The Dead Zone - the 1st half of season 1
Posted: September 12, 2002
In this review I will take a look at the first half of the first season of The Dead Zone. When I say the first half I mean episode 2-7. I have already reviewed the pilot (you can read it here) and I will do another review of the second half (episode 8-13) in the near future.
After I had seen the pilot for The Dead Zone I felt that it had a really good chance to be a success and after seeing episode 2-7 I know it for sure. OK, they have changed some things and added or removed others but that seem to be a must when you do a TV series that will span over many seasons (yes, there will be at least 2 seasons) so that doesn't bother me as much as it usually do. My greatest fear (when I first heard about this series) was that it would turn out to be something like the series Early Edition where the main character gets tomorrows paper today. He then sets out to save everyone that need it based on what the paper says.
Fortunately The Dead Zone isn't anything like that. Here Johnny uses his power in his everyday life. He isn't like some kind of self-proclaimed hero that sets out to save the world. If it were up to him Johnny would never use his powers again. He feels more real and sincere then the character in Early Edition.
Throughout the series we get to see how Johnny and Walt goes from being rivals for the same girl to being friends. I do have my doubts about Sarah though, sometimes it feels like she is on the verge to leave Walt and team up with Johnny again…like in the early years. She doesn't though, yet but the feeling you get when you watch the series is that Johnny is so much stronger then Sarah when it comes to dealing with there feelings for each other.
In episode 2 we get to see the conclusion of what was started in the pilot. We get to see how Johnny deals with the Castle Rock strangler, Frank Dodd. It's a tens episode and even though I know how it will end I'm on the edge of my seat. Very well done! In episode 2 (What it seem) we also get introduced to a new character, Dana. She is a news reporter who will give Johnny both a hard time and a nice time…
In episode 3 (Quality of life) we also get a story that we recognize from the book, even though it's a bit altered here. It's the story about the hockey player that Johnny saves. Here he doesn't fall through the ice though, as in the book.
Here we also get a rather interesting look at what's in store for the above named Dana and Johnny…
In episode 4 (Enigma) Johnny takes a trip back in time to find an old mans long lost love. This is the weakest episode of the first 7. What is interesting here is the fact that Sarah still has really big feelings for Johnny. This is one example of what I was talking about earlier. It shows clearly when she talks to him and he tells her he has met someone, someone from the past. You can't help feeling bad for poor Walt. In this episode he really has to take a lot from Sarah, who really doesn't seem to see how she is hurting him. This makes me wonder if there won't happen something between Johnny and Sarah as the series moves along. I guess we'll have to wait and see.
After this Johnny is called in for jury duty in episode 5 (Unreasonable Doubt). Here he uses his powers to determine if the accused really is guilty or not. This is a really interesting episode. It's like the old detective stories. You get a piece here and a piece there and one step at the time you (or rather Johnny) put it together…interesting.
In the two last episodes 6 (The House) and 7 (Enemy Mind) the creators give King a little wink. In The House who deals with the death of Johnny's mother they have taken some inspiration from The Shining. There is a lot of blood in this episode, which is a really good one. First you think you know what happened to Johnny's mother and then it all gets tossed out the window, just like it should be…
In Enemy Mind Castle Rock (King's fictional town) is mentioned. In this episode the creators take a look at what would happen if Johnny's powers were combined with a mind-alternating drug. Johnny's friend and trainer also gets to speak those classic words This is you brain and this is your brain on drugs, really funny. It's an interesting episode though…
Lilja's final words about The Dead Zone - the 1st half of season 1
So the first half of the first season of The Dead Zone is really good. What I would like to see in the second half is some more episodes where they involve other King connections. It could be from the book (I know Stillson will appear) but it could also be small connections to King, like the mentioning of Castle Rock.
Other then that there isn't much more to which for. The Dead Zone satisfy me! Don't miss it!