Based on the 1979 novel of the same name by Stephen King, The Dead Zone first aired in 2002. This sci-fi television series is about the protagonist Johnny Smith. After coming out of his coma, he has developed certain psychic abilities. This television show was originally commissioned for United Paramount Network or UPN.
It was picked up by USA Network after UPN dropped the show. The series got canceled in 2007 on a major cliffhanger. The reasons were the producers’ fear of low ratings and financial concerns. However, this television series gave us some memorable characters. Let’s take a look at some of them:
1. Johnny Smith
He is the protagonist of the series. A retired schoolteacher, Smith has developed psychic abilities after he had a car accident. The first episode hints at his psychic abilities during his encounter with a carnival trickster. After the car accident, he goes into a coma.
When he comes out of his coma, his intuition changes into visions. Whenever he has such visions, he is capable of manipulating time. His new psychic abilities allow him to examine details from the past, present, and future. Anthony Michael Hall plays the role of Johnny Smith in the series.
2. Sarah Bracknell Bannerman
Nicole de Boer plays the role of Johnny’s former fiancé, Sarah Bannerman. She had a son with him named J.J. When Johnny was in his coma, Sarah had married Walt Bannerman. Now, the husband and wife are raising J.J. together. She knew Johnny right from the time when they were children.
Sarah had also taught at the same school where he was a schoolteacher. Her mother died when she was in her teens. This had resulted in a strained relationship with her father. She gives birth to Walt’s daughter at the beginning of season 6 and gives her the name ‘Hope’.
3. Reverend Gene Purdy
David Ogden Stiers plays the original character in the series. He is a religious leader and heads a prestigious university. Reverend Purdy is also the head of foundations that have been funded by Johnny’s mother, Vera Smith. The newly acquired powers of Johnny allows him to know the fact that Purdy loved Vera. He was in love with her for over 35 years.
After Vera committed suicide, Purdy covered up the incident. He made everyone believe that the reason for her death was a heart attack. Thus, he manages to preserve her dignity among the public. Although he has always been in constant service of God, he has an involvement in shady dealings.
4. Sheriff Walt Bannerman
Chris Bruno plays the role of Sarah’s husband, Walt Bannerman. His relationship with Johnny is initially quite rocky. This is because Johnny often feels that Walt deliberately stole Sarah from him. As Johnny uses his powers more than ever before in situations of law enforcement, Walt begins to value him. Soon, the two become friends.
In the novel, the man Sarah married was Walt Hazlett and George Bannerman was the sheriff. Walt dies in a fire that occurs at the Faith Heritage Chapel at the beginning of season 6. Nevertheless, he continues to pop up in flashbacks, visions, and as a ghost throughout the season.