The Dead Zone follows the exploits of small town teacher Johnny Smith (Christopher Walken) when he awakes after being involved in an auto accident. At his side is Doctor Sam Weizak (Herbert Lom) who surprises Johnny with the news that he has been in a coma for five years. Devastated, he tries to reconnect with his former fiancee, Sarah Bracknell (Brooke Adams), only to discover that she has married another man. Things become even worse when Johnny discovers that he has gained an ability to see things about the past, present and future of people by coming into physical contact with them. While the visions allow him to help people, such as Sheriff Bannerman (Tom Skerritt), they quickly make him a pariah in his small town. When Johnny shakes hands with congressional candidate Greg Stillson (Martin Sheen), he discovers a future brought on by Stillson that he knows he must stop.