The Hitchhiker (TV series)

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The Hitchhiker
The Hitchhiker.png
The Hitchhiker title screen
Genre Anthology
Starring Page Fletcher
Nicholas Campbell
Composers Paul Hoffert
Shuki Levy
Michel Rubini
Haim Saban
Country of originU.S.A.
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons6
No. of episodes85
Executive producersLewis Chesler (1986-1987)
Riff Markowitz (1986-1987)
Richard Rothstein
Jeremy Lipp
Jacques Methe
David Perlmutter
Running time30 mins. (approx)
Production companyChester/Perlmutter/Markowitz Productions
Distributor Rysher Entertainment
Original network HBO (1983-1987)
First Choice (1983-1987)
USA Network (1989-1991)
La Cinq (1989-1991)
Original release1983 (1983) 
1991 (1991)

The Hitchhiker (also known as Deadly Nightmares in the United Kingdom and Le Voyageur in France) [1] is a mystery horror anthology television series. It aired from 1983 to 1987 on HBO, and First Choice in Canada. The series later moved to the USA Network from 1989 to 1991.



Each episode is introduced and concluded by a mysterious wanderer known only as "The Hitchhiker," and explores the foibles of humanity and its dark spirit. The title character was played by Nicholas Campbell from 1983-1984 (3 episodes), and Page Fletcher from 1984-1991 (82 episodes). There were a total of 85 episodes over six seasons (39 first runs on HBO and 46 first runs on USA).

Production notes

The series was a United States/Canada/France co-production. It was filmed in Vancouver and Toronto, Ontario, Canada and Paris, France. The show was produced by Corazon Productions (Season 1 for a total of three episodes), Quintina Productions (Seasons 2-4 for a total of 36 episodes), and La Cinq, Atlantique & Quintina Productions (Seasons 5-6 for a total of 46 episodes).

The Hitchhiker was created by Lewis Chesler and Riff Markowitz, later joined by Richard Rothstein. The pilot episode consisted of three stories. Richard Rothstein wrote two and Jeph Loeb and Matt Weissman wrote the third.

Paul Hoffert created the theme music for the show. [2]


Series overview

SeasonEpisodesOriginally airedNetwork
First airedLast aired
13November 23, 1983December 14, 1983 HBO
210November 13, 1984April 9, 1985
313September 15, 1985April 22, 1986
413February 17, 1987May 12, 1987
526May 22, 1989December 16, 1989 USA Network
620September 21, 1990February 22, 1991

Season 1 (1983)

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
11"Shattered Vows" Ivan Nagy Lewis CheslerNovember 23, 1983 (1983-11-23)
22"When Morning Comes"Ivan NagyLewis CheslerNovember 30, 1983 (1983-11-30)
33"Split Decision"Ivan NagyLewis CheslerDecember 14, 1983 (1983-12-14)

Season 2 (1984–85)

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
41"Lovesounds"David Wickes Jeph Loeb & Matthew WeismanNovember 13, 1984 (1984-11-13)
52"Remembering Melody"Christopher LeitchTeleplay by: Alvin Sapinsley
Based on a short story by: George R. R. Martin
November 27, 1984 (1984-11-27)
63"Face to Face"David WickesStory by: Richard Rothstein
Teleplay by: Robert J. Avrech
December 4, 1984 (1984-12-04)
74"And If We Dream" Mai Zetterling Story by: Richard Rothstein
Teleplay by: Leora Barish
January 15, 1985 (1985-01-15)
85"Petty Thieves"Christopher LeitchStory by: Richard Rothstein
Teleplay by: William Darrid
January 29, 1985 (1985-01-29)
96"Videodate"Richard RothsteinRichard RothsteinFebruary 16, 1985 (1985-02-16)
107"A Time for Rifles"David WickesWritten by: Stanford Whitmore
Story by: H.A. DeRose
March 2, 1985 (1985-03-02)
118"Man at the Window"Christopher LeitchMichael JanoverMarch 12, 1985 (1985-03-12)
129"Hired Help"Mai ZetterlingWritten by: Stanford Whitmore
Story by: Gail Glaze
March 26, 1985 (1985-03-26)
1310"Murderous Feelings"Mai ZetterlingCharles IsraelApril 9, 1985 (1985-04-09)

Season 3 (1985–86)

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
141"Nightshift" Phillip Noyce Story by: April Campbell Jones & Bruce Jones
Teleplay by: William Darrid
September 15, 1985 (1985-09-15)
152"Out of the Night" Brian Grant Story by: Richard Rothstein
Teleplay by: Marjorie David
October 29, 1985 (1985-10-29)
163"The Killer" Carl Schenkel Story by: Richard Rothstein & Christopher Leitch
Teleplay by: April Campbell Jones & Bruce Jones
November 12, 1985 (1985-11-12)
174"W.G.O.D" Mike Hodges Story by: Richard Rothstein
Teleplay by: Thomas Baum
November 26, 1985 (1985-11-26)
185"Man's Best Friend"Philip NoyceStory by: April Campbell Jones & Bruce Jones
Teleplay by: Nevin Schreiner
December 10, 1985 (1985-12-10)
196"Ghostwriter"Carl SchenkelThomas BaumJanuary 7, 1986 (1986-01-07)
207"O.D. Feelin'"Richard RothsteinRichard Rothstein & Christopher LeitchJanuary 28, 1986 (1986-01-28)
218"Dead Man's Curve" Roger Vadim Story by: Christopher Leitch
Teleplay by: John Harrison
February 11, 1986 (1986-02-11)
229"The Curse"Phillip NoyceStory by: Richard Rothstein & Christopher Leitch
Teleplay by: Thomas Baum
February 25, 1986 (1986-02-25)
2310"True Believer"Carl SchenkelWilliam KellyMarch 11, 1986 (1986-03-11)
2411"Last Scene" Paul Verhoeven Story by: Richard Rothstein
Teleplay by: Robert J. Avrech
March 25, 1986 (1986-03-25)
2512"Man of Her Dreams"Phillip NoyceStory by: April Campbell & Bruce Jones
Teleplay by: Gary Ross
April 8, 1986 (1986-04-08)
2613"One Last Prayer" Brian Grant Story by: April Campbell & Bruce Jones
Teleplay by: Leora Barish & Henry Bean
April 22, 1986 (1986-04-22)

Season 4 (1987)

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
271"Perfect Order"Daniel VigneMarjorie DavidFebruary 17, 1987 (1987-02-17)
282"Minuteman"Chris ThomsonThomas BaumFebruary 24, 1987 (1987-02-24)
293"Dead Heat"Kees Van OostrumStory by: William Rontog
Teleplay by: Maurice Noel
March 3, 1987 (1987-03-03)
304"Why Are You Here?"Chris ThomsonStory by: Christopher Leitch
Teleplay by: Christopher Leitch & L. M. Kit Carson
March 10, 1987 (1987-03-10)
315"Homebodies" Carl Schenkel Story by: Christopher Leitch & Richard Rothstein
Teleplay by: Christopher Leitch
March 17, 1987 (1987-03-17)
326"Doctor's Orders" Reynaldo Villalobos Thomas BaumMarch 24, 1987 (1987-03-24)
337"The Legendary Billy B."Chris ThomsonStory by: Marjorie David
Teleplay by: L. M. Kit Carson
March 31, 1987 (1987-03-31)
348"In the Name of Love" John Laing Story by: Richard Rothstein, Christopher Leitch & Jeremy Lipp
Teleplay by: Jeremy Lipp
April 7, 1987 (1987-04-07)
359"Made for Each Other"Thomas BaumThomas BaumApril 14, 1987 (1987-04-14)
3610"Joker" Colin Bucksey Story by: James Padrino
Teleplay by: William Gray & Robert Reneau
April 21, 1987 (1987-04-21)
3711"Best Shot" John Kent Harrison John HarrisonApril 28, 1987 (1987-04-28)
3812"Secret Ingredient"Colin BuckseyGail GlazeMay 5, 1987 (1987-05-05)
3913"Cabin Fever"Clyde MonroeStory by: April Campbell, Bruce Jones & David Latt
Teleplay by: April Campbell, Bruce Jones & Jon Boorstin
May 12, 1987 (1987-05-12)

Season 5 (1989)

  1. "The Martyr" (1989-04-22)
  2. "In Living Color" (1989-04-29)
  3. "Dark Wishes" (1989-07-01)
  4. "Garter Belt" (1989-07-7)
  5. "Shadow Puppets" (1989-07-08)
  6. "Renaissance" (1989-07-14)
  7. "The Miracle of Alice Ames" (1989-07-15)
  8. "Code Liz" (1989-07-21)
  9. "Her Finest Hour" (1989-07-22)
  10. "Together Forever" (1989-07-28)
  11. "Phantom Zone" (1989-08-04)
  12. "Spinning Wheel" (1989-08-05)
  13. "Square Deal" (1989-08-11)
  14. "Part of Me" (1989-08-12)
  15. "Fashion Exchange" (1989-08-18)
  16. "Hootch" (1989-09-16)
  17. "Coach" (1989-09-30)
  18. "The Verdict" (1989-11-04)
  19. "Hit and Run" (1989-11-10)
  20. "Studio 3X" (1989-11-11)
  21. "Striptease" (1989-11-17)
  22. "The Cruelest Cut" (1989-11-18)
  23. "The Dying Generation" (1989-11-24)
  24. "My Enemy" (1989-11-25)
  25. "Power Play" (1989-12-09)
  26. "Pawns" (1989-12-16)

Season 6 (1990–91)

  1. "Fading Away" (1990-09-21)
  2. "Tough Guys Don't Whine" (1990-09-28)
  3. "Riding the Nightmare" (1990-10-05)
  4. "Strate Shooter" (1990-10-12)
  5. "Hard Rhyme" (1990-10-19)
  6. "Toxic Shock" (1990-10-26)
  7. "New Dawn" (1990-11-02)
  8. "A Function of Control" (1990-11-09)
  9. "Trust Me" (1990-11-16)
  10. "Windows" (1990-11-23)
  11. "Working Girl" (1990-11-30)
  12. "White Slaves" (1990-12-07)
  13. "Tourist Trap" (1990-12-14)
  14. "Homecoming" (1991-01-11)
  15. "Living a Lie" (1991-01-18)
  16. "Made in Paris" (1991-01-25)
  17. "A Whole New You" (1991-02-01)
  18. "Offspring" (1991-02-08)
  19. "Secrets" (1991-02-15)
  20. "New Blood" (1991-02-22)


Like the much earlier Twilight Zone series, with which it had a lot of other commonalities, The Hitchhiker served as starting point for many actors, some of whom would go on to gain greater recognition elsewhere. Notable cast members (in alphabetical order):


In 1995, The Hitchhiker entered syndication and was re-edited (to remove the violence and/or nudity/sexuality that were featured on the HBO runs). The first three episodes had some footage edited and/or re-shot to replace Nicholas Campbell with Page Fletcher, in order to preserve continuity during the syndication runs. The Hitchhiker was syndicated by Rysher Entertainment (since absorbed by CBS Television Distribution) up until 2000.

Home media

HBO Home Video released a three-volume set on DVD between 2004–2006, featuring various episodes from the series. The two-disc, three-volume sets contain a selection of 30 episodes, most from the HBO-produced episodes but also including some that were made for the USA Network. [3] [4] [5]

In Canada, Koch Entertainment (now known as Entertainment One) released Canadian seasons 1 and 3 (which correspond to US Seasons 1-3 and 5, respectively) on DVD in 2004. [6] [7] Canadian Season 2 (US Season 4) was not released due to an ownership/rights situation.

Alliance Home Entertainment released The Hitchhiker: The Complete Collection on DVD in Canada for the very first time on October 11, 2011. [8] The release does not contain all episodes of the series as the title indicates, it only features 30 episodes from various seasons.

Awards and nominations

1987 CableACE Awards NominatedActress in a Dramatic Series Jenny Seagrove (For episode "Killer")
Actress in a Dramatic SeriesKirstie Alley (For episode "Out of the Night")
Actor in a Dramatic Series Michael O'Keefe (For episode "Man's Best Friend")
WonActor in a Dramatic Series Gary Busey (For episode "WGOD")
1999 Gemini Award NominatedBest Sound in a Dramatic Program or SeriesTim Archer, W. Michael Beard, Rick Ellis, Thomas Hidderley, and Anthony Lancett

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  1. "Release Info" at the IMDb. Retrieved 30 August 2015.
  8. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-09-16. Retrieved 2011-08-22.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)