Home Television Drama Tommyknockers, The

Tommyknockers, The

1 9 9 3 (USA)
2 x 90 minute episodes

This television miniseries was based on the 1987 novel of the same name by Stephen King. It was directed by John Power and adapted by Lawrence D Cohen.

Bobbi Anderson (Marg Helgenberger) and her boyfriend, Jim ‘Gard’ Gardner (Jimmy Smits) find a metallic object buried in the woods which turns out to be a spaceship which is millions of years old.

The object has a strange effect on the residents of the nearby town who become super intelligent with incredible bursts of creativity, creating all manner of strange (and potentially dangerous) inventions.

Disintegrator rays, magic machines that make objects and people disappear.

However, as the people become more obsessed with their inventions and retreat into their own paranoid worlds, they seem to be suffering from health problems – as if they are literally being drained of energy and life.

Gard, who has a metal plate in his head from an accident, seems immune to the effects and must somehow save the town.

The miniseries was split into two parts and the glacial pacing at times suggests there probably wasn’t enough story in the book for a miniseries adaptation. The “Maine” village was really in New Zealand.

The book was written while King was struggling with drink and drugs problems and is one of those stories that he claims he can’t even remember writing.

Jim ‘Gard’ Gardner
Jimmy Smits
Roberta ‘Bobbi’ Anderson
Marg Helgenberger
Trooper Butch Duggan
John Ashton
Deputy Becka Paulson
Allyce Beasley
Bryant Brown
Robert Carradine
Sheriff Ruth Merrill
Joanna Cassidy
Marie Brown
Annie Corley
Joe Paulson
Cliff De Young
Nancy Voss
Traci Lords
Ev Hillman
E.G. Marshall
Chaz Stewart
Chuck Henry
Hilly Brown
Leon Woods
Davey Brown
Paul McIver
Mabel Noyes
Yvonne Lawley
Elt Barker
William Johnson
Barney Applegate
John Steemson
Rick Leckinger
Benton Rhodes
Peter Rowley
Mr Arberg
John Sumner
Patricia McCardle
Elizabeth Hawthorne
Student Bartender
Craig Parker
Kay Helgenberger
Dr Etheridge
Jim McLarty
Mr Allison
Timothy Bartlett
Karyn Malchus