Amazing Stories (TV series)

Amazing Stories
Science Fiction
Created bySteven Spielberg (uncredited)
Developed by
Theme music composerJohn Williams
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes45
Executive producer(s)Steven Spielberg
Producer(s)Brad Bird
Running time30 minutes[1]
Production company(s)
DistributorNBCUniversal Television Distribution
Original networkNBC[2]
Original releaseSeptember 29, 1985 (1985-09-29)[3] – April 10, 1987 (1987-04-10)
Related showsFamily Dog

Amazing Stories is a fantasy, horror, and science fiction television anthology series created by Steven Spielberg. It originally ran on NBC in the United States from 1985 to 1987.

The series was nominated for 12 Emmy Awards and won five. The first season episode "The Amazing Falsworth" earned writer Mick Garris an Edgar Award for Best Episode in a TV Series. It was not a ratings hit (ranking 35th in Season 1 and 52nd in Season 2), however, and the network did not renew it after the two-year contract expired. The 1987 science fiction film Batteries Not Included was originally intended as a story for Amazing Stories, but Spielberg liked the idea so much that he decided to make it a theatrical release.[4]

The series title licensed the name of Amazing Stories, the first dedicated science fiction magazine created by Hugo Gernsback in April of 1926.[5]


The series list below is annotated with the Book numbers as they appeared in the US release on VHS; the Japanese LaserDisc and UK European VHS DVD (In the PAL video format) releases are indicated with volume numbers. Note that Vol. 7 and 8 are switched for the UK VHS release. All episodes have a running time of around 25 minutes, with the exceptions of "The Mission" and "Go To The Head Of The Class" (both running 50 minutes).

Season 1 (1985–86)

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
11"Ghost Train"Steven SpielbergStory by : Steven Spielberg
Teleplay by : Frank Deese
September 29, 1985 (1985-09-29)
A grandfather (Roberts Blossom) disapproves of his son building a country home on the site of a train accident from 75 years ago.
22"The Main Attraction"Matthew RobbinsStory by : Steven Spielberg
Teleplay by : Brad Bird and Mick Garris
October 6, 1985 (1985-10-06)
A high school jock ( Scott Clough) up for Prom King develops a "magnetic" personality.
33"Alamo Jobe"Michael D. MooreStory by : Steven Spielberg
Teleplay by : Joshua Brand & John Falsey
October 20, 1985 (1985-10-20)
A young man (Kelly Reno) travels through time to 20th century San Antonio.
44"Mummy Daddy"William DearStory by : Steven Spielberg
Teleplay by : Earl Pomerantz
October 27, 1985 (1985-10-27)
An actor ( Tom Harrison) cast as a mummy in a horror movie rushes to be with his wife when she goes into labor.
55"The Mission"Steven SpielbergStory by : Steven Spielberg
Teleplay by : Menno Meyjes
November 3, 1985 (1985-11-03)
A belly turret gunner (Casey Siemaszko) is trapped in the compartment of a WWII bomber. Also starring Kevin Costner and Kiefer Sutherland with Anthony LaPaglia in a minor role.
66"The Amazing Falsworth"Peter HyamsStory by : Steven Spielberg
Teleplay by : Mick Garris
November 5, 1985 (1985-11-05)
A magician with psychic powers (Gregory Hines) sees visions of two murders.
77"Fine Tuning"Bob BalabanStory by : Steven Spielberg
Teleplay by : Earl Pomerantz
November 10, 1985 (1985-11-10)
A science-project receiver picks up transmissions of aliens imitating classic TV characters.
88"Mr. Magic"Donald PetrieJoshua Brand & John FalseyNovember 17, 1985 (1985-11-17)
An illusionist (Sid Caesar) uses an old deck of cards to stay in the spotlight.
99"Guilt Trip"Burt ReynoldsGail Parent & Kevin ParentDecember 1, 1985 (1985-12-01)
The personification of Guilt (Dom DeLuise) takes a cruise where he meets the personification of Love (Loni Anderson)
1010"Remote Control Man"Bob ClarkStory by : Steven Spielberg
Teleplay by : Douglas Lloyd McIntosh
December 8, 1985 (1985-12-08)
A henpecked husband (Sydney Lassick) buys a remote control that brings characters out of the TV.
1111"Santa '85"Phil JoanouStory by : Steven Spielberg
Teleplay by : Joshua Brand & John Falsey
December 15, 1985 (1985-12-15)
When Santa Claus (Douglas Seale) is sent to prison on Christmas Eve, it falls to a boy (Gabriel Damon) to restore the Christmas spirit in a sheriff (Pat Hingle).
1212"Vanessa in the Garden"Clint EastwoodSteven SpielbergDecember 29, 1985 (1985-12-29)
An artist (Harvey Keitel) finds a way for his deceased wife (Sondra Locke) to live on in his work.
1313"The Sitter"Joan DarlingStory by : Joshua Brand & John Falsey
Teleplay by : Mick Garris
January 5, 1986 (1986-01-05)
A babysitter (Mabel King) uses voodoo to get two overactive boys under control.
1414"No Day at the Beach"Lesli Linka GlatterStory by : Steven Spielberg
Teleplay by : Mick Garris
January 12, 1986 (1986-01-12)
A GI ( Larry Spinak) tries to be a hero during a World War II assault on Italy.
1515"One for the Road"Thomas CarterJames D. BissellJanuary 19, 1986 (1986-01-19)
During the Depression, a bar patron (Douglas Seale) is tricked into signing an insurance policy so the regulars can collect the money once he drinks himself to death.
1616"Gather Ye Acorns"Norman ReynoldsStory by : Steven Spielberg
Teleplay by : Stu Krieger
February 2, 1986 (1986-02-02)
A tree troll (David Rappaport) encourages an 18-year-old (Mark Hamill) to follow his dreams.
1717"Boo!"Joe DanteLowell Ganz & Babaloo MandelFebruary 16, 1986 (1986-02-16)
A porno star and her husband (Wendy Schaal, Robert Picardo) move into a house haunted by its previous owners (Eddie Bracken, Evelyn Keyes).
1818"Dorothy and Ben"Thomas CarterStory by : Steven Spielberg
Teleplay by : Michael De Guzman
March 2, 1986 (1986-03-02)
A man (Joe Seneca) wakes up from a 40-year coma and communicates with another comatose patient (Natalie Gregory).
1919"Mirror, Mirror"Martin ScorseseStory by : Steven Spielberg
Teleplay by : Joseph Minion
March 9, 1986 (1986-03-09)
A horror novelist (Sam Waterston) is haunted by a figure in his mirror.
2020"Secret Cinema"Paul BartelPaul BartelApril 6, 1986 (1986-04-06)
A woman (Penny Peyser) believes that life is secretly being filmed.
2121"Hell Toupee"Irvin KershnerGail Parent & Kevin ParentApril 13, 1986 (1986-04-13)
A bald man gets a hairpiece that drives him to murder a lawyer.
2222"The Doll"Phil JoanouRichard MathesonMay 4, 1986 (1986-05-04)
A special handmade doll rejected by a lonely man's (John Lithgow) niece (Rain Phoenix) leads him instead to an equally lonely teacher (Anne Helm).
2323"One for the Books"Lesli Linka GlatterRichard MathesonMay 11, 1986 (1986-05-11)
A janitor at a college can suddenly master any subject of the classroom he cleans. When this becomes public, he becomes subject to a heated debate amongst professors about the ability of human intellect, proving to be more than he can handle.
2424"Grandpa's Ghost"Timothy HuttonStory by : Timothy Hutton
Teleplay by : Michael De Guzman
May 25, 1986 (1986-05-25)
A man (Andrew McCarthy) isn't around to see the ghost of his grandfather.

Season 2 (1986–87)

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
251"The Wedding Ring"Danny DeVitoStory by : Steven Spielberg
Teleplay by : Stu Krieger
September 22, 1986 (1986-09-22)
A wax-museum dresser (Danny DeVito) takes a ring from a statue that turns his wife into a femme fatale.
262"Miscalculation"Tom HollandMichael McDowellSeptember 29, 1986 (1986-09-29)
While fooling around in chemistry class, a college student (Jon Cryer) spills a chemical element on a picture of a puppy and brings it to life. He tries doing the same thing to his pornographic magazines, with surprising results.
273"Magic Saturday"Robert MarkowitzRichard MathesonOctober 6, 1986 (1986-10-06)
A 10-year-old boy uses a spell to swap bodies with his grandfather.
284"Welcome to My Nightmare"Todd HollandTodd HollandOctober 13, 1986 (1986-10-13)
A film buff ( David Hollander) has become the subject of concern from his family that he is out of touch with reality and declines a date from a new girl in town (Robyn Lively). Angry that the real world is so dull, he wishes he was in the movies, and gets his wish: being on the set of Psycho.
295"You Gotta Believe Me"Kevin ReynoldsStory by : Steven Spielberg
Teleplay by : Stu Krieger
October 20, 1986 (1986-10-20)
A man (Charles Durning) tries to prevent a plane crash he saw in a dream.
306"The Greibble"Joe DanteStory by : Steven Spielberg
Teleplay by : Mick Garris
November 3, 1986 (1986-11-03)
A housewife (Hayley Mills) encounters a creature with a taste for inanimate objects.
317"Life on Death Row"Mick GarrisStory by : Mick Garris
Teleplay by : Rockne S. O'Bannon
November 10, 1986 (1986-11-10)
An inmate on death row (Patrick Swayze) is struck by lightning and given miraculous healing powers.
328"Go to the Head of the Class"Robert ZemeckisStory by : Mick Garris
Teleplay by : Mick Garris & Tom McLoughlin and Bob Gale
November 21, 1986 (1986-11-21)
Two students (Scott Coffey and Mary Stuart Masterson) cast a spell taken from a rock-and-roll record played backwards on their English teacher (Christopher Lloyd).
339"Thanksgiving"Todd HollandStory by : Harold Rolseth
Teleplay by : Pierre R. Debs & Robert C. Fox
November 24, 1986 (1986-11-24)
A man (David Carradine) and his stepdaughter (Kyra Sedgwick) find treasure in a dry well.
3410"The Pumpkin Competition"Norman ReynoldsPeter Z. OrtonDecember 1, 1986 (1986-12-01)
A miser (Polly Holliday) gains a botanist's secret to win a pumpkin contest.
3511"What If...?"Joan DarlingAnne SpielbergDecember 8, 1986 (1986-12-08)
A boy who sees things randomly disappearing worries why his status-seeking parents are more concerned with their social outings than they are with his problems.
3612"The Eternal Mind"J. Michael RivaJulie Moskowitz & Gary StephensDecember 29, 1986 (1986-12-29)
A dying scientist (Jeffrey Jones) becomes the first subject of a test merging man and machine.
3713"Lane Change"Ken KwapisAli Marie MathesonJanuary 12, 1987 (1987-01-12)
A divorced woman (Kathy Baker) gets a glimpse of her past when she picks up a stranded driver (Priscilla Pointer).
3814"Blue Man Down"Paul Michael GlaserStory by : Steven Spielberg
Teleplay by : Jacob Epstein & Daniel Lindley
January 19, 1987 (1987-01-19)
A cop regains his confidence with the help of his new partner.
3915"The 21-Inch Sun"Nick CastleBruce KirschbaumFebruary 2, 1987 (1987-02-02)
A sitcom writer (Robert Townsend) writes a script thanks to a spider plant that absorbs TV rays.
4016"Family Dog"Brad BirdBrad BirdFebruary 16, 1987 (1987-02-16)
In this animated episode that led to the cartoon series of the same name, a dog goes through life with his family.
4117"Gershwin's Trunk"Paul BartelPaul Bartel & John MeyerMarch 13, 1987 (1987-03-13)
A lyricist (Bob Balaban) seeks inspiration from the spirit of George Gershwin.
4218"Such Interesting Neighbors"Graham BakerStory by : Jack Finney
Teleplay by : Mick Garris & Tom McLoughlin
March 20, 1987 (1987-03-20)
A family suspects their new neighbors of causing time to repeat.
4319"Without Diana"Lesli Linka GlatterMick GarrisMarch 27, 1987 (1987-03-27)
A man and his dying wife are comforted by the daughter they lost 40 years ago.
4420"Moving Day"Robert StevensFrank KerrApril 3, 1987 (1987-04-03)
A teenager (Stephen Geoffreys) learns he and his family are moving to another planet.
4521"Miss Stardust"Tobe HooperStory by : Richard Matheson
Teleplay by : Thomas E. Szollosi & Richard Christian Matheson
April 10, 1987 (1987-04-10)
An alien (Weird Al Yankovic) threatens to destroy Earth if the Miss Stardust beauty pageant doesn't allow contestants from other worlds.