Friday, February 23, 2018

The Twilight Zone (1959) -- Season 1 Episode 29 (Nightmare as a Child)

Helen Foley doesn’t remember much about her childhood.  This is why it’s odd when she comes home one day to find a little girl sitting outside her door.  What’s so odd about that?  The girl, who identifies herself only as Markie, seems to know a lot about Helen’s youth.  Markie questions Helen about the scar she has on her arm and about the strange man she saw stopped at a red light.

Markie runs out the back door just before another visitor arrives.  Funny thing is that it’s the strange man, one Peter Selden.  Peter worked for Helen’s mother.  He saw Helen outside of the school where she works.  He decided to look her up and ask some questions about what she remembers from her childhood.  Helen doesn’t recall much during the conversation, but the memories do come back to her.  It also becomes evident just who Markie is.

This episode is unusual in that it’s probably the least supernatural of the series, at least so far.  The only exception to this would be the pilot episode.  Everything could be explained by normal psychological conditions.  Loss of memories pertaining to a traumatic event is understandable.  At least one element of the story could be attributed to hallucinations.  I’d say that this is the most forthright episode so far.

If this episode is serving as your introduction to the series, you’ll probably find other episodes to be more otherworldy.  The episode is probably not for children, which could be said of most Twilight Zone episodes.  Helen’s memory loss is due to the death of her mother, which is shown briefly.  I’d say for most adults, though, it’s a good introduction to The Twilight Zone.

IMDb page

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