The Twilight Zone Inspiration: Living Doll

                                            

The Twilight Zone's 126th episode called Living Doll first aired on November 1, 1963. Despite it not being viewed as a typical horror episode, to me the story of a doll coming to life to reak havoc on unsuspecting people is pretty terrifying to me. So although The Masks is usually seen as the perfect Halloween episode, I think that The Twilight Zone offers an array of spooky episodes.

Living Doll stars Telly Savalas, Mary LaRoche, and Tracy Stratford. A single mother named Annabelle (LaRoche) has recently married a man named Erich (Savalas) who cannot have children. Erich takes out his daily frustrations on Annabelle's young daughter named Christie (Stratford). The trouble really starts when one day Annabelle buys Christie a doll called "Talky Tina" in order to cheer her up. Much to Erich's surprise the doll starts saying things to him like, "I don't like you" instead of her usual programmed sayings. 

Erich starts blaming Christie and then Annabelle on what the creepy doll is saying. What he doesn't realize is that this doll is more than alive, it's evil. Erich keeps getting threatened by the doll and in the end pays the ultimate price for his poor behavior as a parent. Is this episode about the dangers of poor parenting or a reminder than innocence should be protected at all costs? What can we learn from this episode is that we should always treat children with kindness and don't mess with dolls that talk back to you.

Rod Serling ends the episode by saying, "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."







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