Story by Rockne S. O'Bannon
Directed by Peter Medak
Original Airdate - February 14, 1986
Martin Balsam - Rockne S. O'Bannon
Clive Revill - Agent
Joshua Shelley - Herman Gold
Tommy Madden - Creature #1
Marlena Giovi - Widow
Penny Baker - Pam
Stephen Flanigan - Harry
Billy Curtis - Creature
Gary Friedkin - Creature
Kevin Thompson - Creature
Dan Frishman - Creature
Lou Carry - Creature
Jerry Maren - Creature



A man with writer's block fights with himself.



"Personal Demons" was written by Rockne S. O'Bannon, who must have worked through a writer's block himself at some time, to come up with this kind of story.  It's one of those new Twilight Zone entries that is neither here nor there.  It's an okay segment in an hour with two other sensational stories, so it suffers by comparison.  Once again the anthology format is the culprit, where filling an hour means you might not have a segment that's up to the same level of excellence as the others in that same hour.  Thank goodness it's not stretched out any farther than it was, because that would really have sealed its fate.  As it is, it's a short segment that doesn't become dreary by running too long, and it does show a happy ending.

Martin Balsam plays the author with writer's block, and he was always great in anything he did.  He was also an alumni of the original Twilight Zone, from one of my favorite episodes, "The 16-Millimeter Shrine."  He was warmly human in that earlier teleplay, but here he plays a man confused by what is happening to him.  Balsam would also go on to star in a second season story of the NTZ, "Voices in the Earth."  The demons are not really all that creative.  They all wear the same makeup and robes, and might have been a bit more interesting with flashier outfits.