Shatterday

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"Shatterday"
The New Twilight Zone episode
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 1a
Directed by Wes Craven
Written by Alan Brennert
(Based on the short story by Harlan Ellison)
Original air date September 27, 1985
Guest appearance(s)

Bruce Willis : Peter Jay Novins
Dan Gilvezan : Bartender
Murukh : Woman at Bank
John Carlyle : Clerk
Seth Isler : Alter Ego

Episode chronology
← Previous
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"A Little Peace and Quiet"
List of The Twilight Zone (1985 TV series) episodes

"Shatterday" is the first segment of the premiere episode of the first season (1985–86) of the television series The Twilight Zone.

Opening narration[edit]

Plot[edit]

Day 1: Someday
Peter Jay Novins is at a bar and attempts to call someone but accidentally dials his own home phone number. However, the phone is answered - by himself. Peter speaks to the man on the other end of the line, initially thinking that it's a joke, but eventually he hangs up the phone in shock. Flustered, he leaves the bar, goes to a phone booth on the street, calls his house and gets himself again. Stunned, he begins to believe that the man on the phone 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 he used the $200 that was stashed away to buy enough groceries to hold him for a long time. The man on the phone tells Peter his situation is similar to what happened in the Jack London novel The Star Rover. The man explains that the character used astral projection to leave his body. He figures that Peter is a piece of him that wandered off while he was sleeping, and that he is in fact the real Peter. Peter, however, thinks that it's possible that when he went to a friend's lab and a picture of his "aura" was taken it somehow "stole" something from him. The man also tells Peter his estranged mother phoned to attempt 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 his life. Other Peter also reveals that he turned down an unethical advertising job that Peter had previously accepted. When Peter asks why other Peter 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 other Peter, who tells him that he tried to make amends with an ex-girlfriend of his who he convinced to leave her husband. While he had put the woman and her child up in an apartment, he eventually dumped her when he got bored. Other Peter then goes on to tell him that he had a long discussion with his current girlfriend and that she was ready to dismiss him, but other Peter convinced her that their relationship was worth saving. Other Peter event tells Peter he 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 other Peter arrives. Other Peter 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. Other Peter 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 other Peter leaves, Peter wishes him well, shakes his hand and then disappears.

Closing narration[edit]

Note[edit]

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.[1]

Themes[edit]

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.

This story also shares many themes and situations similar to Hans Christian Andersen's story of The Shadow.

Syndication[edit]

This episode was shown as a stand-alone half-hour episode in syndication on the Chiller TV network, instead of one segment from the original hour-long episode.[2][3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ellison, Harlan (1980). "Shatterday". Shattterday (Book Club ed.). Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. pp. 319–332. 
  2. ^ "Syndication List". Archived from the original on 22 October 2013. Retrieved 21 October 2013. 
  3. ^ Albarella, Tony. "TZ Season 1 DVD Review". Retrieved 21 October 2013. 

External links[edit]