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Category:    Home > Reviews > Science Fiction > Fantasy > Drama > Crime > The Dead Zone: The Final (Sixth) Season (Lionsgate DVD)

The Dead Zone: The Final (Sixth) Season (Lionsgate DVD)


Picture: B-     Sound: B-     Extras: C     Episodes: C



Originally 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.


The plot 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.


This 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).


The 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.


The 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.


In the 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


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