The Dead Zone: The Final (Sixth) Season (Lionsgate DVD)
B- Sound: B- Extras: C Episodes: C
The Dead Zone was a successful 1979
Stephen King novel and shortly after was adapted into a wonderful 1983 film (reviewed
elsewhere on this site) starring Christopher Walken in the lead role of Johnny
Smith. In 2002 (almost 20 years after
the original film) The Dead Zone
reemerged as a new series on the USA
Network. The book/film’s original
concept was updated a tad and now cast Michael Anthony Hall of 80’s ‘Brat Pack’
fame into the role of Johnny Smith. The
series in no way has ever been as edgy or dark as the film or novel and in many
ways that hurt the overall impact the series had. Even with its short comings in the ‘risk department’
The Dead Zone lasted five solid
seasons before taking a 2 year hiatus; whether this was due to poor ratings,
funding, or storyline fatigue is still unknown to this reviewer, but it does
seem that the series came back with much more spring in its step.
of the television series does no deviate too much from Stephen King’s original
novel, still using the device that Johnny Smith is a small town school teacher
who after a tragic car accident is left comatose for five years. Upon wakening Johnny has the odd ability to
use the ‘Dead Zone’ in his brain to see past and future events just by touching
an object and/or person. The television
series is not quite as dramatic as the novel or film, leaving out many of
Johnny’s health issues and slightly skews the love story that King wrote
between Johnny and his ex-fiancé Sarah.
In the television series Sarah gave birth to Johnny’s child (son) while
he was in the coma and then remarried.
Johnny still uses his powers to solve crimes, but in the series Sarah,
Walt (Sarah’s husband), and Johnny’s physical therapist Bruce all assist in the
crime solving. Somewhat like the
original novel, Johnny always has a lingering feeling about the unusual
Congressional candidate Greg Stillson and follows the man’s career closely as
Johnny senses apocalyptic events surrounding his actions.
reviewer never felt the series was amazing, mainly due to it lacking the
necessary dark quality a Stephen King adaptation deserves, but Anthony Michael
Hall and his supporting cast does a good job with the somewhat interesting
scripts they were given. The Sixth and Final Season of The Dead Zone, does change the entire
series around and in some ways may have been a tip of the hat to fans before
the series went under. The Sixth Season has much more action,
thrills, suspense, and paranormal activity then was ever seen in Season Five and starts to finally get a
little more of that edge that the series needed injected into it. This reviewer thinks it was a good way to end
the series, but a few more plot holes still exist that should have been cleared
up (be warned).
technical features on this set aren’t dead, but they aren’t very lively
either. The picture is once again
presented in a 1.78 X 1 Anamorphically Enhanced Widescreen that has good
colors, but could be more crisp for an HD filming and needs some work in the
light/dark department. The picture felt
very ‘blah.’ The sound is once again
presented in a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix that ‘pop’ nicely with all of the
paranormal action that Season Six
brings to the table.
special features should have been better for a final season presentation and
only offer fans two on the set featurettes and audio commentaries on four of
the episodes. The commentaries are just
ok and the ‘on the set’ features are easily forgettable.
end, The Dead Zone wrapped up its
six season stint quite well and fans will be sad to see the series go, but
looking to the future this reviewer thinks this is not the last we have seen of
The Dead Zone.
- Michael P. Dougherty II