The Twilight Zone: Season 1 Episode 9 Perchance to Dream

From Television and Film Character Encyclopedia

A man who hasn't slept in days tells his psychiatrist his story.

Series Index

The Twilight Zone (1959-1964)


Narrator - Rod Serling

Edward Hall - Richard Conte

Dr. Eliot Rathmann - John Larch

Miss Thomas and Maya - Suzanne Lloyd

Concerned Man - Ted Stanhope

Shooting Gallery Barker - Russell Trent

Burlesque Barker - Eddie Marr

Character thumbnails with links to profiles

Detailed Synopsis

Edward Hall is standing outside a high rise building. He staggers towards the revolving door and is asked by a Concerned Man if he is sick. He goes to Dr. Eliot Rathmann's office and is greeted by Miss Thomas before walking into Dr. Rathmann's office. Edward tells Dr. Rathmann he is tired and Dr. Rathmann helps him to the psychiatry couch. Edward closes his eyes and then opens them and jumps up. He tells Dr. Rathmann that he has been awake for 87 hours. He continues that if he goes to sleep, then he will never wake up. Edward tells Dr. Rathmann that his doctor Fred Jackson recommended Dr. Rathmann to him. Edward opens the window in the room and Dr. Rathmann closes it. Edward then starts telling Dr. Rathmann about his condition. He tells him that when he was young, his mother told him if he stared at paintings long enough he could make the images move with his mind. He continues that in time he could make the images move and eventually the images constantly moved.

He mentions to Dr. Rathmann that he has a weak heart from Rheumatic Fever and was told that he had to avoid any type of shock. Eventually after hearing of a woman killed by a murderer in the backseat of her car, he started to imagine someone was in his car and eventually crashed when he imagined seeing eyes in his rear view mirror. After the crash, Edward was told that if he suffered any other shock, he would die. He tells Dr. Rathmann of his dream that continues in sequence.

The dream consisted of him at an amusement park, but twisted. He walks towards the shooting gallery and Shooting Gallery Barker tries to get him to play a game before Edward is distracted by a Burlesque Barker advertising a burlesque show. Edward walks over to the burlesque show and Burlesque Barker introduces the crowd to Maya. Maya starts to dance and Edward runs away. Maya walks over to Edward and convinces him to go with her to a fun house. Edward starts to get scared and runs out of the fun house. The dream then continued during another night and he once again meets with Maya in his dream, who takes him on a roller coaster and yells at him to jump from the roller coaster. Edward walks out of Dr. Rathmann's office and stares at Miss Thomas, who looks exactly like Maya. He runs back into Dr. Rathmann's office and jumps out of the window. Dr. Rathmann calls Miss Thomas into his office and tells her Edward is dead and he died in his sleep.