Two related developments were concurrently unfolding in the television world in the mid 1980s. One, Steven Spielberg created “Amazing Stories,” an anthology series (like “Tales From The Crypt,” which would follow it by just a few years) that debuted in the fall of 1985. Two, Martin Scorsese, whose films weren’t doing so wonderfully at the moment, turned his talents to TV (and horror) for the first time in his career. It’s only natural that the two friends’ paths would cross on an episode of “Amazing Stories.”
Scorsese made his small screen debut with the program’s 19th episode, “Mirror Mirror,” which originally aired March 9, 1986. In the half hour episode, written by Joseph Minion, a much younger Sam Waterston plays Jordan Manmouth, a slightly acerbic yet incredibly successful horror novelist who becomes tormented by a mysterious black-robed figure only he can see that inhabits mirrors. Helen Shaver (of the “Poltergeist: The Legacy” TV show), Dick Cavett, and Tim Robbins (as the mysterious figure) all appear in the episode.
The episode is, well, check it out for yourself. It doesn’t have much of a Scorsese stamp on it (the series had a pretty set look and feel to it, which the director couldn’t buck much). That said, Scorsese’s work on the show helped kick-start his faltering career, and he’d turn out both “The Color of Money” and “The Last Temptation of Christ” before the decade ended, then launch into the ’90s with “Goodfellas.”
Watch Martin Scorsese’s first foray into both horror and television below (via The Directors Series). And if you happen to be instantly hooked and want to see all the “Amazing Stories” you can, we have good news for you! “Mirror Mirror” and both seasons of “Amazing Stories” are currently streaming on Netflix.