UPN - Nowhere Man

The Spider Webb

I suppose that Spider Webb could be considered our "free will" episode (you knew there had to be one). Actually it's a little bit of a few things, but free will is certainly high on the list. There's no doubt that there's a little insider tongue-in-cheek stuff going on in this episode as well. While we're hammering on Tom, we take a few cracks out ourselves.

The idea originated when Joel Surnow, my Supervising Producer, was talking about ways to make Tom feel crazy. One of his thoughts was that Tom awakes to see part of his life being played out on television. I found that too good to resist. It seemed as if there was an entire episode in that idea, not just a few seconds of screen time.

We began to discuss the concept of how to "dishearten" people. What better way to dishearten a person, Tom in this case, than to indicate to them that whatever they do is trite and predicatable. Tom is obviously convinced that if he perserveres he can beat them. Perhaps a demonstration of power would humble and dishearten him. Perhaps showing him that all his moves are known beforehand will knock the wind out of his sails. Maybe he'll begin to appreciate the concept of "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em."

It poses an interesting dilemma for Tom. Tom's drive to find answers and to extricate himself from his problems does, indeed, make him predictable. As Farley Granger suggested in "Strangers on a Train," having a motive creates problems. Given his current status, Tom has a "motive" and because he is driven to find answers, he has, to some degree, become predictable. So how does one deal with that? How can you perservere while "not acting like yourself?" How do you "turn away" from the path that you're on without giving up the fight?

This is the stuff of Spider Webb - with a little "inside" humor thrown in. Richard Kind plays Max Webb. I can assure you that he bears absolutely no relationship to this author. Well, almost -


vidiot at vidiot dot com
Last modified on October 5, 1995