Greetings, and welcome to CLASSICS ON THE TUBE. Here you'll find capsule reviews of vintage TV series episodes from the early days of television through the 1970s, with a special emphasis on sci-fi, horror, and mystery series. Be sure to check out the Pages links, where you can find an index of episodes reviewed for each television series.

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Saturday, August 29, 2015

THRILLER: Child's Play

Hosted by Boris Karloff
Guest Stars:  Frank Overton, Bethel Leslie, Tommy Nolan, Parley Baer, George Werier
Directed by Arthur Hiller
(actor & director credits courtesy

A couple experiencing marital strife and their 11-year-old son spend their summer in a cabin in the woods, not realizing that the son's resentment towards his father is about to explode in violence.

This isn't one of my favorite Thriller episodes, but it certainly is suspenseful, with young Hank aiming to punish the imaginary "Black Bart", but with a real gun and a real victim, and Nolan's performance is convincing enough that we can't guess just how far he will go.  Despite this, Leslie has perhaps the best showcase in the episode, her wrinkled brow and measured words showing the effects age and an absentee husband has had on her life.  Robert Dozier's script does an excellent job of capturing the ways husbands and wives take arguments to heart, but focuses more on how they feel than what exactly their son is thinking or feeling, which I thought should have been the main concentration here.  Nonetheless, it's a well-crafted episode.

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