The Dead Zone

Season 1 Episode 12


Aired Sunday 10:00 PM Sep 08, 2002 on USA
out of 10
User Rating
106 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

While travelling out in the wilderness Johnny is plagued by visions of a meteor hitting a mountain and people vanishing. To find out which mountain it is he goes out into the wilderness and injures his leg. Taking refuge in a cave, Johnny picks up a fragment and has a vision of an Indian shaman in the past...who can see Johnny as well.moreless

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  • A true classic!

    This ... this is a very special episode in my book. A lot of amazing moments (as well as a great overall presentation). a CLASSIC!
  • My favourite episode of season 1.

    Johnny's visions often have unusual consequences and this is the most unusual of all, he must appear in the visions of a 600 year dead shaman to warn him of a meteor strike that will destroy his people.

    The meteor is fascinating in it's own right but without more details, as the astronomer pointed out, it's a big sky.

    The shaman has seen Johnny before and it made such an impact on him that he put a drawing of him on his drum. It's obvious that Johnny is doing a great job of scaring him but the upside for the shaman is that if he drops the bone, Johnny disappears but he's no coward, he always comes back. The shaman has been seeing Johnny his whole life and he has no idea why or what Johnny is trying to tell him. The shaman comes up with a brilliant way for them to communicate - use their mutual visions.

    Don't you love time paradoxes? During Johnny's visions, the people he talks to disappear because if Johnny doesn't tell the shaman about the meteor, he can't save his people and the tribe's descendents will cease to exist. This has already happened because Johnny actually talked to those descendents in his own time.

    Very enjoyable episode with Johnny getting to meet someone who has visions the same way he does. Interesting, spiritual and historic, a great episode.moreless
  • Johnny gets vision of meteor striking a wildlife reserve. As he goes on to warn people about it, he has one problem: The meteor strike spot is not to be found! Very moving and cleverly written episode.moreless

    Shaman is a very complicated episode, actually a classic timetravel story, but with the good old SciFi twist. It's with ease the best I've seen in five and half seasons. Johnny comes to wildlife reservation, and he has visions of a meteor striking. He also has visions of people dissappearing when he and them hold an object simultaneously. He assumes that this is because the meteor will kill them. Unfortunately, the local astronomical observatory assures Johnny that there is no meteor in sight for the next 800 years. Johnny sets out on a hike to find the impact site, but breaks his leg. He crawls to a cave where he has visions of an Native American shaman. Then it appears it is not he who is having the visions, but the shaman! The story gets a little more complicated, but the story technique, different concepts of reality, although not entirely new (Buffy - 'Normal Again', Charmed - 'Brain Drain' and Medium - 'The Boy Next Door') are genre buddies that have used this too), although here it has been employed with maximum effect.

    What was great about this episode, was that it was a little more demanding from the viewer, it kept you on your toes and surprised. Second, the surprise twist in the middle that you didn't really know who was having the vision or not. Third the fact that they didn't have the Shaman speak English with a retarded accent. To not translate, is showing respect for the viewers intelligence and for the Native American culture. This is what is so unrealistic about the Star Trek shows: All aliens speak american english? How strange is that? Fourth and last: the shaman, having seen visions of Johnny his entire life, and not really understanding them, does the right thing for his people, which makes for a moving end and wonderful music at the end.

    A 10 out of 10 episode. Only downside: not a lot Nicole de Boer! ;)moreless
  • Very moving; perfectly executed. Impeccable writing.

    This episode was very good in the way that it really blurred the lines between the past, present, and future. It took us into the mind of not only Johnny, but also a 600 year old Shaman, both of whom used their dead zone to connect on the same level.

    The episode is moving more from a film making standpoint. The way the shots are executed and the story is told is inspiring just by the shear beauty of the writing. It goes without saying that this episode is very creative in terms of this show.

    I must give the writers an A+ for the incredible story they helped mold that was this episode.moreless
  • Johnny must save people from a falling asteroid.

    On the way to do some outdoor physical therapy, Johnny and Bruce stop to get some gas. While exchanging money with the old man who works there, Johnny gets a vision of an asteroid hurtling to the ground and then seeing the old man disappear. Johnny visits a local astronomer to find out when this will happen. The only asteroid scheduled to pass by Earth won't do so for about eight hundred years. Johnny touches the astronomer and sees the asteroid again and the astronomer vanishes into thin air like the old man does. The astronomer tells Johnny that if he can bring her the coordinates of the asteroid's descent, then she can help him. On the way to find the impact site, Johnny gets pulled over for driving too slow. When he touches the policeman, he sees him disappear too. Johnny parks at a turn-off and climbs the mountain. While climbing, he hurts his leg and finds shelter in a cave. While there, he has a vision of a Native American shaman who can see Johnny. The shaman and Johnny communicate through visions and crude sign language. Johnny learns that when the shaman was a boy, he falls and hits his head and sees visions of Johnny in different points of his life. Meanwhile, Bruce and Walt try to find Johnny. I find it very weird that both are able to touch things that are in the past and future. Technically speaking, the stuff each of them touch are not really there, they are just in a vision. Johnny learns that the asteroid won't hit in the future, but it already hit in the past. The shaman must do his part to save his people before they are killed. The people Johnny saw disappear are descended from the shaman's people. This was a great episode. Definitely worth watching more than once. The language the shaman speaks is a form of Algonquian called Abenaki. I find it odd that before Johnny met the shaman, the postcard had only a deer on it. Afterwards, both the deer and the shaman's depiction of Johnny are on it. Maybe there are postcards with different angles of the rock on them. Who knows?moreless
Adam Beach

Adam Beach


Guest Star

Michelle Harrison

Michelle Harrison


Guest Star

Connor McLean

Connor McLean

Highway Patrolman

Guest Star

Bill Mondy

Bill Mondy

Deputy Roscoe

Recurring Role

Spencer Achtymichuk

Spencer Achtymichuk

Little Johnny Bannerman

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (6)

    • Walt: (finding Johnny's dead body) Guess it got a little too cold last night.

    • JJ: I can't sleep.
      Sarah: Join the club.
      (JJ looks confused. Sarah opens her arms for a hug.)
      Sarah: The club is over here.

    • Johnny: So, you seen any bald eagles around here lately or...?
      Old Man: Saw them yesterday.
      Johnny: You're kidding.
      Old Man: Yes, I am. But I am expecting two tomorrow.

    • Bruce: Ah...a wingspan of up to eight feet. Eight feet!
      Johnny: You are not gonna see a bald eagle, okay?
      Bruce: Why not?
      Johnny: There's only like three bald eagles in the whole county.
      Bruce: Then I'll settle for a dodo.
      Johnny: A dodo. Too late. They're extinct.
      Bruce: What's the point in birdwatching if all the birds I want to watch are missing in action?
      Johnny: What's the point of bringing me out here to do physical therapy?
      Bruce: To get you back to the basics. And we can't duplicate in a gym the type of landscape that human legs evolved upon.
      Johnny: Let me tell you something. Nobody evolved in Maine, okay?
      Bruce: Well, until we can pay a visit back to Mother Africa, it'll have to do.
      Johnny: Ehh, you've never even been to Africa.

    • Johnny: (To Shaman) I did what I had to do. And now, it's your turn. Okay? See, that's the trick. With our gift, you do what you have to do, and you never really know why, until the end.

    • Johnny: I can understand you.
      Shaman: When we die, we all sound the same.
      Johnny: Who's dying?
      Shaman: You have to go. There's something for you to do. I've seen it.

  • NOTES (1)