The Dummy

Episode Reviews (6)

138 votes
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  • 8.0

    A good scare

    By Lucifrix, Aug 13, 2010

    This episode is rarely mentioned in "best TZ episodes" polls, I suspect because it has none of the thoughtful social commentary Serling is famous for. Still, for what it is, a straightforward horror story, it's quite effective. There are a few scenes that remain creepy however many times you see them, and if you don't see the ending coming, it'll likely deliver a memorable shock. I didn't predict the ending when I saw it (age 11 or so?), and when ventriloquist-Willie turned to smile that very creepy smile at the camera, I was so freaked out that my heart skipped a beat (I mean that literally).

    All that said, I am not sure how well this episode holds up to repeated viewing. It surely remains unsettling to people who fear ventriloquist dummies, or can put themselves mentally in Jerry's shoes (pretty scary, that). For most everyone else, though, I imagine once the ending is revealed, the thrill is gone--and that thrill is, by far, the best part of this episode. And it still bugs me that he locked Willie in the trunk instead of taking him out and destroying him right away. It's not as if it's critical to the story; Willie could easily have returned afterward regardless of Jerry's attempts to destroy him. (RS did adapt this episode from an unpublished story, so that may have been an element of that story that RS didn't want to change.)moreless

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  • 8.5

    One word to describe this classic Twilight Zone episode: Creepy.

    By tzfanatic93, Mar 23, 2010

    I've always loved The Dummy and it has always been one of my favorite episodes. Here we see Cliff Robertson as a ventrioquist with an evil ventriloquist's dummy (classic spooky stuff) named Willie. The best part was always the end when Willie somehowe becomes a human and Jerry becomes a ventriloquist's doll. In a spooky sort of way this episode tells us that if we work hard enough at something to try to make it as real as possible sometimes it just may become real and may even take over your life to the point where it becomes you. One of the best, no doubt about that.moreless

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  • 7.0

    This only the 2nd episode I've seen.

    By krsfromprp, Jun 09, 2009

    This only the 2nd episode I've seen. I thought it was O.K. The acting is pretty bad, but I do like the story. I thought they could have used the dummy more, to haunt the ventriloquist. But, it was the 60's so I guess I can cut them some slack. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100. .moreless

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  • 10

    One of my favorites -- dark -- typical Twilight Z.

    By cybernaut_ev, Oct 30, 2005

    This episode successfully sets the ominous mood. Even without the special effects they have today, the dummy is portrayed as very scary simply by repositioning him everytime the ventriloquist turns around--especially when the dummy's arm is thrown over the seat to portray a casual relaxed way. The dummy gives funny smart-alecky answers and he wants to take over. The substitute dummy was good. The ending is freakish. Excellent tortured performance by Cliff Robertson. Loved the story.

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  • 3.5

    A ventriloquist believes his dummy is evil, so makes a new act with another. With the dummy displeased, we hear evil laughter, and a new act is created.

    By bandchick987, Aug 10, 2005

    This has got to be one of the worst Twilight Zone episodes made. Not only was the plotline slow, but the ending was predictable. A man believes his dummy, Willie, is alive and evil, so he gets a new dummy to take Willie’s place. He locks Willie in the trunk. Now, is that really going to help anything? If you believe a dummy is “alive and evil”, just stuffing it in a trunk will NOT help anything. With the ventriloquist believing Willie is evil in the beginning of the episode, we have 10 minutes of lame filler for the episode with discussions of a good career and his “good” dummy’s act. But then the guy starts hearing Willie’s voice in his head so he decides to unlock his trunk and destroy it but, surprise!, he destroyed the normal one. Willie makes a speech that is too confusing and/or boring to follow, then the next scene cuts to a man who looks like Willie, and a doll that looks like the man. The end! The one shock wasn’t all that surprising… what else could have happened? This episode is not worth seeing.moreless

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