Story by Chris Hubbell and Gerrit Graham
Directed by John Milius
Original Airdate - November 29, 1985
Jeffrey Jones - Carl Wilkerson
Martin Kove - Joe Farrell
Elan Oberon - Sally
Molly Morgan - Keri
Shawn Donahue - Joe Jr.
Andrea Hall -Lovell - Beverly
Michael Nissman - Ned
Shelby Billington - Girl at Party
Frank McRae - Sheriff
Gary Hollis - Male Guest



A man lusts after his partner's wife, and she lusts after him.  She pushes him to kill her husband, so they can be together.  The two men are going hunting on opening day, so the partner plans to kill the husband while they're duck hunting.  Things don't quite go to plan.


"Opening Day" is one of those stories that I'm not sure I like, and don't know whether it's me or the director and writer.  It was directed by John Milius, he of the 1982 "Conan the Barbarian" debacle, but also of the excellent "The Wind and the Lion," "Jeremiah Johnson," and the tad bit overblown "Red Dawn."  Milius also did some writing on "1941," "Dirty Harry," and "Apocalpyse Now," so he has some solid credits behind him.  It was written by Chris Hubbell, who also wrote the prior NTZ story "Children's Zoo," and an upcoming episode, "Still Life," both good episodes. 

I feel the main problem with it is that the story is too muddled, and that the broadcast picture of the episode is so dark in places that you can't tell what's going on.  Even on the new DVDs the picture is dark, so it must have been shot that way.  I've had to watch it several times to get an idea of what the story is trying to say, and even when the execution of a short teleplay is that difficult to understand, something is wrong. Even the twist ending is not much help, because it's so difficult to decide what's going on that you miss the twist.

Jeffrey Jones is snarky and overbearing as the husband who worked his way up from the old neighborhood to become a successful businessman, and he fits the part.  Martin Kove as his partner, and as the one who wants his partner's wife, is in way over his head with an actor like Jones.  Kove is good at action roles, but this is more a thinking man's story, and he's not right for the part.  The entire production is just not good, and it shows on the screen.  Maybe I can blame the cinematographer, because the light values in this change so drastically.  Or possibly is it Milius' fault, since "Conan" was just as incomprehensible.  In any case, it's a very minor entry in the NTZ series.