Miniature (The Twilight Zone)
|The Twilight Zone episode|
|Directed by||Walter Grauman|
|Written by||Charles Beaumont|
|Featured music||Fred Steiner|
|Original air date||February 21, 1963|
"Miniature" is episode 110 of the American television anthology series The Twilight Zone. It originally aired on February 21, 1963 on CBS. The story centers on a man's obsession with a dollhouse whose figures seem to be alive.
|“||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. He 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). A guard tells him that the doll is not mechanical, but merely carved from a single block of wood, but this does not disillusion Charley.
Charley gradually 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, and because he smashes the glass case of the dollhouse in an attempt to rescue the doll from the abusive male doll. 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 is 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. At the museum, Charley reveals his feelings for the figure and that he relates to her in certain aspects (the woman dealing with an abusive suitor and Charley dealing with his overbearing mother).
The family members, psychiatrist, and museum guards search the museum for Charley 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 has witnessed.
|“||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.||”|
- Robert Duvall as Charley Parkes
- Pert Kelton as Mrs. Parkes
- Barbara Barrie as Myra
- William Windom as Dr. Wallman
- John McLiam as Museum Guard
- Barney Phillips as Diemel
- Claire Griswold as The Doll (Alice)
- Lennie Weinrib as Buddy
- Joan Chambers as Harriet Gunderson
- Chet Stratton as Museum Guide
- Nina Roman as The Maid
- Richard Angarola as The Suitor
- Sally Kellerman as Office Worker
Because of a pending copyright lawsuit over an earlier script that had been submitted with essentially the same concept, 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 then-innovative colorization process.
This episode's sterling reputation derives primarily from Robert Duvall's performance as the lead character Charley. It has been described as "great acting" (TV.com).
- 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 as Bear Manor Media. ISBN 978-1-59393-136-0
- Grams, Martin. (2008). The Twilight Zone as Unlocking the Door to a Television Classic. Churchville, MD as OTR Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9703310-9-0
- Zicree, Marc Scott as 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 as Bear Manor Media. ISBN 978-1-59393-136-0