One of my ultimate favorite stories from the Twilight Zone, is from season 5, episode 6 called “The Living Doll (1959).” It stars Telly Savalas and Mary LaRoche. This was one of the most creepiest and scariest story lines I’ve ever seen. What scares me about it (I guess) is the fact there is no special effects, monsters, gore, or sadistic props of any kind. This episode in essence is about one man’s obsession with a doll. In my opinion, this performance really put Telly Savalas on the map as an actor; because this was not an easy thing to pull off and still appear authentic.
Telly Savalas and Mary LaRoche are married, with one child played by Tracy Stratford. Telly and Mary were having marital problems from the start. The episode started with Mary coming home with her daughter after a day of shopping. Mary purchased a doll for her daughter as a gift. Telly immediately took a disliking to the doll. At first, you get the impression that Telly was just a mean husband, but soon it becomes apparent that his wife has a spending problem, and objected to the purchase of the doll. In Telly’s frustration, he was mean to his daughter, wife, and the doll. Unbeknown to the wife and daughter, the doll was possessed and eventually threaten to kill Telly.
At first, I felt sorry for Telly, but by the end of the episode, I realized that Telly was really a bastard, and found myself on the doll’s side. I mean, Telly tried to burn the doll’s face, and got a kick out of the fact the doll appeared hurt by the flames. It was quite obvious that the doll was not going to hurt the wife or his child. Who won the battle of the wits? Was it the “Living Doll,” or was it Telly? Did Telly survive? Watch it on Hulu.