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Adam Grant

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Dennis Weaver as Adam Grant.

Adam Grant is the main protagonist of Shadow Play and its remake episode

1961 episode

Grant is convicted of murder but desperately tries to convince those about to execute him that the world all around them is just his recurring nightmare. The story opens with the jury finding Grant guilty of murder. He laughs uncontrollably and then rants that he refuses to die again. He claims that the district attorney and lawyers are all people he has known in his past who are playing parts in his dream. Speaking to others including his cellmate and the district attorney he points out obvious logical errors accepted as normal by those around him such as the fact his arrest, trial and execution are happening on the same day and the fact the prisoners seem to stereotypically look like what you'd see in a story. The district attorney is persuaded to visit Grant by his friend, a reporter who is questioning reality given the unlikely perfect life that he enjoys. He speaks to Grant but does not believe him. He asks Grant if he cares about dying if it's all a dream. Grant explains that he cannot get a decent night's sleep because he always wakes up screaming. He tells the district attorney to go home and he will find that what he thought was for dinner will be something else. This happens and unnerves the district attorney, who discusses the issue with a friend. The friend reasons that the man's claims constitute reasonable doubt as to his sanity, and that the district attorney should ask the governor to issue a stay of execution. With reservations, he places the call and asks the governor to do so as Grant is being prepared for execution. He tells the reporter that the governor said he would make the necessary phone call. The stay of execution arrives too late, and we discover that Grant was correct: the world was a dream for them and a nightmare for him. Everything vanishes and goes dark. Grant then finds himself in the courtroom being sentenced to death for murder again, with the same people each now in different roles.

1986 episode

Grant is being judged for the crime of murder in the first degree and he is found guilty. After being told that he will be hanged, Grant just sputters and laughs in disbelief. He then walks to the judge and tells him that all this doesn't matter because he is only dreaming it. All of what is happening is only a dream of his. After being returned to his cell, Grant continues telling his dream theory. Of course, his fellow death rowers don't believe what he's saying, even after detailed accounts of how he is executed every night in his dream and yet he still comes back. While Grant is in his cell, the prosecutor, Mr. Ritchie, is at home, pondering the oddity of Grant and his case. His wife attempts to take his mind off it, but then Grant's attorney, Erin Jacobs, shows up. She tries to put into words that Grant may be telling the truth despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary. She claims the odd circumstances have her frantic: she herself feels that she is continually being watched and that she has this feeling that being so successful is too good to be true, like in a dream. Also, Jacobs asks why there was no press in or around the court, despite this being a big murder trial. Ritchie then looks very puzzled. Ritchie shows up at Grant's cell. He claims that Grant is just using this crazy dream theory to try to fool everyone, but he's not fooled, even though Grant can lip-sync everything Ritchie says to him. Grant tries to explain how this has to be a dream. If he is to be executed today, which is the right day for executions—Mondays at 12:01 am—how is it that he was sentenced on a Sunday. What court does business on Sundays? Grant then brings up Ritchie's wife, Carol, who is the only person who never changes—because, in reality, she is Grant's sister. Grant even quotes what Carol said earlier to Ritchie that evening. Ritchie panics and leaves. Back at Ritchie's house, Jacobs asks Carol how long she's been married to Ritchie, but neither he nor his wife can remember. Then the execution begins: a priest visits Grant in his cell. Grant claims that the priest is his real father, who died years ago. Meanwhile, Ritchie frantically tries to get a stay of execution. Just as he thinks the governor is calling, the switch is thrown and Grant drops. But then there is no body, and everyone in the Ritchie house watches everything disappear...as they themselves do. Suddenly, the dark courtroom comes alight with Adam Grant being sentenced for the crime of murder in the first degree...again...only Jacobs is now the judge and Jimmy, one of the other death rowers, is the defense attorney. It's implied that Grant is doomed to repeat the same nightmare forever with the same people always changing parts.

Portrayals

In the 1961 episode, he was portrayed by Dennis Weaver. 

In the 1986 version, he is portrayed by Peter Coyote.

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