Picks and Pans Review: Twilight Zone: Rod Serling's Lost Classics

UPDATED 05/23/1994 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 05/23/1994 at 01:00 AM EDT

CBS (Thurs., May 19, 8 p.m. ET)

B

Whoa! Déjà vu! We're back in "a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas." This film—consisting of two posthumously discovered stories by Rod Serling, the late master of the macabre—returns us to the Zone. The only difference is that James Earl ("This is CNN") Jones provides the narration.

In "The Theater" Amy Irving plays a woman who while watching vintage films at an old movie house begins seeing scenes from her own life up on the screen in black and white. Soon she's previewing her immediate future. It's not a pretty sight. For Irving, this puzzle of inexorable fate marks a return to her showbiz roots in horror (remember 1976's Carrie and '78's The Fury?).

"Where the Dead Are" is a gothic dirge that stars Patrick Bergin as a 19th-century doctor still haunted by the carnage of the Civil War. (Watch this and you'll know why they call surgeons sawbones.) A patient with a mysterious injury leads Bergin to a foggy, forbidding island off the coast of Massachusetts and a date with destiny in the person of an amputee apothecary (Jack Palance).

Neither of these stories are sterling Serling, but they remind us of how spellbinding his spooky made-for-TV imagination could be.

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