] "Throw-rug"?
See more »

Alternate Versions

In syndication, the story Wordplay is instead paired with the story Personal Demons. See more »


References The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) See more »

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User Reviews

Words change the mind and mouth/ a perfect dream made by future technology and absorbing space travel.
5 October 2007 | by blanbrnSee all my reviews

This episode two from the 1985 "Twilight Zone" season on CBS was pretty good yet not one of the better ones the first "Wordplay" carries most of the weight. I will describe each one by one.

The first in the segment is titled "Wordplay" directed by horror film legend Wes Craven, it really trips with the mind showing that words don't have to be so hard to learn and seem sophisticated. It stars veteran comic and actor Robert Klein as Bill Lowery a company salesman for a medical agency which is advertising new high tech products with hard and long sophisticated names. And you guessed it Bill can't pronounce the words he sees he will have a devil of a time talking about the products much less selling them! Soon one by one this episode takes on a mind changing experience of altered sanity as when everyone speaks to Bill he hears these words in just common everyday talk! Everyone's speech has become gibberish to him! It ends so sad in a way as his communication level has reached a low point as he can't even talk with anyone it shows the Klein character in his son's room reading an elementary book of baby words! It just proved that Craven showed that powerful words and a strong vocabulary are important in life and those who can't master it feel burdened and live on a different planet! The second offering was okay nothing special it stars Meg Foster as a married woman named Jenny who seems happy at a country side picnic with her husband and two daughters. Yet is she really as the viewer finds this is the result of her being at a dream center of technological advance that gives customers dreams for the fact that they pay money. At the time this 1985 this episode gave a glimpse into the future of technology fantasy and the hope of new virtual reality experiments.

Finally the third offering "Chameleon" is about a group of NASA space shuttle crew members who during their journey come across an unusual return that's an alien like equipment piece that absorbs them and their memories! The segment had low key actors Ben Piazza and Terrance O' Quinn. Only fitting that a sci-fi series have an episode of space and an alien theme like this, but really a pretty low segment of this episode.

Watch this one really for "Wordplay" a good mind numbing story that changes a person's state of mind and communication, because the other two are somewhat futuristic and a yawn.

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