Tales from the Darkside (1983–1988)

The New Man (30 Sep. 1984)

TV Episode   |  TV-14   |    |  Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

The New Man (1984) Poster

A reformed alcoholic is visited by his young son. Unfortunately, he doesn't have a young son.

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews

4 November 2012 | Hey_Sweden
| Demon alcohol.
Vic Tayback plays Alan Coombs, a Realtor and recovering alcoholic who is visited at work by a boy named Jerry (Chris Hebert). Jerry claims to be Alans' son, yet Alan stubbornly insists that this can't possibly be the case. His wife Sharon (Kelly Jean Peters) and older son Petey (Billy Jayne) suspect that he's back on the bottle, and he's already heard her warning that she would leave should he ever resume drinking. Alan starts falling apart as he refuses to acknowledge the child is his own. A story heavy on symbolism, 'The New Man' isn't the kind of outré horror some folks might expect but a horror far more universal and far more human: the disease of alcoholism, and the way it destroys lives, not just that of the drinker but those of their loved ones. This is a good, straightforward little tale for the 'Tales from the Darkside' series that doesn't receive embellishment or stylistic touches that it doesn't really need. In fact, it's very down to Earth and quite convincing. All of the actors are impressive, especially star Tayback of 'Alice' fame. The sharp script is by Mark Durand, based on a story by Barbara Owens, and the efficient, get-right-to-the-point direction by Frank De Palma. This is solid stuff every step of the way. Eight out of 10.

Did You Know?


Since there is no clear explanation as to what Jerry is, fans of Tales from the Darkside have come up with a number of theories for Jerry's meaning. Some of the most popular theories are:

That Jerry is Alan's scapegoat. He is not really there, but he is the personification of Alan blaming his drunken behavior on anything except drinking. He ends up missing work, he ends up at the police and his family leaves him. Alan won't admit he was drinking the entire time and all these things happened because he was drinking, not because of Jerry, who doesn't exist.

That Jerry is a personification of booze, trying to make Alan lose his mind so that he'll start drinking again.

That Alan's whole family, Jerry included, isn't real, and that Alan is dreaming them up while he's drunk.

That Alan's boss who offered him the booze is the mastermind behind the whole scheme, and that he's sent Jerry to bother Alan. This theory came from the scene where Alan drinks and then says "waste not, want not". Jerry also looks like a younger version of Alan's boss.

That Jerry is some sort of monster that feeds on the souls and minds of alcoholics.

That Jerry is an allegory for all the torment Alan caused his family.

That Jerry is Alan's tulpa, or more simply put, his imaginary friend that has come to life and now wants to be part of the family.

That Sharon wants her marriage to Alan to end, so she and Petey teamed up and hired Jerry to drive Alan crazy.

That Alan is hallucinating Jerry.

That Jerry is Alan's conscience come to haunt him.

Laurel Productions has never confirmed that any of these theories are true, or what Jerry is supposed to be.


Tales from the Darkside Theme
Composed by
Donald Rubinstein
Written by Erica Lindsay
Co-written by Donald Rubinstein


Plot Summary

Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Comedy | Drama | Fantasy | Horror | Thriller


Release Date:

30 September 1984



Country of Origin


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