Monday, November 21, 2022

RW508 - Dark Skies S01E05-06 - Days Dream


In this weeks episode of The Dark Skies Rewatch, Cory and Tom want to hold your hand and maybe win big as they discuss season 1 episodes 5 & 6, Dark Days Night and Dreamland.

Dark Days Night:

Written by:

Story by : Brent V. Friedman & Bryce Zabel

Teleplay by : Brent V. Friedman & Brad Markowitz

Directed by: Matthew Penn

Original airdate: October 26, 1996


A man pulls up to a curb in New York City and thanks his passenger for his help with a research project, asking him to finish the study by going to a newsstand and buying the first magazine that catches his eye within 15 seconds. However, when the young man approaches the shop, he hears “Money” by The Beatles on the radio and becomes entranced. He proceeds to walk out into the middle of the street, gets hit by a car and dies. The newsstand cashier rushes to the car and together she and the researcher celebrate how quickly the man acted. 

At a motel, Kim wakes up in the middle of the night to hear indistinct talking on a HAM radio but writes down what she can decipher, indicating that something is happening in New York City. Amidst footage of The Beatles, we hear cover band The MopTops playing “Kansas City” albeit with the city replaced by New York City instead. As John and Kim move amongst the crowd, they see Steele, with Kim pulling John in the opposite direction and escaping by shouting out that she sees Paul and causing the girls to swarm hysterically.

Meanwhile at Majestic, Doctor Halligan shows Bach the ganglion they pulled from the astronaut and injects it with the blood of a rejected Hive abductee which causes the ganglion to explode and die. 

John gets into the Ed Sullivan Theatre (since Kim would have less of a chance being just another female fan of the Fab Four) and tries to talk with Brian Epstein, the Beatles’ manager, but he is flustered at Ed Sullivan’s abrupt demeanor in dealing with him, and walks away. He regroups with Kim and finds that she has gotten the name and address of the HAM operator they heard the other night, Christopher Weatherly. When they reach his house, they are told about how the young man died. The couple sneaks into the house and finds evidence of the study Christopher had attended and that the HAM radio in the house was tuned to the same frequency they had picked up in their motel. 

Together they go to the study being run by a Doctor Burnside and meet a young girl named Marnie, but during the study both Marnie and Kim feel uneasy, being affected by subliminal messages being broadcast on the video they were told to watch, and both retreat outside for air. Marnie confides in Kim about a dream she had about being abducted, and Kim sympathizes but tries to reassure her that she’s ok, that everything it’s all over now, wanting to spare her further pain. As she and John ride in a cab, Kim hears The Beatles on the radio singing “Money” and tries to leap out of the cab, being saved at the last minute by John. Kim reasons that she may have been exposed to subliminal messaging, thinking that maybe it’s due to her abduction past. When John checks the HAM radio log they took from Weatherly’s house, they discover that it was the father who was using the radio and is infected by Hive, not the son. Steele suddenly appears and tries to shoot the couple but they fight him off, eventually subduing him. 

They question Steele about what the Hive’s plans are at the Sullivan Theater but he refuses. Frustrated, John calls Bobby Kennedy, going to meet with him and tell him about Steele, but it turns out to be a trap by Bach. He agrees to trade Steele for access to Doctor Halligan and manpower to storm the research study office. They kill the woman in charge, but miss Burnside. Halligan puts the woman in a device to stop the ganglion from escaping her body and then they scan through the footage from the videos, finding the subliminal programming. They theorize that the throwbacks of the abductions are being targeted by Hive in order to kill them and do away with the incompatible humans. Given that a huge amount of people are reported to be tuning in to see The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show, the broadcast makes a perfect set up for broadcasting the hidden message.

Bach and his cronies along with John and Kim, check the ad spots for the show but find nothing and leave, but John thinks about how Hive could be tapping into the lines during the actual broadcast, and they head off to find the technician who was setting up the cables earlier in the day. They find that he is hurt, having been attacked after finding a strange cable connection. John and  Kim investigate and find Christopher Weatherly Sr messing around with the cables. John pursues and is overpowered, but Albano comes to his rescue, having followed them from the control room.

John traces the cable through the ducts and finds Burnside in a room ready to transmit his messaging, but he sees John and attacks him. A struggle ensues but the duct is weak and Burnside falls down onto a machine and is electrocuted. He gives Bach the keys to the hotel room where Steele is being held and goes to leave with Kim, but they notice Marnie in the audience, transfixed by her mental programming. She starts walking towards the balcony edge, ready to jump, and is startled by Kim’s shouts, as John catches her before she can fall. 

Bach and company go to find Steele but he is surprisingly not there. Wah wah wah…

History As We Know It:

Teleplay co-writer Brad Markowitz previously collaborated with Zabel and Friedman on MANTIS, and would join them again on The Crow: Stairway to Heaven. He’s had a reasonable TV writing career.

Director Matthew Penn is a fairly consistently working TV director, with lots of well known shows on his resume. He does have a resemblance to Sean Penn but I’m not sure if they’re related.

Michael Hagerty played Christopher Weatherly Jr. We just saw him in Dawson’s Creek playing Matt, who vandalized Joey’s mural. 

Jerome Patrick Hoban was Ed Sullivan. He played Sullivan several times in Pulp Fiction, Growing Pains, and Happy Halloween Part 2

On their first Ed Sullivan Show appearance, The Beatles played "All My Loving," "Till There Was You," "She Loves You," "I Saw Her Standing There" and "I Want to Hold Your Hand".

The Beatles are in this case The MopTops band which apparently has had several lineups throughout the years, although I can’t find a list. The list according to IMDB consist of Joe Stefanelli as John, Tim Michael McDougall as Paul, Rock Pizana as George, and Carmine Grippo as Ringo. On several MopTop videos however, comments indicate different members of the band. Joe played John in Forrest Gump as well. 

Murray Kaufman (February 14, 1922 – February 21, 1982), professionally known as Murray the K, was an influential New York City rock and roll disc jockey of the 1950s, '60s and '70s. During the early days of Beatlemania, he frequently referred to himself as the fifth Beatle. When the Beatles came to New York on February 7, 1964, Murray was the first DJ they welcomed into their circle, having heard about him and his Brooklyn Fox shows from American groups such as the Ronettes. When the band arrived in New York, Murray was invited by Brian Epstein to spend time with the group, and Murray persuaded his radio station (WINS) to let him broadcast his prime time show from the Beatles' Plaza Hotel suite. He subsequently accompanied the band to Washington, D.C. for their first U.S. concert, was backstage at their The Ed Sullivan Show premiere, and roomed with Beatles guitarist George Harrison in Miami, broadcasting his nightly radio shows from his hotel room there. He came to be referred to as the "Fifth Beatle", a moniker he said he was given by Harrison during the train ride to the Beatles' first concert in Washington, D.C. or by Ringo Starr at a press conference before that concert.


Written by: Steve Apsis

Directed by: Winrich Kolbe

Original airdate: November 2, 1996


A man plays blackjack in Vegas and wins quite a bit. The casino floor manager, Geddings, signals to a waitress, Susan, who then flirts with him and invites him to her room to ask what his trick is to winning, to which he denies having any. As she kisses him, clad in lingerie, a knock at the door startles him and he grabs his winnings, save for a few hundred bucks, and hands it over to the man outside who demands all of the money. He opens his mouth and a ganglion tentacle reaches out into the other man’s mouth, seemingly giving him the strength to reach something called Dreamland. 

Meanwhile, with their car in constant need of repair, Kim volunteers to get a job at a Vegas casino, the name of which they found on some poker chips Steele had on him. When they turn the chips in for cash, the cashier recognizes these particular chips and alerts a man at the casino that they “have two more”. 

Kim works the room well, earning plenty of tips. As she collects a tip from one particular high roller table, she notices an odd man (identified only in IMDB as Cochran) as a strange sound echoes in her head. She points the group out to John, but they are interrupted by Geddings who offers them the hospitality suite until they get on their feet again. As the men and women at the high roller table leave, John follows them, thinking they may be Hive, and sees them leave in a car with no celebration of their big winnings.

Kim wonders about the sound she heard, and John theorizes that maybe the Hive has telepathy and was using it to cheat. Kim further wonders if they can use the sound to detect when Hive is around. Their conversation is interrupted as a group of men bust in, taking them away at gunpoint. The two of them are sanitized and then told to shower as they are brought up to a man who has been watching all that goes on in the hotel via the cameras, a man known as Howard Hughes.

Hughes informs them that he has been marking the poker chips of Hive members, and knows they cheat to gain money to support their cause of world wide domination. He asks to use Kim’s ability to hear the Hive, to get her in with them and track the “communists,” unaware that they are actually aliens.

As they go to retrieve their car the next morning to follow the Hive members, they are surprised to see that Hughes has given them a brand new convertible car, but unfortunately the Hive disappears on a seemingly dead end road. Kim decides to infiltrate the gambling group, with the assistance of Hughes’ electronics to track her. The ruse works and she gets in with the group, winning big and eventually stopping after a mental command from Cochran.

John talks with Hughes outside as they watch Kim get in the car with Cochran and the Hive members, with Hughes revealing how he used to work with Majestic until they started to consider him a security risk. He also reveals the existence of “Dreamland,” an Air Force base actually named Area 51 that the “commies” are digging a tunnel to from the dead end arrived at the previous day. John is adamant that he call the Pentagon, but Hughes says that will happen eventually and that they’ll pay him big for the keys to that tunnel. John tries to stop Kim from going but Hughes’ bodyguard stops him and sends him back to his suite. 

As Kim gets into the car with the other Hive members, she is met with Steele himself who tells her she will understand their mental language soon. They take her to a room where they secure her down, and prepare to have one of their natural enemies enter her body to get rid of the remaining Hive tendrils inside her so they can implant her again.

Susan ends up rescuing John from his room and together the two head off to find Kim while Hughes and his crew end up at the dead end spot. Using his electronics, Hughes discovers Kim’s signal in her abandoned purse nearby. John and Susan arrive just as a Hive truck driver shows up, and while attempting to drive straight through them, is shot and killed. As Hughes goes to the truck, the ganglion escapes from the dead body and attacks him. He pulls it off and John shoots it dead. He then notices that the tire tracks end at the rock wall, so he drives the truck straight through it, revealing it as a hologram. 

Steele senses Loengard, and his Hive crew try to attack to no avail as he drives right through them. He finds Kim and removes the leeches from her body but Cochran jumps through a window and tries to attack them. Kim grabs the tank of leeches and throws them into Cochran as he cries out in pain, allowing her and John to escape. Suddenly, MP’s from Area 51 arrive to take control of the area. 

Back at the casino, Susan quits and moves on to another state for a fresh start, while John and Kim share a drink at the border of Area 51, wondering what the Hive was after inside. 

History As We Know It:

We’ve seen director Winrich Kolby before, he directed 2 episodes of Lois & Clark, “Dear Earth” and “When Irish Eyes are Killing,” and he also co-directed the premiere episode of Voyagers! And the later episode “Voyagers of the Titanic.”

Writer Steven Apsis only has a small handful of credits. His most notable contribution being a writer and producer of a few episodes of Outer Limits.

Howard Robard Hughes Jr. (December 24, 1905 – April 5, 1976) was an American businessman, record-setting pilot, engineer, film producer, and philanthropist. Later in life, he became known for his eccentric behavior and reclusive lifestyle, caused in part by his worsening obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), chronic pain from a near-fatal plane crash, and increasing deafness. Hughes inherited an estate of nearly a million dollars when his father died in 1923. Hughes' father also left him the business that had created this fortune, the Hughes Tool Company, which controlled the rights to a new oil drill technology that was in high demand. An accountant named Dietrich helped turn that into a multimillion dollar empire. 

Examples of his OCD include spending time trying to “fix” an actress’s blouse during filming and designing a new blouse because the old one made it look like she had two nipples. He focused on a lot of seemingly trivial details and was very indecisive. He spent four months in his own screening room, sitting naked often while watching films, and eating only chocolate bars, chicken and milk, not even bathing. The nakedness was likely due to allodynia which can result in a pain on your skin from things that don’t normally cause pain. He would use tissues to pick up objects and would notice dust and stains on other people’s clothing, insisting they clean them immediately.

He would move between hotels in Vegas, always taking the top floor penthouses as his own, but finally settled in 1966 inside the Desert Inn, which he would buy in 67 in order to stay there and avoid conflicts with the owners, turning the penthouse into his base of operations. 

His brain trauma from his airplane crashes would begin to affect his decision making and he had a type of secret police, a committee helping him out. 

A man named Clifford Irving claimed to have written an authorized autobiography but it turned out to be false, and he was convicted for fraud.

Kidney failure is the official cause of death however it was discovered that at some point after the death, an unnecessarily large and deadly amount of painkillers had been injected into Hughes. There are several debunked conspiracy theories about his faking his own death as well.

He’s been represented in numerous films including The Rocketeer and The Aviator. Stan Lee created the character of Tony Stark, aka Iron Man, inspired by Hughes. He’s also been mentioned in many different song lyrics as well, including AC/DC’s Ain’t No Fun Waiting Round To Be A Millionaire, and Broadway Melody by Genesis. TV Show appearances include The Greatest American Hero, The Beverly Hillbillies, The Simpsons, and Invader Zim.


For more information on Dark Skies, please check out these great resources of information. 

Dark Skies IMDb

Dark Skies Wiki

There is a full playlist of Dark Skies episodes. Account is active as of Nov 2022.

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