Tales from the Darkside

Season 1 Episode 12

All a Clone by the Telephone

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Jan 20, 1985 on

Episode Fan Reviews (2)

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  • A writer looking for new material finds an answer machine to all of his answers, even if doesn't want to hear it

    This is definitely an aged episode that feels like something straight out of the 80s. You have heard of Kit the talking car? Well, this episode lets you get introduced to a talking answering machine. The reason the answering machine is talking is because it is in an alternate universe, which doesn't make much sense since it wants fresh batteries. Is it human from an alternate universe or a machine? It makes the case of being from another universe, but asks for what machines want. Are people answering machines in another universe? Who knows, it is just a silly story that makes it into the mediocre category. The only good thing about it is that Harry Anderson is on the episode, and I'm a Night Court fan.
  • This episode is pretty well done, and it's still scary.


    Humans, have dominated machines for so long, but what happens when it starts to go the other way around. In this episode, the topic is definitely is brought to the table, when a man found out that his answering machine, is actually some kind of gateway to well a parallel universe. Although the darkside is not known, for being timid, especially in the department of horror, and this is not an exception, this episode fluidlly blends a tales of sci-fi unknown, with schizophrenic fear, when he discovers that answering machine is trying to take over his life, but offers a very lucrative deal at the end.

    It's not revealed how he happenned to connect with the unknown person, from a parallel universe, or if the person really is a human being at all. Who's actually on the other end, really frightened me the most about this episode, and it's never shown who was actually talking to him. I know that some episodes, that are trying to be humorous have there moments too, but this is geninuely scary, even though it doesn't actually feature any realms related to death, like some other episodes. It's about how machines, can actually take over the world, and control are life's if the world becomes overdependent on the capablities of technology. But, most of all this episode is also on the schizo side, but there's reallly not a clue, what this guy really is, he just talks to him, and makes him wonder if he's going nuts, which he almost does in the episode.

    The darkside is always there, is not an exception for this episode, since he was willing to see that gaining a spot as a writer even though under the control of a machine, was more important that actually finding out who it really is. I would say that parallel universes are one of the difficult things to grasp in terms of science, and this episode although simple in premise, will knock the socks, when you find out who has the upper hand.

    Watch this one, it's really good, and the atmosphere sets the tone, for more scary ones to come in this series.