The Return (1980)

From Television and Film Character Encyclopedia

Two people who witnessed a UFO when they were children have their paths come together once again.


Science Fiction


Wayne - Jan-Michael Vincent

Jennifer - Cybill Shepherd

Niles Buchanan - Martin Landau

Dr. Kramer - Raymond Burr

Walt - Neville Brand

Eddie - Brad Rearden

The Prospector - Vincent Schiavelli

Dr. Mortorff - Ernest Anderson

Darren - Darby Hinton

Dr. Parkfield - Steven Hirsch

Joyce - Susan Kiger

Federal Agent 1 - Ken Minyard

Homer - Roger Hampton

Lee Ann - Hilary Labow

Federal Agent 2 - Candy Castillo

Motel Manager - Dorothy Constantine

Grandfather - Michael R. Starita

Town Drunk - Robert M. Magnus

Young Wayne - Zachary Vincent

Young Jennifer - Farah Bunch

Girl - Lynda Clark

Truck Driver - Buck Allen

Cafe Patron - Jacob Bresler

Horsemen - Dee Cooper and Mickey Epps

Cowboy - Robert Bradford

Townspeople - Pat Allphin, Robert Allphin, Gabrielle Bottcher, Neil Bottcher, Diane de Moye, James de Moye, Tom Franckhauser, Donna Gaff, James Gaff, Gary Goldberg, J.R. Green, Barbara Kimmich, Ronald Kimmich, Edythe Magnus, John Roedel, Mary Ann Roedel, Barbara Starita and Bill Womble

Alan - Greydon Clark


SSR Institute Employee

Character thumbnails with links to profiles

Detailed Synopsis

A spaceship flies over the Earth as Wayne and his Grandfather walk towards a cafe in Little Creek, New Mexico. Grandfather tells Wayne to wait outside and as Wayne is standing outside, a car driven by Dr. Kramer drives up to the gas station and parks. Jennifer gets outside of her car and the spaceship flies over her and Wayne. Two lights come towards Wayne and Jennifer and then a beam and gas falls upon them, engulfing them in the gas and showing them something from space. The spaceship then flies away. Jennifer goes back inside of her car and Dr. Kramer’s car drives away while Wayne runs inside the cafe and a group of Townspeople including Grandfather, come outside and Wayne points to the sky. Grandfather tells Wayne he doesn’t see anything and then goes back inside the cafe with the others. Inside of a mine, The Prospector is digging in the wall of a cave. The spaceship lands and his Dog starts barking. The Prospector walks outside the cave and is hit with the same lights and gas as Wayne and Jennifer and he collapses. The spaceship then flies off again.

Twenty-five years later, in Los Angeles, Jennifer is at work when Dr. Parkfield gives her some satellite images and invites her to dinner. She tells him she is too busy until tomorrow and he complains she can put her work aside for a little while. She shows them to Dr. Kramer and he suggests they show them to Dr. Mortorff. The Prospector, who doesn’t appear to have aged any, sits on a hill looking around. Jennifer presents the Skycon 1 System images to Dr. Parkfield, Dr. Kramer and Dr. Mortorff. Dr. Mortorff asks what she noticed and she shows them smudges on one of the images and says it may be a system malfunction. Dr. Mortorff suggests they send someone to check it out and suggests Jennifer and Dr. Parkfield suggests she doesn’t have enough experience and he should go, but Dr. Kramer says Jennifer will go by herself. Wayne is drinking beer in his patrol vehicle when a car driven by Eddie and with Darren and a woman inside of it speeds past while also swerving along the road. Eddie crashes his car through the entryway of his father Walt’s property and stops. Wayne walks up and knocks on Eddie’s window and Eddie lowers it and spits beer on Wayne who finally pulls his gun out when Eddie refuses to get out of his car. Darren warns Wayne not to do anything that might upset Walt and Wayne shoots Eddie’s car radio. Niles Buchanan drives up and Darren tells him Wayne went crazy. Niles smooths things over and he and Wayne leave.

The aliens communicate with The Prospector who asks them why they are doing what they are doing. The Dog jumps on the hood of Jennifer’s car as she is about to enter Little Creek and she crashes into the town sign. At the bar, Lee Ann pours Wayne a drink and Niles sends Wayne out to check on Jennifer’s crash. Wayne drives up drinking a beer and disconnects Jennifer’s horn which has been going off since she crashed. She tells him about the Dog and he gives her the direction to the only motel in town and tells her to see him in the morning. As Niles is telling Wayne a story of Lee Ann short changing him on bacon, Jennifer walks in and Wayne walks with her and she tells him about the SSR Institute. She drives out into the country and Jennifer sets her equipment out. When she comes to where The Prospector lives, she opens his shack door and the Dog jumps out and chases her back to her car and she drives away. Jennifer faxes a satellite image of the areas she placed equipment and photographs she took back to the SSR Institute and Dr. Mortorff asks her what she wants them to look for when she asks them to enhance one of the images. She tells them about circular patterns of crystals that appeared in the area and don’t appear to be random. As Jennifer is walking in town she sees a Girl in the back of a station wagon. She sees Wayne staring at her and they both look into the sky. She calls Dr. Kramer and tells him she thinks she was in the same town when she saw the UFO, but he tells her it is probably just coincidence.

Wayne orders a six pack of beer from Lee Ann and she asks him about the local cattle mutilations she heard about. After he gives her a hard time, Lee Ann throws a rag at him which lands on the plate of Cafe Patron. Wayne sees Jennifer and she tells him about the Dog attack and while they are talking, Dr. Kramer shows up and Wayne gets up and leaves. Jennifer and Dr. Kramer are checking on the equipment she placed when they start following a trail of blood. Homer sees them and tells Niles they are coming and Jennifer and Dr. Kramer walk over to Niles who is standing near a mutilated cow. They examine the dead cow and Niles tells them about the missing body parts and Homer tells them the mutilated cows are scaring the locals. Homer tells Niles none of the Polaroids he took of the cow are coming out clear and Dr. Kramer looks at them and shows Jennifer and she notices they are similar in the way her photographs have bright smudges. Wayne, Walt, Eddie and Darren walk up and Walt criticizes Wayne for not finding out what is mutilating his cattle. Walt asks Jennifer what could have mutilated his cattle, and she tells him she doesn't know. Two Horsemen ride up and tell Walt they found four more dead cows. Alan is riding with Joyce when they stop their horses to look at some cattle. They hear a noise and Alan sees The Prospector leaning over a dead cow. The Prospector walks over and kills Alan by carving his face with a glowing weapon. Joyce sees The Prospector and runs away from him, but falls off a cliff and dies. While Niles is showing Wayne his technique of pouring beer on a donut, they see the body of Alan and notice he was mutilated like the cattle.

Jennifer gets into her car and is grabbed by Eddie. She throws her coffee on his face and gets out of her car. She is then confronted by Darren and a Cowboy and Darren shows her one of the devices she put out and accuses her of using the device to kill Walt's cattle. She tells him and Eddie that it monitors geothermal magnets. She runs away from them to the inside of a building, but is caught and Eddie shows him the brand he did to his own hand. She manages to get away again, but is caught and as she is about to be sexually assaulted by Eddie, Wayne shows up and starts punching and slapping Eddie and Darren. Walt walks up with Niles and Walt apologizes to Jennifer for what Eddie did, but also warns her not to come on his property again after accusing her of mutilating his cattle. Wayne takes Jennifer to his house and she looks through his library of books which are mostly about space and Science Fiction. She tells him about her encounter with a UFO when she was young and he tells her, he saw the same thing and she realizes it was Wayne that saw it with her when they were young. Darren shows Walt one of Jennifer's devices and Walt shoots it. Darren goes to look for more devices and is killed by The Prospector who then kills Walt. The next morning, Jennifer and Wayne tell each other they think they were meant to come together again. The Motel Manager tells Dr. Kramer that Jennifer's car is at her hotel room, but she isn't in her room. Dr. Kramer tells SSR Institute Employee to gather everything they have on aerial phenomenon and has a meeting with Dr. Mortorff and Dr. Parkfield and tells them Jennifer has revealed evidence of alien contact. He shows them a map of space and says the aliens left them a message from where they are from. Dr. Mortorff says he will figure out when they stars from the message were aligned and Dr. Kramer tells Dr. Parkfield to get a plane ready.

Wayne and Jennifer go to where she placed one of her devices and finds it destroyed and they find another dead cow. Eddie sees them and starts shooting at them and Wayne fires back and Eddie falls off of his horse and lands in the belly of another dead cow. The Prospector walks up and kills Eddie. Wayne and Jennifer go and tell Niles what happened and Niles tells him Federal Agent 1 and Federal Agent 2 came back and were asking questions. Niles goes to check on the device Jennifer left near The Prospector's shack and he finds Walt's truck parked nearby. Niles goes into the cave that leads from The Prospector's shack and finds what appears to be a portal in the cave wall. The Prospector walks up and throws cow parts into the portal and Niles walks up to him and threatens to arrest him when he notices bits of Eddie The Prospector has in a box. The Prospector uses his light weapon to cut off Niles' arm and throws it through the portal before killing Niles. Dr. Kramer asks SSR Institute Employee if Jennifer has called back and is told she hasn't. The SSR Institute Employee then tells Dr. Kramer they have dated the star chart and hands Dr. Kramer a readout and after reading it, Dr. Kramer realizes the stars will align that day. Federal Agent 1 calls and tells his superior about the information Jennifer has gathered. The Motel Manager sees Jennifer with Wayne and tells her Dr. Kramer has been looking for her. The Prospector drives up in Niles' vehicle and attacks Wayne and Jennifer. The Motel Manager calls the police and The Prospector drives away with Jennifer.

Homer drives up along with Federal Agent 1 and Federal Agent 2 and Federal Agent 1 points his weapon at Wayne, who punches him and runs away. The Town Drunk is pushed aside by Wayne who then jumps into a truck owned by Truck Driver and tells him to drive away. Federal Agent 2 rams the truck, but is stunned in the process and Wayne manages to get away. Wayne steals a motorcycle from Pischki Cycles and rides away as Federal Agent 1 shoots at him. The Prospector carries an unconscious Jennifer inside of the cave and complains that he has been helping the aliens all theses years and is worried what will happen now that they have Jennifer and tells her she was chosen by the aliens. He tries to kill her with his glowing weapon, but it doesn't work against her. Wayne rides up to the shack and is attacked by the Dog, which he hits with a beer bottle and it runs away. He rides the motorcycle through the door leading to the cave and while The Prospector is distracted, Jennifer hits him in the face with the glowing weapon. She tells Wayne that the aliens didn't want The Prospector to kill anyone and The Prospector is sucked through the portal. Jennifer and Wayne then step inside of the portal and fly away. They end up in a white room and are taken away by the spaceship, which zooms by Homer, Dr. Kramer, Dr. Mortorff and Dr. Parkfield. Wayne and Jennifer are then transported back to Earth and the spaceship leaves and they hold each other and stare into the night sky.