★★★★★ March 31, 1961 Season 2 Episode 22
If you want to see where we are…HERE is a list of the episodes.
This one is one of my favorites. It’s dark and it still works today. It’s a great episode and features Bill Mumy as little Billy Bayles who just lost his grandmother or did he? The grandmother played by Lili Darvas tried to live through Billy vicariously in many ways and ignored what the mother of the child said or thought. You can feel the tension between the grandmother and her daughter in law.
This can happen in a family and cause trouble so it made the episode much more relatable. The darkness of the episode is shocking considering the time it was made.
This show was really heavy. It addressed the loss of a grandparent and two attempted suicides of a five year old boy. Not your average show in the 60s or now for that matter. Who knew a toy telephone could be so damn frightening? That was one determined grandmother…she wasn’t letting go of Billy even in the afterlife.
This episode is videotaped and it benefits from it…adding to eerie feeling.
Bill Mumy would appear in three Twilight Zones. He would later become known in the TV show Lost In Space.
This show was written by Charles Beaumont, Bill Idelson, and Rod Serling
Rod Serling’s Opening Narration:
As must be obvious, this is a house hovered over by Mr. Death, an omnipresent player to the third and final act of every life. And it’s been said, and probably rightfully so, that what follows this life is one of the unfathomable mysteries, an area of darkness which we, the living, reserve for the dead—or so it is said. For in a moment, a child will try to cross that bridge which separates light and shadow, and, of course, he must take the only known route, that indistinct highway through the region we call The Twilight Zone.
Billy Bayles loves his Grandma Bayles and likes the present she’s given him, a toy telephone which she says will allow them to communicate forever. Grandma Bayles is ill however and soon dies but Billy claims he can speak to her on their special telephone. When he tells his parents that she wants him to join her, wherever she’s gone to, they pay no mind. When he throws himself in front of their neighbor’s car however, it all gets deadly serious.
Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:
A toy telephone, an act of faith, a set of improbable circumstances, all combine to probe a mystery, to fathom a depth, to send a facet of light into a dark after-region, to be believed or disbelieved, depending on your frame of reference. A fact or a fantasy, a substance or a shadow—but all of it very much a part of The Twilight Zone.
Philip Abbott…Chris Bayles
Lili Darvas…Grandma Bayles
Patricia Smith…Sylvia Bayles
Bill Mumy…Billy Bayles
Reid Hammond…Mr. Peterson
Henry Hunter…Dr. Unger