Nightmares & Dreamscapes: From the Stories of Stephen King

Season 1 Episode 1

Battleground

0
Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Jul 12, 2006 on TNT
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (18)

8.1
out of 10
Average
149 votes
  • A professional hitman

    6.5
    havent see it yet

  • A hitman gets hit on by toy soldiers!

    9.0
    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.
  • Command Performace

    10
    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.
  • They just can't make a good SK show.

    5.0
    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.
    Skip.
  • A hitman gets hit, by toy soldiers

    8.7
    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.
  • Suprisingly good!

    8.5
    I have to admit that I wasn’t expecting much from this episode. I didn’t think they could pull it off! A whole episode without dialogue! But to my surprise they did.
    William Hurt really did a fine job. Kudos to him.
    I loved the idea, the execution, everything. It was an exciting battle! The FX were pretty good, especially considering this is TV and the ending was awesome.
    And I loved how those little guys really fought to the end. And they were pretty mean too. I mean, William Hurt was the bad guy but the toy soldiers were some really sadistic bastards too. Funny!
    A very good start to what promises to be a great show.
    Oh and by the way… Stephen King absolutely ROCKS!
  • Small Soldiers 2. Absolutly Love it.

    10
    im sure somone else said it, but i love how this is a mature version of \\\"small soldiers\\\".

    this episode was perfect to start the series with. it hooked me for sure. i love how there is absolutly no dialogue for the majority of the episode. it was a risky move that auctually worked. too bad the rest of the show is kinda sucking.

    It was great to see William Hurt in somthing new though. Its too bad hes looking so old [unless that was on purpose...]. yet he still managed to kick some toy ass.

    Bruce Spence for that two second cameo was also great. I havent seen him since Mad Max 2. Bruce Spence is THE MAN! hah.
  • Good Example of Stephen King

    8.7
    This is a good example of Stephen King - something typically inanimate changes form and exacts retribution on a typically bad person.
    Loved that there was very little dialog in the show. William Hurt deserves an emmy nom for this. It had a typical ending, though - at or about minute 50, you\\\'re going to see that there\\\'s one remaining character and he\\\'ll be the victor vs. Hurt\\\'s character. There were some implausibilities, but of the episodes shown in the series, this is classic King. Hope there\\\'s more like this in the future. Liked the elevator operator in the beginning.
  • Glad to see anything with William Hurt in it, and this episode also got the \"Twilight Zone\" vibe dead-on.

    8.0
    I\'ve never seen anything William Hurt starred in that I did not enjoy, and \"Battleground\" fits the bill nicely. Like Harrison Ford in \"What Lies Beneath\", it was also nice to see Mr. Hurt taking on a villainous role for a change.

    But above all else, this episode definitely had the \"Twilight Zone\" feel to it--from being written by a Matheson, to not having any spoken dialog (a la the classic TZ episode, \"The Invaders\"), it was a lot of fun to get to see this one play out (and commercial-free on its premier airing!!)

    Alas, there are usually some negatives. One that stuck out here included a few scenes where the effects were too obvious, and I\'d also have liked to see at least a bit about how the package found its way to Jason Renshaw, and as quickly as they did. Presumably, the toys learned his address through some form of psychic connection each had with the others, as Jason did run across several of them in his travels home. It just would have been nice to see a bit more of that.

    The Bottom Line: A thoroughly enjoyable episode, and one that makes me wish the mini-series was going to be longer.
  • Read my summary and review of "Battleground"

    10
    Since I have read some of King’s short story novels like “Nightmares and Dreamscapes”, “Night Shift” and “Four Past Midnight”, I was excited that a TV series of his stories was being released. After watching the first episode “Battleground”, I can say that the TV version is as good as, if not, better than the book.

    The short story “Battleground”, which is actually taken from King’s novel “Night Shift”, starts off with a man named John Renshaw, driving to the Morris Toy Company late at night. He stops the car near and looks at the building. He notices Hans Morris (the owner) through one of the windows, puts on a mask, and goes to do his job. Meanwhile, Morris is in his office room looking at his treasured collection of toys. John breaks in the building and successfully kills Hans Morris in front of all the toys.

    After his successful mission, John takes a plane to go back home. During his trip back, he keeps running into people having toys manufactured from the Morris Toy Company. He feels the toys are staring at him. However, he doesn’t give it much thought and arrives safely back to his luxurious apartment. As he is relaxing, the receptionist notifies him that he has received a package. She places it on his doorstep and leaves. John takes the package and opens it. He is surprised to find a box that says “Jungle Army Footlocker”, along with the Morris Toy Company logo on the side. He opens the box to find a set of toy soldiers, along with the artillery, helicopters and trucks. Not taking it seriously, he leaves the box open to get himself a drink. However, the box suddenly falls down by itself. John goes to pick it up and notices that it’s empty! John soon finds out that receiving the package was not an accident, and opening it was a deadly mistake.

    I feel that “Battleground” is a great start to the series. It relies purely on the actions of the actors, because there is very little or no conversation throughout the episode. It is like a silent action movie, which gives a very unique feel to it. William Hurt did a terrific job in his role as John Renshaw. It’s really hard to act and respond to inanimate objects, but Hurt gives a great performance. The episode is fast paced, and will keep you on the edge of your seat, making you wonder what will happen next.

    All in all, whether you like Stephen King’s works or not, you should definitely take a look at “Battleground”. You won’t be disappointed.
  • This episode was a fine example that some times pictures and some fine acting don´t need words.

    10
    In the first 20 minutes we get that is a Stephen King story, and we know that is something to do with some kind of a "revenge of the toys" but wen it starts to happen we and John Renshaw as well, get surprised by the way that the litle funny army soldiers starts to shooting and attacking...and we can see it in William Hurt´s face, the "am I getting punk´d" type of look, and up until the end he still not really believing that this surreal thing is happening to him.
    Thank´s to this sublime acting and some fine directing also, make this episode a real Stephen King´s Classic!
  • Something for the entire series to live up to

    10
    Really liked this one, an homage to the Agnes Moorehead Twilight Zone episode, as well as a nod to Trilogy of Terror, very clever.
    William Hurt was great, even better than the last weirdo he played in A History of Violence, and without him this story would not have worked so well.
    Here\'s hoping the rest of the series (well, aside from Crouch End, a real letdown) can achieve the same entertainment value.
  • Plastic green soldiers face off against a hitman...

    2.0
    Stephen King is a phenomenal writer, and the story in Nightmares and Dreamscape was a great work; the show was horrible. Aside from grunts and gurgles, not a single person--plastic green men or William Hurt--had a line whatsoever.
    It was just horrid; I expected better from this one. I\'m sure this is the worst that it can get. The rest should be incredibly better than this.
  • After killing a toymaker, a hitman is targeted by the toymaker's creations.

    8.5
    The main character is Jason Renshaw, a professional killer who never says any dialogue throughout the episode. Renshaw begins the episode by killing Morris, the CEO of a toy company. We never find out why. Renshaw is also fond of listening to his iPod. I noticed that Renshaw kept seeing different kinds of toys from Morris's company. It's like they knew what he had done. Maybe saying that he wasn't gonna get away with it. Later, at his swanky apartment, he gets the box of army men, helicopters and guns. The little fireball picture on the address note is the same as on the picture of Morris's mother. The soldiers come to life and Renshaw spends the rest of the episode tring to get away from them. Just as he thinks he has won, and trys wading in his pool, one of the soldiers survives and chases Renshaw into an elevator. This soldier is a lot meaner than the other ones. After killing the soldier, a bomb in it's pack goes off and blows Renshaw up.
  • A tiny toy milititia avenge the death of a toymaker by a ruthless hitman, with a typical Stephen King ironic twist. Reminiscent of a, "Gulliver's Travel" showdown, witness this brilliantly excecuted plot that will have you awed the entire time.

    10
    Battleground was the best adaption of a Stephen King story that I have ever seen. Normally, I don't like what movies and television shows do with his material so I stopped watching a long time ago. But this was one of my favorite stories from Night Shift so I decided to give it a shot and I am so glad that I did. William Hurt was excellent in this role (I don\'t usually like how the stories are cast)and he played it to the max. The clever device of no dialogue made this story work even better. The special effects, the usage of fading to an abrupt black between each scene, both made for a story that kept you on pins and needles right up to the very end. I just hope the rest of the anthology flows this well. If you haven't seen it, do so. It's so well worth it. Turn the lights out, pop popcorn, and enjoy!
  • The episode is a sort of gold-standard for the rest of the series.

    8.0
    The fact that there is no dialog through the whole episode is brilliant; the original story, if I remember correctly, is the same way.

    William Hurt plays this role pitch-perfect, and Brian Henson has an understanding of how to make a story like this work. We get our toy soldiers exactly how we should: brilliantly and persistant. Hurt's interaction with the soldiers is fantastic--starting off as slightly annoyed (the man is a contract killer, for godsakes) and ending up at impressed.

    The only problem with the episode is the final Commando toy. He's ridiculously over the top, monster-wise. The rest of the soldiers are your average toy soldiers: green and plastic and emotionless. The commando? He's really mad, all the time. He's got joints, he's got that stupid expression and those grunts, and he's personified in a way he shouldn't be; the others have no personality beyond their archetype. He's a monster, which kind of defeats the energy of the show.

    Over all? We can only hope the rest of the episodes end up like this one.
  • WOW!

    9.6
    This was a great series opener. It was awesome, with all the action. It was cool how all the small soliders came alive and started to attack. Then all the action with the fighing soliders and the cool guns that they shoot the man. The part with the most suspence was when he decided to climb out the window from the bathroom. Then he went across the high ledge and then out of nowhere a plane came out and attacked the man on the high ledge. The plane shot out missles and hit the man in the head. Then when he finally killed them all and decided to take a swim. THen something cut him. So he went on the elevator and soon realized that something else was alive. It was command do person. Then on the elevator he killed the commando by killing its head but soon realized that his body had a explosive on it. it blew up and he finally died.
  • Oh man! No one even spoke, nothing happened and when did happen, I didn't even care!

    7.2
    That was so so so so boring!!! It stole an hour of my life and I want it back!

    I didn’t even find this scary; it was mostly just funny, corny and boring.

    First off, you have army men attacking you. FUNNY!!! And the guy was a not too bright. I mean, he finally kills them all and then decides to take a swim! WTF??

    And why were there no words? Not a one, if there was I must have missed it when I got up for a drink.

    This may sound odd, but I found my self wondering more of what if the guy had surrendered and not how did the army men come alive
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