The orphaned daughter of telepathic parents must learn to speak and deal with a world she cannot communicate in.



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Episode complete credited cast:
Cora Wheeler
Harry Wheeler
Irene Dailey ...
Miss Frank
Ilse (as Ann Jilliann)
Éva Szörényi ...
Frau Werner (as Eva Soreny)
Robert Boon ...
Holger Nielsen
Claudia Bryar ...
Frau Nielsen
Tom Poulter
Karl Werner (as Oscar Beregi)


Sometime after World War II, a small group of people make a pact to develop their telepathic abilities as a means of communicating, foregoing any type of oral communication. One couple, the Nielsens, announce that they are migrating to a small town in the USA, German Corners, Pa. After a tragic fire at their house 10 years later, Sheriff Harry Wheeler and his wife Cora take in the only survivor, the now orphaned Ilsa Nielsen. The young girl has never learned to speak, always using telepathy to communicate with her parents. They don't quite understand why Ilsa won't speak to them and Cora sees her as a replacement for the daughter she lost in an accident some years ago. When they enroll Ilsa in school, her teacher is determined to make her act like all the other children. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

31 January 1963 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The main street that Ilsa runs across is the same one used in the elisode "I sing the body electric." See more »


Narrator: [Closing Narration] It has been noted in a book of proven wisdom that perfect love casteth out fear. While it's unlikely that this observation was meant to include that specific fear which follows the loss of extrasensory perception, the principle remains, as always, beautifully intact. Case in point, that of Isle Nielsen, former resident of The Twilight Zone.
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User Reviews

Interesting but Uneven
13 February 2017 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

Ace performance from little Ann Jillian that almost puts this 60-minutes over. The entry's concept of substituting telepathy for speaking is an interesting one. Unfortunately, the dynamics are muddied in development. It seems the telepathy taught to little Ilse must proceed in a language, English or German, yet she seems flummoxed by spoken words of any kind. Maybe I missed something, but the details of her acquired incapacity appear unclear in important respects. Adapting a concept of this type to an hour's dramatic format without lengthy exposition may be the underlying problem, even for such a skilled writer as Matheson.

Nonetheless, the acting's first-rate, especially from Jillian whose suffering can register only through facial expressions, which she does in controlled, non-sticky fashion. Ironically, it's hard to know just what therapeutic direction would help. It's certainly not that of the lock- step demanding teacher (Dailey). As a result, I ached along with her. Still, that Hollywood ending may have relieved audiences, but it's spread on pretty thickly, and amounts to a divergence from the TZ norm.

All in all, it's an interesting, if uneven, entry, salvaged in no small part by an excellent cast. (In passing—good to see the familiar face of the gnomish little Percy Helton picking up a payday.)

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