Summary of "The Twilight Zone - Living Doll"

by Paul Travers Google

"The Twilight Zone" was an American TV series created by screenwriter, novelist and producer Rod Serling, who also delivered the famous monologues that opened and closed each episode of the original series. "Living Doll" was an episode in the fifth season that first aired on Nov. 1, 1963. It starred Telly Savalas and centered around an evil doll named Talky Tina.

Cast

Telly Savalas, who would go on to star in the WWII movie "The Dirty Dozen" and find worldwide fame as the titular detective in "Kojak," plays Erich Streator. Mary LaRoche plays his wife, Annabelle, and Tracy Stratford plays his stepdaughter, Christie. June Foray provides the voice for the doll, Talky Tina.

Trivia

June Foray, who provided the voice of Talky Tina, was also the voice of Mattel's "Chatty Cathy" doll, upon which Talky Tina was based, according to the Internet Movie Database. The episode was parodied in a "Treehouse of Horror" episode of "The Simpsons." In a segment titled "Clown Without Pity," Homer buys Bart a talking Krusty the Clown doll that subsequently tries to kill Homer.

Plot

Erich Streator is furious to discover that Annabelle has bought an expensive doll for her daughter (and Erich's stepdaughter), Christie. Talky Tina seems to speak directly to Erich whenever his family is out of earshot, and his anger gradually turns to fear as he comes to realize that the doll is sentient and intends to kill him. He attempts to destroy the doll first, but failing to do so, he confines it to a trash can instead. Annabelle persuades Erich, against his better judgment, to retrieve the doll and that he needs to see a psychiatrist. Later that night he hears sounds outside the bedroom door and, going out to investigate, he trips over the doll and falls down the stairs to his death. As Annabelle screams and runs downstairs to her husband, she pauses to pick up the doll, who tells her: "My name is Talky Tina...and you better be nice to me!"

Twilight Zone Narration

Series creator Rod Serling provides the opening and closing narration. The opening monologue runs: "Talky Tina, a doll that does everything, a lifelike creation of plastic and springs and painted smile. To Erich Streator, she is a most unwelcome addition to his household, but without her he'd never enter the Twilight Zone." The closing monologue is: "Of course, we all know dolls can't really talk, and they certainly can't commit murder. But to a child caught in the middle of turmoil and conflict, a doll can become many things: friend, defender, guardian. Especially a doll like Talky Tina, who did talk and did commit murder, in the misty region of the Twilight Zone."