Erich Streater is upset when his wife comes home with her daughter Christie having bought her yet another doll. Christie loves her new Talking Tina doll but her stepfather takes an immediate dislike to it. Anytime he is alone with the doll, it spouts abusive comments to the effect that it hates him and that it's going to kill him. He's convinced that his wife is behind it all, something she vehemently denies. He tries to get rid of the doll but it always seems to reappear - and also seems intent on following through with its threats. Written by
June Foray, the voice of the "Talky Tina" doll, was also the voice of Mattel's "Chatty Cathy" doll, upon which the doll in this episode was based. See more »
When Erich trips over Tina on the stairs and falls down them, she falls a few steps herself to be approximately three-fourths of the way down. but in the next shot of when she continues the fall down to join him at the bottom, she is starting to do so from the very middle of the stairs, some six steps up from where she should have been. See more »
When his wife and stepdaughter bring home a talking doll, Erich Streator (Telly Savalas) takes an instant dislike to the toy -- a sentiment reciprocated and expressed by the doll. Although many of the episodes from the series' final season were clunkers, this one easily ranks with the series' best, mixing a chilling Twilight Zone plot, with extremely well-drawn characters and superb acting.
What raises this above the level of many remakes of the same story (Child's Play, in particular) is the depth of the lead character, whose actions are not motivated by simple hatred, but deeply rooted in his own feelings of inadequacy. As the doll becomes more vehement in its dislike, Savalas' character's actions become more understandable and -- strangely, more sympathetic. In conveying this, Savalas makes no effort to soften his character, having real confidence in the character as developed in Jerry Sohl's (who ghostwrote the script for Charles Beaumont) script. Mary LaRoche is equally up to the task as a woman struggling on the one hand to protect her daughter from emotional cruelty, and desperately trying to understand the man she married on the other.
If you want to see how a horror story can be made without gore and cheap shocks, watch this....
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