Cold Reading (The Twilight Zone)

"Cold Reading"
The Twilight Zone (1985 series) episode
Cold Reading.jpg
Scene from Cold Reading
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 18c
Directed by Gus Trikonis
Written by Martin Pasko
Rebecca Parr
Original air date February 14, 1986
Guest stars

Dick Shawn : Nelson Westbrook
Larry Poindexter (as Lawrence Poindexter) : Milo Trent
Janet Carroll : Marilyn Cavendish
Joel Brooks : Jack Holland
Annette McCarthy : Carla
Ralph Manza : Sol
Kevin Scannell : Announcer
Mike Pniewski : Page
Paul Keith : Paul Loomis
Thomas Bellin : Ed Winter
Jon Melichar

Episode chronology
← Previous
"Personal Demons"
Next →
"The Leprechaun-Artist"
List of The Twilight Zone episodes

"Cold Reading" is the third and final segment of the eighteenth episode from the first season (1985-1986) of the television series The Twilight Zone.


Opening narration

Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear, where radio was king and the special effects were as big as your imagination. All recorded live in the studios of...the Twilight Zone.


Milo Trent, an aspiring radio drama actor back in the '30s, is invited as a last-minute replacement to a famous weekly show, Dick Noble, African Explorer. The show is a creation of famous writer Nelson Westbrook, who often does rewrites on the fly while in the studio with the actors. But, when Westbrook accidentally wishes for realistic special effects while holding an ancient voodoo artifact, he gets what he wanted--and more.

As the actors in the studio read out their lines, the exact things happen to them--first there is a storm inside the studio, then African tribesmen appear, followed by monkeys, parrots, rifles in the distance, etc. Realizing very well that their safety is in peril, Westbrook feverishly rewrites the show so nothing drastic happens, writing around a plane crash and an earthquake amongst other things.

With all hazards averted, the cast brings the show to an ending and everyone breathes a sigh of relief. The relief turns out to be rather premature, as the show host announces next week's episode: "Dick Noble and the invaders from Mars". Westbrook, unable to stop the host, yells, "NOOOOOO!!" right before a flying saucer crashes into the soundstage.


This episode became the first segment, in a shared half-hour run time with "The Uncle Devil Show" for syndication, as recently shown on the Chiller TV network.

External links

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