Tales from the Darkside

Season 1 Episode 9

The Word Processor of the Gods

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Nov 25, 1984 on
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Episode Summary

The Word Processor of the Gods
Richard Hagstrom is dismayed with the way life has treated him (a rude son, a shrewish wife). His nephew Jonathan gives him a birthday present: a homemade word processor. Hagstrom soon discovers that anything he types into the processor becomes real, and no one but him knows the difference. He begins with simple experiments, but then wipes out his son from existence. Even his wife is unaware of the changes. As the machine overheats into self-destruction, Hagstrom types in one last story: he makes sure that he and Jonathan's mother married and that Jonathan was his son. As the word processor destroys itself, Hagstrom's final wish becomes reality.moreless

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  • Rewriting your life

    This is a different kind of episode for the show and it's a very good one, it's also a different kind of story for Steven King because this story plays out like a "Twilight Zone" tale. It's practically a wish forfillment fantasy that gets at our common need for change.

    Bruce Davidson is great as the protagonist whom we really feel bad for; on a side note I like the fact he's a writer (most of King's protagonists are) which makes him relatable cause I'm one myself. This guy has obviously been delt a bad hand in life. He's obviously made a wrong choice in a significant other (and I sense it could of been out of desperation) and unfortunately hasn't brought himself to get out of it even though he should. His wife is an embodyment of the steriotype of fat and lazy, she is just so unplessant inside and out; most to everyday sits and watches TV, has no career unless you count playing Bingo and the winning she receives, but worst of all just simply has nothing to offer except put downs for Bruce's character. His son is just as bad, fat, lazy, and rude, so yeah life really sucks for Bruce's character but this makes us all the more route for him to fix it. I even like his nefew even though there are only a few scenes with him, you really get a feel of that character knowing this person should of been Bruce's son and feel sad for the fact that he died but I wouldn't feel too bad for what happens at the end.

    I think it's a cool concept, having a computer that give you the power of a God, anything you type is made real. Lets say if I want certain Video Games then they'd appear or I want "Ashley Greene" to be my girlfriend, well you get the drift. So Bruce has been granted an opportunity to fix his life as well as save the lives he lost. And the ending didn't disapoint because it gave me a good feeling inside which is something that rarely happens.

    If your life is misserable do something about it, nothing will change if you do nothing.moreless
  • A nice end for someone who really deserved it.

    Call me a sucker for happy endings, but you do have to feel for some characters when they've been delt a poor hand. The main character here is stuck with a wife who doesn't appreciate him and a son who's a slacker type [sort of the same in other episodes]. He get's this 'PC' and slowly changes his life little by little. Although it did seem a bit too cheery in the end when not only his dead nephew and a woman he wanted to be his wife show up alive at the end, it was a nice way to end when concidering it could've fared much worse for the guy like either dying in the blast or meeting some other horrid end.moreless
  • A man gets a new computer that makes what he types a reality

    Unlike some of the other "happy" episodes in this series, this one is well written and put together perfectly. I wouldn't expect any less from Stephen King. I guess the moral of the story is that if you don't like your family, find a magic computer and erase them! Not possible? Then you are stuck with the one you have, lol. Anyway, this is another great episode that makes for a fun story and an overall enjoyable experience. It is kind of bad that the guy would want to erase his family instead of divorcing the wife, oh well. ;)moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


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  • NOTES (5)

    • Available on volume 1 on VHS.

    • This episode is based on the short story "The Word Processor of the Gods" by Stephen King. The story was first published in Playboy (January, 1983).

    • Stephen King alsowrote another episoe of Tales from the Darkside entitled "Sorry, Right Number". His contributions to the series are very similar to Ray Bradbury's contributions to The Twilight Zone. Both writers were the premier horror and sci-fi authors (respectively) of their day, yet their contribution to these shows was insignificant at best. While both episodes written by King for Tales from the Darkside are moderately interesting and Bradbury's lone Twilight Zone episode entitled "I Sing The Body Electric" showed his range, neither writer's contributions were even close to the best episodes that each respective show had to offer.

    • King's short story of this episode was printed in his anthology Skeleton Crew.

    • Bruce Davison played a somewhat similar character, who could literally rewrite reality, in the movie adaptation of Ursula Le Guin's "The Lathe of Heaven".


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