Story by Edward Redlich
Directed by Peter Medak
Original Airdate - May 21, 1987
Scott Coffey - Keith Barnes
Andrew Robinson - Mr. Williams
Claudia Cron - Gloria
Louise Fitch - Mrs. Feldman
Joan Foley - Girl
Rebeccah Bush - Clark
Alex Daniels - Host
Jackson Hughes - Paul
Juliette Sorci - Little Girl



A teenager on an airplane flight finds that after his Walkman is damaged it can pick up other people's thoughts. 



Probably one of the silliest episodes in second season of the new Twilight Zone, "Private Channel" was based on a story be Edward Redlich, who went on to produce the series "Without a Trace." I've never seen this series because I'm not much for crime shows.  The premise of this segment is good but the dialogue is the silly part.  Scott Coffey plays the teenager, and while he was always able to play a convincing teenager, his lines are so insipid it undermines the story.  They went to such great lengths to make him an empty-headed teen by using "Jambo, dude!" so many times, that when he does get an inkling of what's going on we don't care.  We've written him off as a brainless idiot. 

Andrew Robinson does a good job, as usual, as the terrorist; he can always play crazy well.  If they had made the teenager a bit less moronic, the teleplay would have worked a bit more.  Peter Medak directed, and the actors do the best they can with the script, but without major changes to the dialogue they're stuck with the silliness. 

Scott Coffey had his first screen role in a miniscule part in one of my favorite MST3K films, the 1983 turkey "Warrior of the Lost World."  He plays one of the apocalypse survivors who is a member of a teen gang that terrorizes the hero, causing him to crash into a wall of stone.  This caused one of the silliest segments of the film, which is much more inept than "Private Channels" could ever be, so this new Twilight Zone segment was a step up for Coffey; he's apparently still working.  Andrew Robinson is teaching now, and seems to be mostly retired from the screen.