March 16 in Twilight Zone History: Celebrating the 1962 premiere of 'Little Girl Lost'

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Mar 16, 2018

Today, March 16th, This Day in Twilight Zone History and The Twilight Zone Encyclopedia celebrate the 1962 premiere of "Little Girl Lost."

Two days ago, we toasted the premiere of "The Parallel," and today we showcase another TZ episode dealing with a parallel dimension. Sarah Marshall and Robert Sampson play Ruth and Chris Miller, a suburban couple with a young daughter named Tina (Tracy Stratford). One night, they hear crying from her bedroom, but when they go to check on her, she's nowhere to be found. Since the crying and calling continues, they call in Bill (Charles Aidman), a scientist friend, and together they discover that Tina has fallen into what appears to be another dimension.

Chris Miller (Robert Sampson) tries to comfort his wife, Ruth (Sarah Marshall), as they continue the search for their daughter in Richard Matheson's cool episode "Little Girl Lost."

This was another classic tale spun from the imagination of Richard Matheson, who could take the most normal setting and turn it sideways. Certainly the writers of Poltergeist were influenced by "Little Girl Lost," although director Tobe Hooper's 1982 classic is more of a ghost story.

If Tina looks familiar, she should – Tracy Stratford later played Telly Savalas’ stepdaughter in “Living Doll” (with a doll named Talky Tina). Meanwhile, Charles Aidman had appeared in the unnerving first season episode, "And When the Sky Opened," playing one of the doomed astronauts.

Charles Aidman (right) played Bill, a scientist who begins to understand what has happened to the Millers' daughter in "Little Girl Lost."

Do you believe in parallel dimensions? I certainly do because I believe there's a doorway in my own house through which objects disappear. Somewhere, on the other side of that doorway, is the book that Carol Serling loaned me four years ago: Rod Serling’s personal copy of his anthology of live television scripts, as well as my watch, my son's green Power Ranger, and probably a host of other stuff.

So let's raise a toast to the fertile imagination of Richard Matheson, the return of lost objects (please!) and the ultimate parallel dimension – The Twilight Zone.