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
According to The Twilight Zone Companion, this episode was written in one day by Jerry Sohl, even though credit was given entirely to Charles Beaumont. See more »
When Eric is trying to burn the doll with the blowtorch and the flame keeps going out, in the wide shots, you can see his fingers release from the trigger every time the flame goes out. See more »
[winds doll and she moves back and forth]
My name is Talky Tina, and I think I could even hate you.
[Erich looks at the doll and then flings her across the room; Tina lands on her back and Erich looks at the doll from where he stands. Tina then opens her eyes]
My name is Talky Tina, and you'll be sorry.
[Erich looks from the doll to Annabelle, who comes down the stairs and her eyes shift to Tina, obviously thrown on the floor. She backs up a bit, holding onto the stair rail]
I don't ...
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The main thing to note about this episode is that Erich (Telly Savalas) is quite obviously an abuser, even though the extent of his abuse is likely understated because of the sensitivity of the subject at the time. One sees that his wife and stepdaughter live in terror of him, yet also are too fearful of what he may do to try to leave him or tell anyone else. As such, Talking Tina is not just an evil doll like Chucky, but the only hope for escape that this mother and daughter have. Talking Tina sees Erich for the abuser that he is and is not afraid of him, and realizing this, he sets out to destroy her.
The one thing that disappoints me is the ending, which seems a bit rushed and could have been handled more dramatically. (I have an idea for a different ending with the same basic result, but I'll hold it for now). I feel that the writers chickened out a little there. For overall effect, however, this is one of the true classics of the original Twilight Zone.
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