The Dead Zone: Injured Brain – in Science Fiction

I really enjoyed this show when it was on live television – back before live television got so annoying and DVRs and Netflix became so prevalent.  But I just so happened to find the series on Netflix and started watching the whole series again, from the beginning.

What originally drew me to the show was the fact that the main character, Johnny Smith, and I have something in common.  We were both in car accidents and comas afterwards.  Luckily, my coma didn’t last nearly as long as his fictional one.  But I wound up with some memory loss, whereas the character from this show wound up with unique pre- and post-cognitive abilities.  Where’s the justice in that?  Ah, well, it’s a Steven King offering, so that explains it.  I don’t like much of Steven King’s works, and most people who know me know that.  This show, on the other hand, is different, probably because it hits so much closer to home than King’s other works.

Although the show is pure fiction, it makes me think a lot of non-fiction thoughts.    Along with this “ability,” Johnny gets deluged with visions and flashbacks of people he never knew and can’t control.  What kind of hell would it be to live other people’s traumatic events and awful memories?   Especially if you can’t control them!  I have enough trouble dealing with MY OWN traumatic memories and flashbacks!

One episode had Johnny talking to his physical therapist and friend.  He mentions not being able to sleep because his mind won’t shut down.  My first thought was “Welcome to my LIFE!”  Second thought was that King’s obviously not be a woman and that many women I know have this same problem.  A few men have the same inability to sleep, to be fair.  But many more women have trouble sleeping, statistically speaking.  It’s not just a funny one-liner in everyday conversation; it’s daily, or should I say nightly, life!  Nothing supernatural or paranormal or coma-inducing, just a fact of life for many people. I thought I would have an easier time sleeping after graduate school, since all the exams and papers and speeches and theses were over with and my brain didn’t have to be constantly in gear.  No such luck. My brain just won’t shut up and sleep is very elusive at times.

In the meantime, I have my Netflix subscription and several more seasons of “The Dead Zone” to watch.  It’s entertaining, at least, to think the human brain, the organ of the body medicine knows least about, can be so adaptable as to work around an injury and find a new way to express itself.

I’ll end with the line that inspired me to write this post:  Johnny’s doctor tells him, “There’s only one thing I know less about than the human brain.” John says, “What’s that?” Doc says, “YOUR brain.” Oh, so many ways to go with that one!



  1. Hey Amazing Girl! I *liked* the early “King” – maybe up to the “The Stand”; after that: not so much — – the movie you’re referencing is also one of many (IMHO) that the screen adaption worked better than the novel.

  2. Actually, a friend informed me of the movie with Christopher Walken, which came out years before this series did. I can’t get that on Netflix, but would be interested to see it.

    Thanks for the kudos!

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