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Recap / The Twilight Zone S 3 E 91 Little Girl Lost

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What's a nice girl like you doing in a place like this?

Rod Serling: Missing: one frightened little girl. Name: Bettina Miller. Description: six years of age, average height and build, light brown hair, quite pretty. Last seen being tucked in bed by her mother a few hours ago. Last heard: 'ay, there's the rub,' as Hamlet put it. For Bettina Miller can be heard quite clearly, despite the rather curious fact that she can't be seen at all. Present location? Let's say for the moment... in the Twilight Zone.

Chris Miller and his wife Ruth hear their little girl Tina calling for them. Chris lightheartedly goes to comfort his little girl, only to find her missing. He and his wife Ruth search for Tina, but they fail to find her anywhere; desperate, they eventually call in Bill, a physicist friend. They realize Tina has ended up in Another Dimension via a strange portal, and must get her out before the portal closes. Chris enters the portal, finds Tina, and saves her just in time; as Bill tells Chris, "Another few seconds, and half of you would have been here, and the other half..."

Rod Serling: The other half where? The fourth dimension? The fifth? Perhaps. They never found the answer. Despite a battery of research physicists equipped with every device known to man, electronic and otherwise, no result was ever achieved, except perhaps a little more respect for and uncertainty about the mechanisms of the Twilight Zone.

For the short story this episode was based on, see Little Girl Lost.

Little Trope Lost:

  • Adaptational Job Change: In the short story, Bill is a CalTech engineer. In the television adaptation, he is a physicist.
  • Adaptation Species Change: Mack the dog in the short story was a Collie, but here is played by a mutt that may have some collie but is more than likely smaller than intended in the story.
  • Another Dimension: Tina falls out of bed and into another dimension. (Suspected fourth in the short story, perhaps fourth or fifth here.)
  • Ascended Fridge Horror: Chris and Bill have this reaction when Bill reveals that the portal was closing around Chris, and would have cut him in half if he hadn't gotten out in time.
  • Damsel in Distress: Bettina "Tina" Miller, who fell out of her bed and into a portal. Justified in that she's a child, and she has no idea where she is.
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  • Dutch Angle: They are used throughout the sequence set in the other dimension.
  • Eldritch Location: The other dimension is a bizarre, abstract realm which distorts perceptions. For instance, Chris believed that he was standing upright in spite of the fact that his legs were still on the other side of the portal.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: The family dog Mack starts barking after Tina vanishes. When he's let inside, Mack runs under the bed and finds her in the other dimension.
  • Happy Ending: Chris reaches Tina in time and rescues her from the alternate dimension, which was this close to closing completely.
  • Heroic Dog: Mack leads Tina back to her father, so that they all escape the other dimension.
  • Mama Bear: Ruth prepares to go into the portal to save her daughter; Bill convinces her not to, though he can't dissuade Chris.
  • Missing Child: Your child wakes you up crying in the night, and you go to comfort her, only to find her missing. You check under the bed, but she's not there, and you hear her crying. Ruth becomes hysterical when she hears Tina crying for her. (This actually happened to the writer Richard Matheson and his wife, only they did find their daughter had rolled under the bed.)
  • Named by the Adaptation: Chris, Ruth and Tina were given the surname Miller in the television adaptation.
  • Oh, Crap!: Chris when he goes to Tina's room and realizes that she's not in her bed.
  • Papa Wolf: After going into the portal, Chris calls out for Mack to bring Tina to her, and he hugs them tightly as Bill and Ruth pull him out.
  • Portal Cut: Bill shows that the portal has closed shortly after Chris rescues Tina and Mack. If Chris hadn't gotten out in time, the portal would have cut him off by the legs.
  • Setting Update: In the short story, the family share a one bedroom apartment. In the television adaptation, they own their own house.
  • Tuckerization: Ruth and Bettina "Tina" Miller are named after Richard Matheson's wife and daughter.
  • Vocal Dissonance: Rhoda Williams voices Tina Miller despite Tracy Stratford playing her, making Tina sound older than six.
  • Wham Shot: Bill reveals at the end why he was insistent on Chris not going through the portal (and, when Chris did regardless, to hurry): he smacks the portion of the wall where the portal was. It's solid.
  • Who You Gonna Call?: While more in the dimensional sense than the ghost sense, Chris calls his physicist friend Bill.