"Living Doll" is an episode of the The Twilight Zone.
From the CBS Video Library cover:
"Dolls are nothing more than plastic, nylon and pretty painted smiles. Or so Erich Streator thinks until his wife brings home an expensive chatting doll for his stepdaughter. His annoyance at the high price tag turns to horror when "Talky Tina," the doll, announces to Erich that she hates him—over and over. Pushed to the brink, Erich becomes convinced that "Talky Tina" is out to get him. After Tina escapes Streator's first attempt at her destruction, she phones Streator, issuing a frightening death threat. Is Streator insane or is this horror real? Keep in mind...dolls are just frilly little toys for kids. They can't threaten people or commit murder...or can they?"
"Talky Tina, the doll that does everything, a lifelike creation of plastic springs and painted smile. To Erich Streator, she is the most unwelcome addition to his household, but without her, he'd never enter The Twilight Zone."
On Christie Streator's birthday, she has being eying the new doll that does 'everything': Talky Tina. Her mother charges her and her husband's account to buy the doll and Christie is thrilled. She shows her father at home, and he becomes very angry saying Christie doesn't need another doll. When Christie turns the lever one time, her father angrily states "Would you shut that thing off!", leaving Christie to run upstairs sadly leaving Talky Tina behind. Annabelle runs after her, disparaging Erich's remarks. Erich picks up the doll and turns the lever, which instead of stating "My name is Talky Tina, and I love you very much.", she says "My name is Talky Tina, and I don't like you.". Turning the lever one more time to be sure, she says this time "My name is Talky Tina, and I think I could even hate you.". After hearing this, Erich throws the doll against the wall, and she states "My name is Talky Tina, and you'll be sorry.". Seconds later, Annabelle comes downstairs saying he shouldn't have thrown the doll. He tells her of what she said, and pulls the lever, only to hear her say "My name is Talky Tina, and I love you very much.", like she should say. During this scene, we find out that Erich is Christie's stepfather, and that he is sterile, and that Annabelle didn't tell Erich about Christie until after they were married, and Annabelle pleads to Erich to be kinder to her and to Christie. At dinnertime, Christie pretends to feed Tina, with Erich becoming annoyed, saying "Eat your own dinner, Christie.", but Annabelle declares that Tina is good for Christie, as a playmate. Erich still believes that Annabelle only bought her as a reminder of his sterility. Erich then catches the doll winking at him, while the others are looking away. Christie goes to play with her friend Linda, and Annabelle cleans the dishes, and Erich, left alone with Talky Tina, hears her say: "My name is Talky Tina, and I'm beginning to hate you.". He replies "My name is Erich Streator, and I'm gonna get rid of you.", to which Tina replies: "You wouldn't dare, Annabelle would hate you. Christie would hate you, and I would hate you.". Erich places a match near Tina's face, and hears her shriek, to which he replies saying she can feel, to which she says back "Doesn't everything?". Annabelle comes back in the room, and Erich tells her that she can cut the joke of putting a walkie-talkie in Tina to get back at him, which she denies. Finding the doll in the garage, he puts her in a trash can. When Christie wants her doll to sleep with her, he tells her that he has no clue where it could be. The telephone rings when Annabelle and Christie leave the room, searching for Talky Tina. When Erich answers the phone, he hears "My name is Talky Tina, and I'm going to kill you.". He checks the trash can and finds Tina is gone. He goes into Christie's room after accusing Annabelle again of trying to scare him. He takes the doll from Christie, and she begs "Daddy, please!", to which he yells angrily: "I'm not your daddy!" As Annabelle convinces Erich that neither she nor Christie is the cause of Tina's taunts, he becomes chilled and frightened. He takes Tina to the garage with the intent to destroy the doll. He tries to crush her head, light her on fire, and saw off her neck, but nothing works, she manages to escape it all. Finding out that he cannot destroy the doll, he decides to tie her up in a burlap sack and put her in a trash can with bricks on top of the lid. He goes upstairs to find Annabelle packing her things, and she says she cannot live with him after what he has done. He says he had to, to save his life. She states he needs to see a psychiatrist. He then reluctantly decides to return it to Christie. He takes her out of the trash can, to which when he opens the sack, she says "My name is Talky Tina, and I don't forgive you.". Erich begs "Shut up! Please shut up!", and goes upstairs and hands Christie the doll. Later that night, he hears muffling noises outside of his and Annabelle's bedroom, to which Annabelle replies she doesn't hear anything, and Erich insists that she stays there. He goes into Christie's room and is frightened to find that Talky Tina is gone. He starts to go down the stairs, and then trips on Talky Tina's body, and falls head-first down the stairs. He then lays at the bottom of the steps dying, and looks at Talky Tina, as his vanquisher. Annabelle screams "Erich!", and runs down the stairs, trying to wake up Erich's lifeless body. She picks up Talky Tina and is reminded: "My name is Talky Tina, and you'd better be nice to me." Annabelle stunned shockingly, and drops the doll terrified. And in conclusion The Narrator reveals the true evil nature of toy doll Talky Tina; Cold, and cruelty to Annabelle, & the murderous corpse of Eric Streator to the viewers.
"Of course, we all know that dolls can't really talk, and they certainly can't commit murder. But to a child caught in the middle of turmoil and conflict, a doll can become many things: friend, defender, guardian. Especially a doll like Talky Tina, who did talk and commit murder, in the misty region of The Twilight Zone."
Preview for Next Week's Story
Next on Twilight Zone, a journey into a future moment, a nightmarish, frightening moment in time, when man sits in his own rubble and surveys the legacy he's left to himself. James Coburn and John Anderson star in "The Old Man in the Cave". Recommended viewing for the more imaginative amongst you on The Twilight Zone.
This episode was based off the then very popular talking doll, "Chatty Cathy", and Talky Tina was said to have set the bar for the evil killer doll "Chucky", in the movie series "Child's Play".
- Rod Serling (Narrator)
- Telly Savalas (Erich Streator)
- Mary LaRoche (Annabelle Streator)
- Tracy Stratford (Christie Streator)
- June Foray (Voice of Talky Tina)
- Cayuga Productions
- Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) (in association with)
- Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) (1959) (USA) (TV) (original airing)
Errors and Goofs
When Erich trips down the stairs by Talky Tina, Tina is tumbling down the stairs with him, but then we get a shot of the stairs, and she is just starting to fall down.
After the end of "Living Doll", it is unknown whether or not Annabelle Streator could've called the police and reported what had happened, especially as she could be blamed for the murder of Erich Streator.
Talky Tina: "My name is Talky Tina, and I'm going to kill you."
Erich Streator: "My name is Erich Streator, and I'm gonna get rid of you."
Annabelle Streator: "How can I stay with you after what you've done?"
Christie Streator: "Look daddy, she's alive, and her name is Talky Tina."
Talky Tina: "My name is Talky Tina and I think I could even hate you."
Erich Streator: "I'm not your daddy!"
- Main article: List of memorable quotes from the first series
Notes and References
- CBS Video Library: Twilight Zone #0309 "The Living Doll/To Serve Man/Judgment Night/In Praise of Pip" ; UPC: 000309060002, EAN: 0000309060002, ASIN: B0007LHTX8; Format: NTSC, VHS, Collector's Edition (1987)