Original Story by Henry Slesar
Teleplay by Phil DeGuere
Directed by Paul Lynch
Original Airdate - November 1, 1985
Christopher Allport - Richard Jordan
David Mendenhall - Dickie Jordan
Elizabeth Normant - Ruth Jordan
Jeffrey Alan Chandler - Clerk
Ed Krieger - Clerk #1
Myrna White - Clerk #2



In a futuristic society, a young boy is looking forward to his exams. Everyone has to take them at 12, and he's not worried because he's done some studying. His parents, however, are frantic about it because their son is "different," but try not to show it to him; we are left with the impression that he's not smart enough to pass a test and that something dire happens if he doesn't.

They buy him a special present for his birthday, and give it to him early. The next day is the exam and his father takes him there, but the father can't stay. The parents have to go home and wait till the officials call them with the outcome of the test. The boy is given a truth serum, to make sure he doesn't try and effect the outcome of the test in any way, but he says he would never have cheated anyway.

The parents are waiting at home, and they finally receive a phone call from the officials. It's soon apparent why the parents were so worried. The official says that their son was deemed to be too intelligent for their society, and he asks where they would like the body sent.



With this episode, the NTZ is finally on firm ground, and it would continue to improve over the coming weeks.  "Examination Day" is a short, nasty, shocking little surprise, and shows exactly how good TV can be when it's done right.  It also shows how great anthology shows can be, since they don't have to fill up 30 or 60 minutes with padding.  The stories can take exactly as long as they need to, which increases the "punch" factor of stories like this.  After watching "Examination Day," the viewer does feel like they've been beaten up. 

Christopher Allport, as the father, is concerned but tries not to let on that he is, whenever his son questions him about the test.  Allport is a veteran of TV and movies, appearing on hundreds of productions over the years, and really, all of the people in this teleplay have been acting for awhile, even the young boy, so they are well suited to this type of production where no one actor stands out.   

Adapted from Henry Slesar's 1958 short story of the same name, this teleplay was written by Phil DeGuere, who had real talent for this sort of story.  He only did a few adaptations for the NTZ, for which he primarily served as producer.  The actors seem to recede into their roles, and we're left thinking that we're watching a real family instead of a group of actors.  The special effects were done well, showing a dystopian future or alternate reality, where intelligence is considered a liability.  I will refrain from drawing any comparisons with today's culture, because it sometimes seems like intelligence is frowned upon today as well.