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Episode - "Patterns" AKA Shadow Realm


Character Actor
Martin Hudson Malcolm McDowell
Dr. Daniel Crichtley Miguel Ferrer
Ann Anna Hagan
Young Martin Matthew Munn
Billy Giacomo Baessato
Officer Danforth John Dadey
Charlie the Guard Terry Howson
Mr. Brand John B. Lowe

Directed by Keith Gordon
Written by Philip Levens

Episode Guide

  Title Airdate
1 The Passenger List/The Bokor 7/12/01
2 Dead Air/Renovation 7/12/01
3 A View through the Window/Quiet Please 7/19/01
4 Now He's Coming up the Stairs/Used Car 7/26/01
5 Rest Stop/After Life 8/2/01
6 If a Tree Falls/The Occupant 8/9/01
7 Reunion/Neighborhood Watch 8/16/01
8 Bitter Harvest/My So Called Life and Death 8/23/01
9 The Doghouse/Still Life 8/30/01
10 Hate Puppet/Darkness 9/6/01
11 Shadow Realm - Patterns/The Maze/Harmony/Voices 7/27/02
12 Cargo/Switch 9/23/02

I have the first 11 ones.

Email from the Creators

I sent them a note on July 13, 2001 telling them the 1st show was awful and asked when would Malcolm's episode be on - this form letter is what I got:

To everyone who went online with comments about the premiere of "Night Visions", Dan and I want to say "thanks." With all the sweat that goes into making a tv show, not to mention how hard it is to get any network to support an anthology show that tries to be creepy, scary and intriguing, it's extremely gratifying to hear that people enjoyed it. 
    "Night Visions" is an underdog. So, if you enjoyed it and want it to continue for another season, by all means, spread the word. Dan and I have set out to do a show that gives the viewer a wide variety of horror and supsence (sic) that's unpredictable and doesn't fall into a routine formula. Each story will hopefully be a "mini movie." If you liked the premiere two hours, I think you'll enjoy the rest of the season.
    Once again, thanks for watching, and know that your feedback is read with great interest.
Billy Brown and Dan Angel


The episode will finally air on July 27th in the 4 episode "movie" called Shadow Realm. The "movie" consists of 4 episodes - Patterns, The Maze, Harmony and Voices.

Another science-fiction series cast off by the broadcast networks has made its way to the Sci-Fi Channel. The cable network has picked up all 13 episodes of "Night Visions," which ran briefly on FOX last summer, and will air them as part of its Friday lineup beginning June 14. The series, created by Dan Angel and Billy Brown (The X-Files, Goosebumps) and hosted by musician/actor/spoken-word artist Henry Rollins, is a "Twilight Zone" -like anthology of stories that deals in horror and the supernatural. Each hour long episode features two stories. In addition to the shows that ran on FOX in 2001, three episodes that never made it to the airwaves will debut on Sci-Fi. Two of those, featuring Thora Birch (Ghost World) and Malcolm McDowell (A Clockwork Orange), will be shown back-to-back and billed as a Sci-Fi original movie. "Night Visions" also boasts appearances by Bridget Fonda, Bill Pullman, Samantha Mathis, Philip Baker Hall, Natasha Lyonne, Joshua Jackson and Sherilyn Fenn, along with many others. Joe Dante (Gremlins) and Tobe Hooper (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) are among the directors of each installment.



Martin in black jacket

Press Release

FOX is finally airing "Night Visions," an anthology suspense series which was held over from midseason. "Visions," hosted by Henry Rollins, features a series of different stories in the tradition of "The Twilight Zone" and "Night Gallery." Among the stars guesting on the series are Malcolm McDowell, Aidan Quinn, Bridget Fonda, Cary Elwes, Brian Dennehy, Bill Pullman, Jerry O'Connell, Jay Mohr and Luke Perry. The show is directed by Dan Angel and Billy Brown, who also created "The Fearing Mind" and the children's program "Goosebumps." They are also currently developing a new TV version of the classic science fiction series "Battlestar Galactica," along with Tom DeSanto and "X-Men" director Bryan Singer. "Night Visions" will debut on FOX Thursday, July 12, 2001.

My Summary

    Dr. Daniel Crichtley is a psychiatrist coming into work. His secretary Anne tells him the police are waiting in his office. It seems a man tried to stab another man on a park bench for not being in the right spot. The doctor is to evaluate the man to find out if he is mentally ill. He asks if there is coffee and she says plenty, but no filters. He enters the office and the police leave the man, Martin, and his file.
    The doctor reads the file as Martin folds and unfolds a piece of paper over and over again. The doctor asks about the ritual, but Martin denies it. He feigns ignorance to the whole thing and finally stops. When he does, he starts touching his ear and pointing. It is obvious he has OCD - obsessive compulsive disorder. The doctor wants to know when and why the rituals started. Martin tells him he has to get out or the world is in danger. The doctor tells him he will get out if he explains himself and why he tried to stab the man in the park. The man was a danger - a danger to everyone he tells him. He then goes over to the window and counts there and won't answer until he is done. Martin tells him the doctor will never believe his story. The doctor wants to hear it, as he can't evaluate anything until he does. Martin makes a deal with him. He will tell his story and if he convinces the doctor what he says is true, then the doctor will let him go.
    Martin tells him he just wants the doctor to make the rituals be less obvious. The doctor says he can do better than that - he can cure him completely. Martin tells him that would be no good. He isn't sure when he noticed the patterns, but it went back to his childhood. There are patterns everywhere - even in the room. The doctor tells him nothing will happen if he stops. Martin tells him it isn't true and he tried that once. When he was six he was walking down the street and counting his steps. His friend Billy was on a bicycle near him and wanted to go swimming, but Martin had to perform his ritual first. Eventually the friend tires of waiting and calls Martin a weirdo. Martin gets mad and stops his counting and then steps on a crack. As soon as he does a car coming down the street runs over his friend. The doctor tells him it was just a coincidence. Martin tells him there are no such things. When he stopped counting, he knew something would happen and he wanted to find out what.
    The doctor notices him tapping on his desk and asks Martin what that is for. He tells him it is nothing really, but the doctor insists on knowing. The tapping is to keep the doctors' tie blue, opening his hand and touching his chest four times stops planes from crashing and squeezing his hand stops people from hanging themselves. The doctor observes that 4 is a significant number. Martin tells him 4, 8, 10 - all even numbers work and also 5 - 5 is a good number. He was taking the trash out one day and the bag broke spilling garbage on the ground and there was a 4 in it, that was how he knew.
    Martin did quit the rituals once, but never will again. He was at home and always brushed 6 times a day and then one day cut down to 5 times. Nothing happened. He took 7 different ways to work - nothing happened. So he completely stopped the rituals for a month - nothing happened. Then he finally sat down to relax for the first time in his life. Every time he changed the channel there was a different story of murder, violence and riots. He knew this has all happened because he stopped the rituals and he resumed them all.
    Martin tells him the rituals have cost him everything and that he had to leave all his friends and family because he didn't want to hurt them. The doctor asks what happened at his job as an architect. Martin tells him his final proof. He was at his desk one day at the architect's office and was in the middle of a ritual which consisted of dropping a pen and picking it up. His boss catches  him doing this and calls him over and asks what he is doing. He told him he dropped his pen. He was only up to 8 times and needed to get to 10, but the boss wouldn't leave. Martin wanted to finish, but the boss told him he needed to talk to him and was taking him out to lunch. Martin tries to tell him he has work to finish, but the boss tells him he can hand it in an hour late and it won't matter. The leave the office and head for the elevator. Martin tells the boss he has to go back because he forgot his wallet, but the boss tells him lunch is on him. The door opens for the elevator and the boss steps in, but the elevator isn't there and he falls to his death. The doctor dismisses this as an accident.  
    Martin expects to leave now, but the doctor wasn't convinced. He calls in the orderlies and tells him he will sedate him and keep him under observation for 72 hours. Martin is upset because if he is out cold he can't do the rituals and the world will be in trouble - he has made a contract with god to keep them up. He doesn't know why he was chosen, but he was.. He gets shot in the arm and the doctor tells him that nothing happened - the world didn't fall apart. The put him into a room and the doctor goes to leave for the night. When he does Anne is all snotty to him and there is a file cabinet in his doorway, the coffee machine is running - they were supposed to be out of filters. He passes the guard at the desk and he is naked. None of this even bothers him. People are running around and yelling. Outside a woman is bashing her cell phone against here head. When the doctor gets to his car it is upside-down. He goes over to the guard at the guard house and asks him what it going on. The guard says he'll be right with him and shoots a passenger in a car exiting the gate. The doctor runs back to the building and sees the cell phone woman is dead, a fire engine has pulled up and is shooting a flamethrower into a car and it is raining fish. Even his tie has turned white.
    He gets back in the building and everyone is running around screaming. Back at his office Anne has hung herself. He is panicking now because he was on his way to the airport to pick up his wife and daughter. Now he fears their plane will crash. He wakes up Martin and tells him he has to perform the rituals again. Martin tells him he isn't going to do that anymore because it is wrong. The doctor tells him he was wrong and Martin was right. Martin slyly tells him it was a long time ago. The doctor then insists he must show him the airplane ritual and Martin instructs him how to do it. The doctors' cell phone then rings and it is his daughter telling him the plane was about to crash, but everything was all right all of a sudden. The doctor knows it worked. Martin then tells him the doctor has taken over the contract and must be the one to perform the rituals from now on. The End

My Review

    After over a year of waiting, I finally got to see Malcolm's episode. The series debuted on 7/12/01 and I watched every week because I didn't know when his episode would be on. Week after boring week I saw one bad episode after another. There wasn't one single standout, one episode where I could say 'that was a good one.' No, they were all bad and every plot could be predicted 10 minutes before it ended. Bill Pullman's episode was the only one that showed potential because it was an adaptation from a famous sci-fi story. I had to suffer through old chief wooden head Rollins intros and closings. How said that this guy who started out as an unknown punk icon turned into a corporate tool. Eventually his parts became the best part of the show because they were so awful they had me laughing out loud. With the bar set so low, I knew Malcolm's episode would suffer the same fate as the rest. It wasn't really for lack of trying, the shows looked sharp, as good as any X-Files episode, but suffered from the same fate as the later seasons of that show - they went nowhere. Then 9/11 happens and the series is pulled. Malcolm's episode seems to be lost in limbo forever. Thankfully the Sci-Fi Channel picked up the series and brazenly announces the four unaired episodes, including Malcolm's will be shown as a "Sci-Fi Original Movie." How pathetic they buy the episodes and then act like they made them. So after almost a year, on 7/27/02 his episode finally aired.
    This episode does suffer the same predictable story line as all the other Night Visions episodes. Also for better or worse - all the Henry Rollins intros and outros were removed, as well as the credits. At first this seemed like a good thing, but I realized I could've used the laugh. Here's my attempt at a wooden Rollins closing, "We mock what we don't understand and now the doctor will be mocked, but won't understand."
    There was one thing this episode had that nothing of the others had - Malcolm's brilliant performance. Put anyone else in the role and the episode would have been just as bad as any other. The great thing about Malcolm is he gives it everything he's got - no matter how small the role. This role is no exception. As soon as he starts his ritual of folding and unfolding the paper you are almost hypnotizing to his performance. When he casually slips into touching his ear and pointing - you are hooked. It looks like he studied someone with OCD, if not then he is a natural. He really pulls off the rituals so well because he does his lines and the rituals at the same time effortlessly without too much emphasis on the rituals.
    The episode is also different then the others because the bulk of the story happens in the doctor's office. Only when Martin has flashbacks and the doctor leaves for the day does the setting change. Malcolm goes through many emotions in such a short episode. He starts out normal, goes into paranoia, in flashbacks is shown as a normal worker in an office, casually around his his house, angry when he is going to be sedated and wickedly devious when passing the ritual contract to the doctor. My favorite scene was when the doctor was flipping out trying to remember the ritual to stop the planes from crashing and Martin barely shows almost casual interest. The doctor remembers some of the moves, but not how many times. He asks Martin and he just casually holds up four fingers. The doctor then asks if he is doing it right by touching his shoulders . Martin casually touches his collarbone with that classic wicked lopsided grin.
    I would definitely recommend the episode for Malcolm's performance alone. As long as you don't mind a pretty predictable episode, you will enjoy yourself. 

Rating: 7/10

This page 2001-08 Alex D. Thrawn for www.MalcolmMcDowell.net