The Twilight Zone – Complete Series Review – Season 2 Episode 26 – Shadow Play 

Dennis Weaver plays a man named Adam Grant.  The first scene shows Adam sitting in a courtroom where he is the defendant in a murder trial.  The jury declares him guilty and the judge sentences Adam to death by electrocution.  Adam reacts by running toward the bench and telling the judge he can’t make him die again.  He is restrained by the court officers and removed from the room.

In the next scene Adam is on death row and he is interacting with his fellow prisoners.  One of them is particularly amused that Adam believes that the whole situation is actually a recurring nightmare that Adam has every night.  Adam even points out some inconsistencies that wouldn’t actually occur in real life but were playing out here.  For instance, the execution was about to occur directly following the trial and the fact that the inmate has a wristwatch which wouldn’t be allowed in a real prison.  When questioned what electrocution is like he describes the sequence in painstaking detail.

Next, we are in a suburban home where the District Attorney and his wife are about to have a steak dinner when the newspaper reporter who is covering the trial and who also happens to be their friend shows up drunk and begins trying to convince the DA to get a stay of execution.  He goes through Adam’s story and also points out some inconsistencies.  He convinces the DA to go down to the prison to at least talk to Adam.

When the DA meets with Adam, he hears the story direct from Adam and amusingly Adam is able to not only complete the DA’s sentences but also begin them.  This unnerves the DA but he is still skeptical.  And while this is going on Adam is trying to remember where in his real life all the characters of his dream came from.  He recognizes the prison chaplain as a priest in his parish who had died years ago.  He mentions to the DA how he knew him and then remembered what other parts in the drama he had played on previous nights.  Apparently, the dreams differed subtly and allowed characters to switch roles.

When the DA returns home he is very confused but at the very last minute before midnight the reporter convinces him to call the governor for a stay.  But just as he reaches him the current goes through Adam and one of the characters disappears from the room and then everything goes black.

Next, we see Adam back in the courtroom and this time one of the inmates is the judge and reporter is the DA this time.

There is a little bit of yelling at walls and it is a very down beat episode but it’s pretty well done so I’ll go for a B-.

0 0 vote
Article Rating
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
War Pig
War Pig
3 years ago

As a lad I never understood this one and I’m very little better off now. I stopped being afraid of dreams when I was eight or so. I could not see how an adult would be bothered by a dream, even a recurring dream. I’d had recurring dreams, they never came true, so I stopped worrying about them and wondered why an adult panicked.

War Pig
War Pig
3 years ago

Not really. Dennis Weaver did well with what he had to work with. I always liked him as an actor. My favorite part of his was the tour de force on “Duel”.