William Shatner’s A Twist in the Tale – Plot Synopsis: Between Life and Death


William Shatner’s A Twist in the Tale – Plot Synopsis: Between Life and Death



Jamie Irving (12) loves and admires his father – but the two of them are worlds apart. Rick – tough, smart, perfectionist, and very determined – has a glamorous and dangerous job as an investigator working for Customs; he is the quintessential man of action, and does not understand how to deal with his gentle, intellectual son. Jamie feels misunderstood and constantly put down by Rick; when he cannot handle effectively the bullying a timid boy of his age is often subjected to, he feels his father despises him.

But Rick is about to find out that there are times when discretion is certainly the better part of valour. He has stumbled onto information that he may have to pay for with his life. The smooth and debonair Alex Trent – a bigtime businessman, with powerful government contacts – is dealing in nuclear arms: the next shipment is due at any moment. It is a case with frightening international ramifications, and the last person Rick should have chosen to confide in is his boss …


For Marsh is working for Trent himself – and Rick is taken hostage, interrogated, and then thrown into the harbour, more dead than alive. It seems incredible to Jamie that his larger-than-life father could be vulnerable in any way – but an even bigger shock is in store for him …

For Rick appears to him as he plays in the garden, and tells Jamie he desperately needs his help. But how can this be, when Rick is lying comatose in Intensive Care? – Rick’s spirit has “dissociated” from his body, and Jamie is the only one who can see him. It may be the first time Jamie has had his father’s undivided attention in his life …
Rick and Jamie’s first attempts to alert the police to what has really happened to Rick, and what he risked his life to defeat, are foiled at every turn. Rick knows he will need hard evidence to convince anyone of what seems an outrageously far-fetched scenario – that a highly respected businessman and a senior inspector are working together to supply arms to terrorists.

During his interrogation he had noticed surveillance cameras all through Trent’s hideaway, recording the every move of its inhabitants. Perhaps his own security measures could be turned against the villainous Trent – if Rick and Jamie could only get the tape showing Trent giving the order to have Rick killed to the police … But between Rick’s impatience and Jamie’s timidity, none of their carefully-laid plans come to fruition.

The turncoat Marsh – who is still presenting the plausible face of the caring boss to the world – is, like Jamie’s mother Jean, puzzled by Jamie’s peculiar behaviour, and the “fantasies” he is having about what happened to his father … But unlike Jean, Marsh knows how close these so-called fantasies come to the truth. And time is running out …


Rick for the first time understands he will not be able to achieve his object without figuring out a way to work as a team with his son. Both sets of unique and specialised skills – Jamie’s quick mind and technical expertise; Rick’s strength, decisiveness and courage – must play a part if their plan is to succeed.

Jamie – guided and directed by Rick – manages to infiltrate Trent’s centre of operations and acquire the incriminating tape. He is immediately pursued – but Rick cannot stay with him: his time is up – if his spirit does not go return to his body he will probably die. Jamie bravely insists his father leave him to fight the rest of the battle alone. In demanding respect for his own strengths, Jamie discovers he is braver and more resourceful than he knew – and in that, he is truly his father’s son.