"Chameleon" is the third and final segment of the second episode of the first season (1985–86) of the television series The New Twilight Zone. It was directed by Wes Craven.


A United States space shuttle orbits the Earth. The shuttle TV camera starts to malfunction, and the astronauts on board cannot get it to work or follow any orders, so it is shut off. Back on Earth, two technicians are working on the shuttle after it has landed. One of them, Crew Chief Simmons, detaches the camera, about the size of a large shoebox, to take it to be repaired. He picks it up, a blue light flashes, and he suddenly disappears. The box falls to the ground, and the other technician calls for an emergency alert. The box is put in an isolation chamber. As the scientists are discussing what could possibly have happened to the technician, there is a bright flash in the isolation chamber, and suddenly Simmons is back again, but the box is gone. He asks to be let out, and gets quite angry about the situation, but the scientists do not know what to think. They review the tape of the box changing into the man, but are stumped. Simmons tells them his name, ID number, and everything personal they ask, but they don't trust him. He tells them he has to get out, and when they ask why, Simmons disappears in another flash of light and a woman stands in his place, begging them to let her out. One of the people says that it is Simmons' wife, Kathy, and they realize that the creature can assimilate memories and change its organic structure at will. When Kathy begs them to let her husband go, one of the scientists asks her where her husband is, since she is alone in the isolation tank. Caught in a mis-step in judgment, the creature gets flustered and looks around, trying to cover up its mistake. The blue light flashes again, and Simmons reappears; he starts breaking things inside the isolation tank, until the scientists pipe in sleeping gas. He slumps to the floor, but after one of the doctors goes in, he gets up, takes the doctor's hand, and they both disappear in a flash of blue light. In their place, sits a nuclear bomb. The people on the outside remember, too late, that Dr. Heilman was once a bomb expert for the U.S. nuclear team. Dr. Curt Lockridge goes in and tries to reason with the creature, saying that it will probably survive the explosion, but the people in the complex will not. When the timer reaches zero, Heilman appears again and runs out through the open door. Curt runs after him, catching up to him at a launch platform, and begs the creature to let the doctor and Simmons go; the creature says that they are not prisoners, but stay because of a thirst for knowledge. The creature asks Curt to come with them, join them in the adventure, but Curt cannot find the courage. Curt then asks why the creature came to earth; "Just curious", it replies, before changing into a glowing gaseous cloud and flying away into the night sky... Closing narration[edit]

Closing Narration

“Imagine yourself a visitor to many worlds, drifting on the solar wind, a thousand voices singing in your memory. Now imagine you're this man, who can only guess at the wonders he might have known, wonders that exist for him now only as a riddle... from The Twilight Zone."

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