Thumbs down from our son this morning, as Richard Matheson’s “Little Girl Lost” dumps a six year-old girl named Tina into a portal in her bedroom wall, and only her disembodied voice can be heard. Robert Sampson and Sarah Marshall play her terrified parents, and Charles Aidman is either a family friend or an uncle, a physicist who theorizes that Tina is trapped in the fourth or the fifth dimension.
I had the feeling this might hit a little close to home, but a safe fright here and there is what television’s for at this age. But this was “too crazy” and he wasn’t happy with the story at all. Just as well I’m not planning to show him Poltergeist anytime soon. But I cautioned him to not fall into any walls as he went to get dressed, and his mother chided me for trying to make him afraid of things that aren’t there.
Some other things of interest this morning: Tina’s parents share a bed, which you didn’t see on television all that often in 1962. And speaking of beds, not only is Tina’s bed insanely high off the floor – all the better for the cameras to capture Sampson and Marshall looking under it – but despite having enough room under there to store a wagon, a two-story dollhouse, a clothes trunk, a basketball, and every plush animal that’s ever been stuffed, there’s nothing under this bed at all. I know television in the classic days was almost always likely to present us with spotlessly clean homes, otherwise the judgmental jerks in the 1960s audience would sneer at the housewife tasked with keeping them uncluttered, but I’ve chosen to believe that the portal ate all the toys that Tina kept under her bed. When the portal made its way to a “Treehouse of Horror” on The Simpsons about thirty years later, Homer was probably tripping over Tina’s long-lost shoes.