Tales from the Darkside

Season 4 Episode 15

Do Not Open This Box

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM May 15, 1988 on
out of 10
User Rating
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Episode Summary

Do Not Open This Box
An aged inventor and his wife come into possession of a box marked "Do not open this box." The wife opens it and finds it empty. The next day a man comes to claim the box and the lady makes up a story about losing the box. The man begins giving them nice things in exchange for eventually getting the box back. The couple begin living the sweet life thanks to the stranger but when they finally give the box back, the man tells them that it contained a human soul - since the box was opened the soul has escaped and now the man needs a replacement.moreless

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  • A kind but passive old man that you can't help but root for and a miserable, bitter, vain old woman that you would root against.

    The old woman being impatient with her husband opens the box despite his pleas and when the 'delivery man' shows up she then starts to demand more and more extravagant items. She wasn't even pleased with stuff from English royalty because they were 'second hand'. I mean this woman was a greedy …[type].

    In the end the 'delivery man' was fed up with waiting and takes back all the stuff he gave only to find out the box was opened. Then when the woman tries to kill him, he turns around saying he remembered it was a pickup rather than a delivery mix-up and takes her soul … deservedly.

    The husband wishing to create something useful, creates an anti-tampering device into the box which would destroy it if opened, also much to the pleasure of the 'delivery man'. The widow that the husband's wife hates comes over and the two seemingly hit it off and enjoy each other's company.

    So I must say that this by far is one of the best episodes where the truly wicked got what they deserved and the nice meek type person got a nice happy end. Not many episodes has things like this as well as an interesting plot line.moreless
  • An old couple find a box that says "Do Not Open This Box". The greedy wife opens it, but finds nothing. A delivery man stops by and asks for the box and he will give anything for it, as long as no one has opened it.moreless

    This is one of the best episodes of the season, since it has a feel of the Twilight Zone to it, while keeping it's Tales from the Darkside touch. The acting in this episode by everyone is great, you like the old man but hate the greedy woman. The delivery man is the best, because he comes off as a nice guy, but you learn he isn't a guy at all. Overall, this episode is definitely one of the best and you should see this one for sure. If you like Twilight Zone or Tales from the Darkside, you will like this!moreless
Eileen Heckart

Eileen Heckart

Rose Pennywell

Guest Star

William Le Massena

William Le Massena

Charles Pennywell

Guest Star

Fay Gold

Fay Gold


Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (3)

    • (Rose is in the box, on which Charlie is putting a few "finishing touches")
      Charlie: There, at last. It works!
      Rose: Oh, Charlie... if it works now, it'll break later; and if it doesn't break, nobody would want it; and if anybody did want it, somebody else would already own the patent...
      (Hh shuts the lid, cutting her off, then returns the box to Satan's uncle/the Deliveryman.)
      Deliveryman: Thanks, Charlie. You say it can't be opened now?
      Charlie: You'd have to destroy that box before you could open it now.

    • Postman: I checked with my nephew, it says you're a pickup, not a drop off, let me check.
      (Charles tries to stab the postman)
      Charles: I can't do it, Rose.
      (Rose takes the knife and plunges it into the postman's back, the postman turns to Rose with the open box)
      Postman: Ah yes, Thou shalt not take thy Lord's name in vain, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's possessions, and thou shalt not kill. No wonder you're a pickup.

    • Postman: Isn't there anything you want, Charles? Your wife has made a lot of requests but I don't remember you asking for anything. Would you like to be young, I mean really young, pretty girls and fast cars?
      Charles: The only thing I want is to invent something that can help people. That's sort of always been my dream.

  • NOTES (0)