|The New Twilight Zone episode|
|Episode no.||Season 1
|Directed by||Wes Craven|
|Written by||Alan Brennert
(Based on the short story by Harlan Ellison)
|Original air date||September 27, 1985|
|List of The Twilight Zone (1985 TV series) episodes|
|“||Some push for what they need; some push for what they want. Some people, like Peter Jay Novins, just push. If they do it hard enough and long enough, something might just push back...from the Twilight Zone.||”|
Day 1: Someday
Peter Jay Novins sits in a bar. Intending to call someone else, he accidentally dials his own home phone number, and the phone is answered by Peter Jay Novins. Peter speaks to the man on the other end of the line, initially thinking that it is a joke, but eventually hanging up the phone in shock. Flustered, he heads out of the bar, goes to a phone booth on the street, calls his house and gets Novins again. Stunned, he begins to believe that the man he is speaking to is his own alter ego. He thinks about heading over to his apartment, but the man on the phone warns him against it. Peter asks if the two of them could just lead normal lives; the man on the other end tells him that Peter's life is terrible, and that he is going to change it. Peter threatens the man on the phone.
Day 2: Duesday
The next day, Peter cashes out his bank account, calls the grocery store and insults them to ensure that his alter ego cannot get any food delivered, and then calls his apartment again to gloat. The man on the other end tells him that Peter is too late because the man used the $200 that was stashed away to buy enough groceries to hold him for a long time. The alter ego tells Peter that what explains the whole situation was perhaps the result of something that happened in the Jack London novel, The Star Rover. The character used an astral projection to get out of his body. He figures that Peter is just a piece of him that wandered off while he was sleeping, that he is the real Peter. Peter, however, thinks that it's possible that when he went to a friend's lab and a picture was taken of his "aura" and somehow, it "stole" something from him, like a piece of himself that is now the alter ego in his apartment. The man also tells Peter his estranged mother phoned to try to patch things up, and that the man has invited her to live with him. Angry at the prospect of his alter ego stealing his mother, Peter hangs up.
Day 3: Woundsday
During a storm, a sick Peter stares into his apartment from the street. From a pay phone, he calls his alter ego and says he wants to work things out. The alter ego says that the more deserving of them should take over the entire life, and that he turned down an unethical advertising job that Peter had previously accepted. When Peter asks why the alter ego is doing this to him, he says that Peter did this to himself.
Day 5: Freeday
Peter sits in a hotel room, growing sicker. He receives a phone call from the alter ego, who tells him that he tried to make amends with a woman who he convinced to leave her husband and then put her and her son in an apartment but then dumped her when he got bored. He then goes on to tell Peter that he had a long discussion with his current girlfriend and that she was ready to dismiss him, but the alter ego convinced her that their relationship was worth saving. He even plans on marrying her and having children, something Peter had apparently not considered.
Day 6: Shatterday
A very ill Peter is lying in the hotel room when his alter ego arrives. His alter ego tells him that it is time to come to terms with the fact that he is being replaced, and that he is becoming a memory. Peter goes to the window and stares out. His alter ego reveals that things are going well with him, and that he has put his life in order. He asks Peter if there is anything he would have done if things had been different; Peter says no. As the alter ego leaves, Peter wishes him well, shakes hands with him, then disappears.
|“||Peter Jay Novins, both victor and victim, of a brief struggle for custody of a man's soul. A man who lost himself...and found himself...on a lonely battlefield, somewhere...in the Twilight Zone.||”|
This episode is based on the short story of the same name by Harlan Ellison which was first published in September 1975 in Gallery and later gave its title to a collection of his short stories. The short story uses all seven days of one week: Someday, Moansday, Duesday, Woundsday, Thornsday, Freeday, Shatterday.
This story is similar to the original series episode Mirror Image, starring Vera Miles and Martin Milner, where a woman in a bus station starts to believe a duplicate of herself is trying to make her crazy and take over her life as well as the original series episode Nervous Man in a Four Dollar Room, featuring a man who finds his life usurped by his stronger, more morally driven reflection.
Additionally it shares some similarities with The Strange Case of Mr. Pelham, a 1957 novel by Anthony Armstrong.