Twilight Zone – Miniature

★★★★1/2 Febraury 21, 1963 Season 4 Episode 8

If you want to see where we are…HERE is a list of the episodes.

***Since we have two Holiday Weekends coming up,This will be the last Twilight Zone until  January 5, 2022…thank you***

The first thing you notice is a young Robert Duvall that stars in this episode. He gives a sensitive portrayal of Charley Parkes who suffers from some sort of social anxiety. Parkes has a hard time interacting with humans but finds a doll house with a doll that he feels comfortable with. He seems to be  retreating into a world of fantasy… but is he?  Duvall plays it brilliantly with sensitivity. 

Barbara Barrie plays Myra Russell and she would later play Barney Miller’s wife in the 1970s. Charles Beaumont’s script is thoughtful and sensitive and flows well for the most part…Duvall is a big reason.

Of all the hour-long Twilight Zone episodes, Miniature is the only one never put into syndication. The reason is that when the series was originally syndicated, Miniature was involved in a lawsuit. A script entitled The Thirteenth Mannequin had been submitted to Cayuga Productions prior to Miniature. The script concerned an old man who preferred the company of store mannequinsmannequins who ultimately come to life. The suit claimed that since both works dealt with main characters becoming involved inanimate human figures who come to life, Miniature had stolen the idea.

Ultimately, the case was dismissed, both by the initial judge and on appeal. The Thirteenth Mannequin was no ancestor of Miniature. The curious thing about this whole affair is that if any Twilight Zone episode was similar to The Thirteenth Mannequin, it was Serlings The After Hoursand that was written long before anyone at Cayuga ever heard of The Thirteenth Mannequin. Even when it was submitted, The Thirteenth Mannequin was not unique; The Twilight Zone had already explored its central idea.

Still, the damage was done. Because of the suit, Miniature was aired only once until… It was 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 show was written by Rod Serling and Charles Beaumont

Rod 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.

Summary

Mousey misfit Charley Parkes finds the world unfolding before him in a museum doll house to be more real than his boring job and overbearing mother.

Rod 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.

CAST

Rod Serling … Narrator / Self – Host (uncredited)
Robert Duvall … Charley Parkes
Pert Kelton … Mrs. Parkes
Barbara Barrie … Myra Russell
William Windom … Dr. Wallman
Lennie Weinrib … Buddy Russell
John McLiam … Guard
Barney Phillips … Diemel
Joan Chambers … Harriet
Chet Stratton … Guide
Richard Angarola Richard Angarola … The Suitor
Nina Roman … The Maid
Claire Griswold … The Doll
Norman Burton … Office Worker (uncredited)
Sally Kellerman … Office Worker (uncredited)
Joseph V. Perry … Office Worker (uncredited)

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

7 thoughts on “Twilight Zone – Miniature”

  1. I was mesmerized by this episode. Duvall played this just right. I see Duvall played Boo Radley in To Kill a Mockingbird just one year before this. I’m glad he didn’t get typecast as an oddball. They did a great job with the sets in this one also.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is low keyed Phil but really good. The 4th season all had that hour long format…they are not as played as much.

      Like

  2. This one also. Reminded me of that one from the 1st season where the actress ends up retesting into her TV set as a character in her old movies. Although this one was better. Although ti thought there was just a bit of a creepy edge to Duvall’s performance- just a touch of Norman abates esp in the scenes with the mother.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He was socially awkward and a little more I agree…he did border on creepy. At one time I didn’t like it much but I started to get into a little more.

      Liked by 1 person

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