Amazing Stories Episode 1 – The Cellar – The DVDfever Review – Dylan O’Brien

Amazing Stories Amazing Stories brings the ’80s Steven Spielberg film back to the small screen for the 2020s with five new episodes on Apple TV+, each released on a weekly basis.

The Cellar is the first episode and begins with Sam (Dylan O’Brien The Maze Runner, American Assassin) and his brother, Jake (Micah Stock), who are employed to restore an old house back to its original condition, but it has no power, and the circuit breaker’s likely to be in… the cellar.

The plan is that they’re going to take everything apart that, as Sam refers to, is a “’70s add-on” – basically, taking the house back to its original condition, which means getting into all the old nooks and crannies. As such, he finds an old tin of someone else’s memories, including a picture of a woman who looks familiar to him, even though he’s never seen them before.

But before you can say ‘Quantum Leap‘, Sam has to attend to the breaker, and somehow, he’s transported back 100 years in time, and as for that familiar-looking woman? She’s very much alive. Oh boy…

There’s also elements of Back to the Future in this, as he hangs out with Evelyn, with her wanting to know all about the future (thus, coming across like Elisabeth Shue’s incarnation of Marty McFly’s girlfriend, Jennifer), and there are matchbooks from the era, just like in Back To The Future Part II. In fact, the feeling of Part III also comes into play with the period setting, even though 1919 is around 35 years later than that Michael J Fox movie.

Along the way, Sam learns how he came to go back in time accidentally, and is looking for a way to get back to his own time, which just makes it whiff even more of that trilogy.

So, this first episode is interesting, but draws on way too much that I’ve seen before in order to be something I’d wholeheartedly recommend, or that could be considered fresh and original.

I do wonder that there must be better stories to come in this series with which they could’ve led… unless there isn’t? At this point, I don’t know, because only the first one was available for review.

The Cellar is now on Apple TV+ from today, with new episodes coming weekly.

Amazing Stories – Series Trailer – Apple TV+

Episode 1 Score: 5/10

Director: Chris Long
Producer: Llewellyn Wells, Brian Wankum
Writer: Jessica Sharzer
Developers: Edward Kitsis, Adam Horowitz
Music: Nicholas Pike

Sam Taylor: Dylan O’Brien
Evelyn Porter: Victoria Pedretti
Jake Taylor: Micah Stock
Francesca: Nancy Martin
Grandfather Warren: Brian Matney
Mildred: Michaela Russell
Shopkeeper: Garrett Kruithof
Little Sam: Luke Speakman
Bartender at Speakeasy: O’Bryan Neely
Photographer: Daryn Kahn
Paula Porter: Sasha Alexander