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The Series:
An Overview
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What is
The Hitchhiker?

The Hitchhiker Series - An Overview

Page FletcherWhen The Hitchhiker, HBO's first dramatic series, debuted in 1984, the show was not only at the forefront of original programming for cable, but also helped establish the standards of excellence for such programming. The series also helped establish the acceptance of cable programming as an avenue for top film and television talents, and continued to be one of HBO's most popular original dramatic series.

The Hitchhiker is a half-hour dramatic anthology series presenting modern morality tales with contemporary players. In 85 chilling stories, men and women struggle with the best and worst in themselves, battling with - and all too often succumbing to - their deepest lusts, obsessions and fears.

The Hitchhiker won eight ACE Awards and became the highest-ranking series on pay television. With powerful and controversial adult productions, The Hitchhiker presents sophisticated tales of terror and suspense, infusing them with stunning film-noir production values and movie-marquee talent.

These compelling mini-features attracted an impressive, international roster of film talent, both in front of and behind the camera, resulting in tremendous popularity and critical acclaim. In its ten years, The Hitchhiker attracted the talents of directors and actors, including Paul Verhoeven, Philip Noyce, Daniel Vigne, Willem Dafoe, Kirstie Alley, Page Fletcher, Peter Coyote, Virginia Madsen, Gary Busey, Ken Olin, Micheal O'Keefe and Elliot Gould, and has brought feature film production values to television.


KURT HOFFMAN (Klaus Kinski) is a pompous composer/conductor. Consumed with his passion for music, he neglects his wife VERONICA'S (Belinda Bauer) needs and desires. While working on Kurt's computer, ERIC DUNLAP (Steve Shellen) grows fond of Veronica. When Kurt catches Veronica and Eric having an affair, he kills the both of them, but it is the computer that ends up exacting the lovers' revenge on Kurt.

Guest Stars: Klaus Kinski, Belinda Bauer, and Steve Shellen
Director: David Wickes


Attorney TED MILLER's (David Dukes) world falls apart when his old friend and lover MELODY (Susan Blakely) shows up at his door looking for a place to stay and he mistakenly turns her down.

Guest Stars: David Dukes, Alberta Watson, and Susan Blakely
Director: Christopher Leitch

Robert VaughnEPISODE 3

DR. CHRISTOPHER HAMILTON (Robert Vaughn), an ambitious and pompous plastic surgeon, meets his challenge in NINA RUSSELL (Sonya Smits), a patient in the process of a gender change. He shows up to surgery the next day unprepared and he completely botches up the procedure.

Guest Stars: Robert Vaughn and Sonya Smits
Director: David Wickes


TODD FIELDS (Stephen Collins) is a married high school photography teacher. One of his students, ROSEANNE LUCAS (Roberta Weiss) develops a mad and obsessive crush on him. When Todd steps over the line and sleeps with her, he finds more than he ever bargained for.

Guest Stars: Stephen Collins and Roberta Weiss
Director: Mai Zetterlin


MICKEY (Stephen Railsback) is a con artist only willing to commit to one way of thinking: making the quick buck. In exchange for his life, Mickey is willing to sell his soul by giving PEARL (Marie Laurin), his girlfriend, away to drug lord, JOEY STREGGA (John Calicos). What Micky doesn't realize is that he will have to pay for selling off part of his soul.

Guest Stars: Stephen Railsback, Marie Laurin, and John Calicos
Director: Christopher Leitch


JACK RHODES is a salesman that attempts to wear many disguises to get what he wants: women. One day, he gets a video letter from a mysterious video-artist, MONIQUE (Shannon Tweed), who challenges him to meet her. She plays him like a fiddle and takes advantage of him. Now the tables are turned and Jeff can't escape, not even with his life.

Guest Stars: Shannon Tweed
Director: Richard Rothstein


RAE BRIDGEMAN (Kim Lankferd) is caught up in a love triangle with her husband LEW (Bo Hopkins) and his best friend JOE (Stephen McHattie). Lew finds out about their affair and decides on a late night hunting trip for all three of them. Instead of killing Joe, he accidentally kills Rae. In a panic, they drive away from the scene only to find themselves in a deadly accident.

Guest Stars: Kim Lankferd, Bo Hopkins, and Stephen McHattie
Director: David Wickes


An ex-drug addicted screenwriter ARTHUR BROWN (Edward Albert) steals the life and words of DIANE HAMPTON (Penelope Milford). Diane is struggling to maintain her marriage with her abusive jealous husband JOHN (Michael Madsen) and to keep the affair with her female lover CATHRINE (Belinda Montgomery) a secret. Arthur tips John off about Diane's affair and soon finds himself the target of John's anger.

Guest Stars: Edward Albert, Penelope Milford, Michael Madsen, and Belinda Montgomery
Director: Christopher Leitch


KAY MASON (Karen Black) is an abusive owner of a dressmaking sweatshop. One day she is cursed by an angry worker who exclaims that she will be paid back by the devil for her actions. When Kay hires a mysterious stranger (Fernando Allende) to do some odd jobs around the house, she doesn't realize that she has hired a devil in disguise.

Guest Stars: Karen Black, Donnelly Rhodes and Fernando Allende
Director: Mai Zetterlin


DR. PETER MILNE (Franco Nero), an unethical psychiatrist, abuses his position to manipulate a female patient (Renee Soutendijk). His mind-bending medical practices only intensify her psychosis as she can no longer distinguish reality from dream. When he finally has her act out her dreams, Dr. Peter Milne finds himself the victim of her murderous feelings.

Guest Stars: Franco Nero and Renee Soutendijk
Director: Mai Zetterlmg


JANE REYNOLDS (Margot Kidder) is a nurse at a retirement home where she steals the residents' valuables, which her boyfriend, JOHNNY (Stephen McHattie), hocks. When an old man is brought in, Jane attempts to drug the old man but he catches her, slits her throat and drinks her blood. The next day, the old man stands at a newsstand looking younger and more alive.

Guest Stars: Margot Kidder, Steplen McHattie, and Darren McGavin
Director: Philip Noyce


PETER (Ricky Paul Goldin) is a reckless kid who takes refuge in a strange hotel where he meets a magician named ANGELICA (Kirstie Alley). Strange events ensue until Peter finds himself having to fight for his life. Suddenly, Peter awakes to find himself on the operating table as doctors try to save his life after his suicide attempt.

Guest Stars: Ricky Paul Goldin, and Kirstie Alley
Director: Brian Grant

Jenny SeagroveEPISODE 13

MEG (Jenny Seagrove) is a paraplegic who is ignored by her family. When she finds everyone but her brother, JONATHAN (Patrick Houser), dead she assumes he killed them. While trying to figure out who is responsible, what she remembers is not what she expected.

Guest Stars: Jenny Seagrove and Patrick Houser
Director: Carl Sclenkel


REVEREND NOLAN POWERS (Gary Busey) is a money hungry radio evangelist preaching on the air waves about the bible. 0ff the air, he's a self-righteous greedy man. A tabloid news reporter, SATO (Robert Ito), digs up the story about how the Reverend killed his brother, Gerald. Gerald's ghost comes back to haunt the Reverend, ruin his career and pay him back for causing his death.

Guest Stars: Gary Busey and Robert Ito
Director: Michael Hodges


RICHARD SHEPARD (Michael O'Keefe) is kicked out of his house by his wife ELEANOR (Jennifer Cooke). He takes in a stray dog that begins killing off Richard's enemies. When the dog goes for Eleanor, Richard tries to keep the dog from killing the woman he loves.

Guest Stars: Michael O'Keefe and Joel Polis
Director: Philip Noyce

DaFoe, Haddon, BostwickEPISODE 16

JEFFREY HUNT (Willem DaFoe) will resort to anything to create a lucrative career as a novelist, even if it means faking his own death. His wife DEBBY (Dayle Haddon) believes he is dead and continues her affair with TONY (Barry Bostwick), Jeffrey's editor. By the end, everyone must pay for their own deceptions.

Guest Stars: Willem DaFoe, Dayle Haddon, and Barry Bostwick
Director: Carl Schenkel


RAT (Sandra Bernhard) witnesses a group murder among feuding drug dealers, steals the drugs from the dead bodies and leaves the scene of the crime. THE WISE MAN (Michael Des Barres) and THE FOOL (Dennis Buckley) find her laying dead and take the package of cocaine. Unbeknownst to all of them, MR. BIG (Gene Simmons), the original owner, sends his henchmen out to retrieve it at any cost.

Guest Stars: Sandra Bernhard, Michael Des Barres, Dennis Buckley, and Gene Simmons
Director: Richard Rothstein


CLAUDIA (Susan Anspach) now a famous novelist, returns home for her high school reunion and opens old wounds in LEE (Michael Ironside), the sheriff. Claudia finds out that LANCE (Michael Schoeffling), her town-appointed escort, is really the son of a former high school boyfriend who blames her for his father's death. Fighting over her, Lance and Lee replay the fateful event that killed Lance's father, but this time, it is the sheriff who loses his life to Dead Man's Curve.

Guest stars: Susan Anspach, Michael Ironside, and Michael Schoeffling
Director: Roger Vadim

Harry HamlinEPISODE 19

JERRY MACLACHLAN (Harry Hamlin) is the owner of a rundown apartment building who promises SERITA (Beah Richards), a tenant, that he will make repairs to the building. After he becomes involved with a strange woman TANYA (Deborah Lacey), he discovers a snake tattoo on his body. Both Serita and Tanya tell him how to get rid of the snake. He realizes that the two women are the same person.

Guest Stars: Harry Hamlin, Beah Richards, and Deborah Lacey
Director: Philip Noyce


A non-believer in the supernatural, DETECTIVE FRANK SHEEN (Tom Skerritt), must investigate a priest's s suspicious suicide. He questions FATHER DOWLING (Walter Learning) who explains that the convent is demonically possessed. Unbeknownst to the detective, the site used to be a convent that closed down when SISTER THERESA (Ornella Muti) committed suicide. After one night in the place, he begins to hallucinate and soon begins having his own suicidal feelings.

Guest stars: Tom Skerritt, Walter Learning, and Ornella Muti
Director: Carl Schenkel


ALEX (Peter Coyote), a former actor, tries to prove his abilities as a first-time director. In his first film he must deal with a first-time actress, LEDA BIDELL (LaGena Hart). When Leda realizes his scheme, she enacts the last scene with him in reality and instills in him a fear that haunts him for the rest of his life.

Guest Stars: Peter Coyote and LaGena Hart
Director: Paul Verhoeven


MIRANDA (Lisa Blount) and SEAN (John Cavell) are two desperate songwriters trying to make a career in the record business. When a record executive, ROBBIE SHARMAN (Keith Gordey) shows interest in one of their songs, they think they are on their way. Miranda becomes a ruthless businesswoman and must face the alter ego she has created for the video.

Guest Stars: Lisa Blount, John Cavell, and Keith Gordey
Director: Brian Grant


JILL McGUINESS (Marilyn Hassett) is a lonely daydreaming bank officer who constantly fantasizes about her dream lover. When she dreams about murders and finds that they actually happened, she is unable to distinguish dream from reality. When she finally meets Mr. Right, JIM (Anthony Hamilton), she snaps out of her dream world and catches him.

Guest Stars: Anthony Hamilton and Marilyn Hassett
Director: Philip Noyce

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