Tales from the Darkside (1983–1988)
15 user

The New Man 

A reformed alcoholic is visited by his young son; but he doesn't have any children.


Frank De Palma


Mark Durand (teleplay), Barbara Owens (short story)


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Episode credited cast:
Vic Tayback ... Alan Coombs
Chris Hebert ... Jerry
Kelly Jean Peters ... Sharon Coombs
Paul Jenkins ... Brad Johnson
Billy Jayne ... Petey Coombs (as Billy Jacoby)
Jon Jacobs Jon Jacobs ... Roger
Paul Sparer Paul Sparer ... Narrator (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Patrick Macnee ... Himself - Host (only UK version)


A reformed alcoholic is visited by his young son; but he doesn't have any children.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis



Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

30 September 1984 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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. See more »


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

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User Reviews

Hardly a great start
29 March 2015 | by Leofwine_dracaSee all my reviews

THE NEW MAN was the first 'proper' episode of the TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE TV series, following on from a test pilot a year earlier. And it's certainly a rather tame and uninteresting beginning for the show; if the series had continued on this level I doubt anybody would have watched it.

The film tells of a stressed-out businessman (is there any other type?) who receives a shock to the system when a boy turns up at his business, claiming to be his son. The only problem is that this guy has no recollection of having a kid; he's got a wife and kid at home but this lad is a complete stranger. Plenty of strangeness ensues, topped off by a twist ending.

While the production values for THE NEW MAN are acceptable, it's the story here which just isn't very interesting. The acting is adequate and I appreciated the sinister twist at the climax, but the preceding story is rather dull and the lack of explanation makes it a frustrating viewing experience.

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