Picks and Pans Review: Stephen King's the Langoliers

updated 05/15/1995 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/15/1995 AT 01:00 AM EDT

ABC (Sum, May 14, 9 p.m. ET)


Ten people on a crowded red-eye flight from Los Angeles to Boston awake to find they are alone in the air. Oh, the personal possessions of the other passengers and crew members are still there. Handbags, watches, wigs, pocket change are heaped on the seats. But the bodies are goneā€”and all signs of civilization on the ground below have disappeared as well.

Luckily for our perplexed survivors (Patricia Wettig, Mark Lindsay Chapman, Kate Maberly, Dean Stockwell, Bronson Pinchot and others), they can count among their number an off-duty airline pilot (David Morse). He decides to set down this crazy bird in Bangor, Maine (for no discernible reason except its proximity to the home of Stephen King, on whose novella this is based). Now our lonely band must contend with the Langoliers, a chomping variety of childhood bogeymen.

In this two-parter, which concludes on Monday, humankind has gone missing, but so too have all the elements of surprise and suspense. For a scary movie, this is incredibly banal. In fact, the events surrounding fateful Flight 29 are a crashing bore.

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