Little Girl Lost (The Twilight Zone)

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"Little Girl Lost"
The Twilight Zone episode
Episode no. Season 3
Episode 26
Directed by Paul Stewart
Written by Richard Matheson from his short story published in The Shores of Space (1953)
Featured music Original score by Bernard Herrmann
Production code 4828
Original air date March 16, 1962
Guest appearance(s)

Robert Sampson: Chris Miller
Sarah Marshall: Ruth Miller
Tracy Stratford: Tina Miller
Rhoda Williams: Tina's voice
Charles Aidman: Bill

Episode chronology
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"The Fugitive"
Next →
"Person or Persons Unknown"
List of season 3 episodes
List of Twilight Zone episodes

"Little Girl Lost" is episode 91 of the American television anthology series The Twilight Zone. It is about a young girl who has accidentally passed through an opening into another dimension. Her parents and their friend attempt to locate and retrieve her.

Opening narration[edit]

Plot[edit]

A married couple, Chris and Ruth Miller, are awakened by the whimpering of their little daughter, Tina. Chris goes to see what the trouble is. Their dog, Mack, begins to bark from the backyard. Chris cannot find Tina either in or under the bed, even though her pleas for help are clearly coming from that area. He calls Ruth into the room, and she is similarly mystified. Chris phones his physicist friend, Bill, for help, and opens the door to let the incessantly barking Mack into the house. The dog runs under the bed and disappears, but can still be heard barking.

Bill arrives and helps Chris move the bed so that he can physically scan the area where it was, marking the legs with books. When this proves fruitless, Bill examines the wall behind the bed. He touches the wall and finds an invisible portal to another dimension, and draws marks on the wall outlining the apparent boundary. He explains to Chris and Ruth that sometimes lines in our three dimensions end parallel with, rather than perpendicular to, the fourth dimension. He warns them that if they follow Tina into the fourth dimension, they will only become hopelessly lost as well, since it is not laid out like the third dimension.

Chris calls to Mack to guide Tina back. Mack leads Tina to the source of Chris's voice, but they still cannot find the entrance. Despite Bill's warnings, Chris reaches into the portal and falls into the fourth dimension. Having lived his life in only three dimensions, to him the fourth dimension seems distorted, turning upside down and sideways. Bill advises him to not move. Chris sees Tina and Mack and calls them towards him. Bill calls for him to hurry. When Tina and Mack close in on Chris, Bill grabs them and pulls them back into the bedroom. Ruth takes Tina to another room.

Bill explains that Chris was only halfway through the portal, despite Chris' perception that he was standing up in the new dimension. Bill was in fact holding onto Chris the entire time. He was telling Chris to hurry because the portal was closing. Bill knocks on the wall, and it is solid. The portal has closed. Bill tells Chris, "Another few seconds, and half of you would have been here, and the other half.........."

Closing narration[edit]

Production notes[edit]

The opening is slightly altered beginning with this episode. The graphics and words are the same, but there are subtle differences in the acoustics for the theme music.

Matheson wrote the short story based on a real-life incident involving his young daughter, who fell off her bed while asleep and rolled against a wall. Despite hearing her daughter's cries for help, Matheson's wife was initially unable to locate her daughter.

The voice of Tina in the alternate dimension was played by voice actor Rhoda Williams, who was then 32 years old. During the opening narration the outline to the fourth dimension is behind Rod Serling, indicating that the opening narration was filmed last.

Critical reception[edit]

Literary scholar Camille Paglia calls "Little Girl Lost" the "first great script" of The Twilight Zone in Sexual Personae (1990).[1]

References in other media[edit]

"Little Girl Lost" was parodied in "Homer3", a segment of "Treehouse of Horror VI", an episode from the seventh season of The Simpsons. In the episode, the two-dimensional characters attempt to retrieve Homer from the third dimension. Homer likens the entrance to the third dimension to "something out of that twilighty show about that zone".

An area of the queue for the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror theme park attractions in California and Paris uses subtle effects to simulate air currents coming out of a solid wall, as well as playing a subtle recording of the little girl's dialogue at intervals. In the exit area of the Florida version of the attraction, there is an area of the wall outlined in chalk, exactly like the portal in the episode.

Theoretical basis[edit]

The hole into the other dimension is an example of a "Riemannian cut",[2] which is a type of wormhole formed when two spaces join at the same set of points.

Music[edit]

Bernard Herrmann's score for the episode is written for an unusual chamber ensemble of four flutes (doubling on piccolos, and alto and bass flutes), four harps, percussion (one player, utilizing tambourine, tam-tams, and vibraphone), and viola d'amore. It has been performed as a concert suite by the San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sexual Personae, Yale University Press, 1990, p. 344
  2. ^ Kaku, Michio, Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps and the 10th Dimension Oxford University Press, 1994, ISBN 0-19-508514-0 p.42

Sources[edit]

  • 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

External links[edit]