If you thought the 1983 film, The Dead Zone, starring Christopher Walken as reluctant psychic Johnny Smith was the ultimate adaptation of Stephen King's classic thriller novel, you should definitely take a look at this series. Starring Anthony Michael Hall as Johnny Smith, this series (2002-2007) is able to expand the events from King's book (and the movie) over the course of several years in Johnny's life. In the film, Johnny becomes damaged goods -- freaked out by his own ability to see the future, and obsessed with preventing a corrupt politician from gaining power. In the series, that is still an over-arching long-term storyline, but Johnny is a more stable personality, and we also get nice stand-alone episodes that show the beneficial and negative side to Johnny's power. The supporting cast of Nicole de Boer, Chris Bruno, John L. Adams and David Ogden Stiers (in a recurring role) is all very strong, but the star of the series is definitely Hall, and he carries the show with a great deal of wounded charisma. This first season had some particularly good storylines, and sets in motion Johnny's ultimate quest -- to prevent the armageddon he foresees in the future of politico Greg Stillson (Sean Patrick Flannery - who also puts in a marvelously layered performance). Good storytelling, fine production values, and an excellent cast make this a series definitely worth checking out. -- recommended by Scott C. - Bennett Martin Public Library
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