Nightmares & Dreamscapes: From the Stories of Stephen King

Season 1 Episode 1


Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Jul 12, 2006 on TNT
out of 10
User Rating
150 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

A professional hitman, Renshaw, finds himself the target when he kills a toymaker and the victim’s mother sends Renshaw a present: a toy foot locker filled with toy soldiers equipped to kill.

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  • A professional hitman

    havent see it yet

  • A hitman gets hit on by toy soldiers!

    I read this story years ago, and it didn't strike me as filmable. But they've done a great job with this one. Considering there's not a word of dialogue in the whole thing, unless you count the odd roar of pain from a brilliant William Hurt, it manages to keep the tension and story going.

    It's your basic hitman kills toy maker and mum sends toy soldiers to kill him for revenge. At first it's quite funny, as their little guns are like tiny pinpricks in his skin and he seems to be winning out. But the little men have a lot of other stuff up their sleeve.

    You really do have to suspend your disbelief, but it's a very interesting little story, with a neat twist ending.

    And well done to William Hurt for commanding the screen without saying a word.moreless
  • Command Performace

    Without a doubt my favourite episode. The plot pits two well matched protagnists against each other. An exceptionally talented hitman, must survive against a formation of lethal plastic toy soldiers on a mission of vengence.

    The bulk of screenplay pits the protagnists against each other in an old fashioned battle to the death. Once this mortal duel ensures each and every scene is full of life-threatening action between the equally matched sides. The location for this battle is apt and provides both parties with the environment to wage their own private little war. Though there is little in the form of dialogue, the nightmare for our human protaganist feels very real as with each setback the toy soldiers are dealt, their level of response increases in tenacity and danger. It is this gradual and believeable increase in attack that really builds up from the initial tame disbelief Hurt's character felt, into one of raw unchecked will-to-survive.

    I loved the way the toy soldiers animations and the and increasingly potent weaponary and equipment the soldiers had at their disposal. While allowing Hurt's character to use ordinary objects brought a another level of believeability to proceedings.

    Moreso, where the casualties inflicted on both parties by the other. This really brought home the nightmarish reality of the situation as the story progressed.

    However, the real star of the show is the encounter at the end. What a twist and took a great/superb story, filled it with the resonance of the ultimate futility of waging war and provided a knockout ending with few rivals in all the TV shows Ive watched.

    A fantastic story gets an utterly amazing makeover for TV and is one of those episode that you should not miss.moreless
  • They just can't make a good SK show.

    If that's the best episode this series has to offer, than change to the history/sports/E channel.

    Most of the episode is just idiotic. A hit-man fighting a squad of toy soldiers. The novelty wore off after 20 minutes, and then you are left with 25 minutes of boredom.

    Granted, some of the visual FX are nice and even innovative, but they are really few. Another interesting thing this episode has to offer is an interesting camera angle, and the fact that the hero don't speak even one word the whole episode.

    The ending hold a little suprise (literally little), far from what you expect from SK.

  • A hitman gets hit, by toy soldiers

    This is the first in the series Nightmares & Dreamscapes and, somewhat surprisingly, is not in the anthology by that name, but from an earlier collection of short stories called "Night Shift".

    Irrespective of its origins, this is an excellent episode and a great start to the series. Adaptations of Stephen King stories have been hit and miss, but this episode is very successful. In a bold move, there is no dialogue but an actor like William Hurt manages to make this work. The specials effects are very good, the music editor did a great job and the story is extremely effective.moreless
Brad McMurray

Brad McMurray

Security Guard

Guest Star

Bruce Spence

Bruce Spence

Hans Morris

Guest Star

Jackie Kelleher

Jackie Kelleher

Hans Morris' Mother

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • When Renshaw pulls the gun from the alcohol cupboard, he takes a sip of Jameson whiskey. We can also see a bottle of Chartreuse, and a bottle of Jose Cuervo tequila. The door is a lot more open and the tequila more visible after he readies the gun.

    • Most modern apartments and appliances have surge protectors built in, so when Renshaw drops the hair dryer in the toilet, the power would not short out.

  • QUOTES (0)

  • NOTES (6)

    • The episode won two Emmy Awards for Outstanding Music Composition for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special (Original Dramatic Score); and Outstanding Special Visual Effects for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special.

    • Differences from the original work: Renshaw's initial hit on the toymaker is shown, as is his return by plane to his penthouse apartment. The final ending is modified substantially with the introduction of a Rambo-like commando doll that attacks Renshaw in the pool, then goes after him as he escapes in the elevator. Renshaw defeats the commando but the miniature thermonuclear device goes off as in the short story.

    • On its premiere this episode was shown commercial-free.

    • This episode is done entirely without dialogue. This is reminiscent of the Twilight Zone episode "The Invaders", which was written by Richard Matheson, father of this segment's writer Richard Christian Matheson.

    • In Renshaws's apartment the Zulu Doll from Richard Matheson's TV movie Trilogy of Terror can be seen. Richard Matheson is writer Richard Christian Matheson's father.

    • "Battleground" is not from Nightmares and Dreamscapes. It is collected in Night Shift (1978).