Miniature (The Twilight Zone)
|The Twilight Zone episode|
|Episode no.||Season 4
|Directed by||Walter Grauman|
|Written by||Charles Beaumont|
|Featured music||Fred Steiner|
|Original air date||February 21, 1963|
Robert Duvall: Charley Parkes
Mr. Serling's Opening Narration
|“||To the average person, a museum is a place of knowledge, a place of beauty and truth and wonder. Some people come to study, others to contemplate, others to look for the sheer joy of looking. Charley Parkes has his own reasons. He comes to the museum to get away from the world. It isn't really the sixty-cent cafeteria meal that has drawn him here every day, it's the fact that here in these strange, cool halls he can be alone for a little while, really and truly alone. Anyway, that's how it was before he got lost and wandered into the Twilight Zone.||”|
Charley Parkes thinks he sees a figure in a museum dollhouse that comes alive. Charley returns to the museum numerous times and gazes into the dollhouse. He keeps coming back and sees the doll in the house become animated (portrayed by a human actress).
Charley falls in love with the figure, a woman who is in an abusive relationship with a male figure in the dollhouse. There is also a female housekeeper in the dollhouse. Charley is committed to a psychiatric hospital because of his belief that the figures in the dollhouse are alive. He eventually is "rehabilitated", after some resistance, by pretending to be disabused of the delusion, and is returned to the care of his mother.
On the evening of his return home, his mother, sister, brother-in-law and a friend of his sister (who's interested in dating him) plan to celebrate his release with him, but discover that he has escaped from the house. They contact the psychiatrist who treated Charley in the hospital and surmise that he has returned to the museum and the dollhouse.
The family members, psychiatrist and museum guards search the museum but find nothing. Except for one guard, who glances into the dollhouse and sees Charley, now a miniature figure, finally together with his love in the dollhouse, sharing a stereoscope. Smiling, the guard decides to never reveal what he's witnessed.
Mr. Serling's Closing Narration
|“||They never found Charley Parkes, because the guard didn't tell them what he saw in the glass case. He knew what they'd say, and he knew they'd be right, too, because seeing is not always believing, especially if what you see happens to be an odd corner of the Twilight Zone.||”|
Because of a lawsuit, this episode was not included in the syndication package for The Twilight Zone. It was finally re-aired in 1984 as part of The Twilight Zone Silver Anniversary Special. For this showing, the dollhouse scenes were colorized in an early public demonstration of the process. .
This episode's reputation derives primarily from Robert Duvall's performance. It has been described as an "absolute tour-de-force" (IMDb.com); "a tour-de-force of underplaying" (Amazon.com); and "great acting" (TV.com). See the External Links below.
- Holden, Stephen (October 19, 1984). "Silver Anniversary for 'The Twilight Zone'". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Archived from the original on January 1, 2013. Retrieved January 1, 2013.
- DeVoe, Bill. (2008). Trivia from The Twilight Zone. Albany, GA: Bear Manor Media. ISBN 978-1-59393-136-0
- Grams, Martin. (2008). The Twilight Zone: Unlocking the Door to a Television Classic. Churchville, MD: OTR Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9703310-9-0
- Zicree, Marc Scott: The Twilight Zone Companion. Sillman-James Press, 1982 (second edition). ISBN 1-879505-09-6
- *DeVoe, Bill. (2008). Trivia from The Twilight Zone. Albany, GA: Bear Manor Media. ISBN 978-1-59393-136-0
- "Miniature" at the Internet Movie Database
- TV.com episode page
- IMDb.com user comments
- Amazon.com reviews
- TV.com summary