Billy Bayles loves his Grandma Bayles and likes the present she's given him, a toy telephone which she says will allow them to communicate forever. Grandma Bayles is ill however and soon dies but Billy claims he can speak to her on their special telephone. When he tells his parents that she wants him to join her, wherever she's gone to, they pay no mind. When he throws himself in front of their neighbor's car however, it all gets deadly serious. Written by
A toy telephone, an act of faith, a set of improbable circumstances, all combine to probe a mystery, to fathom a depth, to send a facet of light into a dark after-region, to be believed or disbelieved, depending on your frame of reference. A fact or a fantasy, a substance or a shadow - but all of it very much a part of The Twilight Zone.
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I saw this when it first appeared back in the early '60s and it had the entire family riveted to the set. Back in those days, there weren't any doom-ridden voice-overs with the endless (and sometimes pointless) morals that inevitably followed. It was a beautifully thought-out episode with three-dimensional characters and their unexpected interactions, The grandmother who gave her grandson the toy phone was unlikeable to begin with, selfish and completely wrapped up in herself. The father had all the answers, none of them right and the wife was quite upset, of course. I particularly enjoyed the part where she grabs the phone from her son and thinks she might have heard something from the other side... The ending could have benefited from some tidying up, perhaps and something less histrionic but please remember I'm recalling something from a long time back. I haven't seen it since. That's precisely how affecting it was!
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