Samiksha Jaiswal (Editor)

Long Distance Call

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Episode no.  Season 2 Episode 22
Featured music  uncredited
Original air date  March 31, 1961
Directed by  James Sheldon
Production code  173-3667
Long Distance Call
Written by  Charles Beaumont and William Idelson

"Long Distance Call" is episode 58 of the American television anthology series The Twilight Zone. It originally aired on March 31, 1961 on CBS.


Opening narration

The narration begins a few minutes into the episode:


On his 5th birthday, a boy named Billy makes a secret wish that only his grandmother knows after blowing out the candles. His grandmother is frail, but loves Billy more than anything in the world; he's given her new life and new happiness. Although she is honest about her prospects at living much longer, Billy's parents try to convince him otherwise.

Grandma's gift to Billy is a toy telephone, that they play with immediately. Shortly thereafter, Grandma feels ill and needs to retire to her room, but assures Billy they can still talk on his telephone. That evening, on her deathbed, Grandma becomes delirious and believes that Billy is her son, not her actual son, Chris. She tells Billy that she wishes he could go with her to a wonderful place, and then dies.

Sometime later, Billy's parents are concerned at how depressed Billy is, and Billy's mother is still upset by Grandma's statement about Billy being her son. His mother hears Billy talking on his toy telephone and is alarmed when Billy claims that he is talking to Grandma. His parents become concerned when Billy spends all his time having "pretend" phone conversations with his deceased grandmother. He says that she tells him she is lonely and misses him.

While his parents are at Grandma's funeral, Billy runs out in front of a car while Billy is being watched by a babysitter. The distressed driver, who barely manages to swerve out of the way, reports that Billy said someone told him to do it. When asked, Billy denies anyone telling him to do so. Chris tries to explain that Grandma has died, and asks that he not use the telephone in front of his mother.

That evening, his mother is awoken by Billy talking and laughing, grabs the phone out of his hands and accidentally drops and breaks it when she hears breathing on the other end. She is convinced that the telephone is a direct link to the dead grandmother. His father still thinks Billy is pretending. Upset at the loss of his only remaining connection to his grandmother, Billy attempts to drown himself in their garden pool.

An ambulance attendant informs the parents that Billy's chances are not very good. Desperate to save his child, Chris goes into Billy's room, picks up the toy phone, and begs his mother to give Billy back and allow him to experience life. He pleads that if she really loves him, she will let him live. The attendants then successfully revive Billy as his parents embrace relieved.


  • Philip Abbott as Chris Bayles
  • Lili Darvas as Grandma Bayles
  • Patricia Smith as Sylvia Bayles
  • Bill Mumy as Billy Bayles
  • Jenny Maxwell as Shirley
  • Reid Hammond as Mr. Peterson
  • Henry Hunter as Dr. Unger
  • Lew Brown as Fireman
  • Arch Johnson as Fireman
  • References

    Long Distance Call Wikipedia

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