Long Distance Call

Long Distance Call

Infobox Television episode
Title = Long Distance Call
Series = The Twilight Zone

Caption = Billy Mumy in "Long Distance Call"
Season = 2
Episode = 58
Airdate =March 31, 1961
Production = 173-3667
Writer =Charles Beaumont and William Idelson
Director =James Sheldon
Guests =Philip Abbott : Chris Bayles
Lili Darvas : Grandma Bayles
Patricia Smith : Sylvia Bayles
Billy Mumy : Billy Bayles
Jenny Maxwell : Shirley
Reid Hammond : Mr. Peterson
Henry Hunter : Dr. Unger
Lew Brown : Fireman
Jutta Parr : Nurse (uncredited)
Robert McCord : Rescue Worker (uncredited)
James Turley : Rescue Worker (uncredited)
Music = uncredited
Episode list = List of Twilight Zone episodes
Prev = The Prime Mover
Next = A Hundred Yards Over the Rim

"Long Distance Call" is an episode of the American television anthology series "The Twilight Zone".

Opening narration

In the dining room, Billy Bayles is seen from the back, as he speaks on the toy telephone, while Chris Bayles and his dying mother slowly walk upstairs. A cutaway to another part of the dining room reveals Rod Serling walking into view:


A boy communicates with his father's European-immigrant mother, who had recently died, using a toy telephone that she gave him before her passing. The boy, Billy, runs out in front of a car. The driver, who barely managed to swerve out of the way, reports that Billy said someone told him to try to kill himself. Later, his mother grabs the phone out of his hands and "hears" the grandmother on the other end; she is convinced that she is hearing the dead grandmother. His father, of course, thinks Billy is just pretending. Billy attempts to drown himself. One of the paramedics says he doesn't believe Billy's chances are very good. His father goes into Billy's room, picks up the toy phone, and begs the grandmother to give Billy a chance to experience life. Suddenly, the paramedics are able to revive Billy.

Closing Narration

Preview for Next Week's Story

Episode notes

Five weeks into "The Twilight Zone"'s second season, the show's budget was showing a deficit. The total number of new episodes was projected at twenty-nine, more than half of which (sixteen) had already been filmed by November 1960. CBS strongly suggested that in order to trim the production's $65,000-per-episode budget, six episodes should be produced in the cheaper videotape format and then transferred to 16-millimeter film. The studios of the network's Television City, normally used for the production of variety shows and live drama, would serve as the venue. There would be fewer camera movements and no exteriors, making the episodes more akin to soap operas, with the videotaped image effectively narrowing and flattening perspective. Even with these artistic sacrifices, the eventual total savings amounted to only $30,000, far less than the cost of a single episode. The experiment was thus deemed a failure and never attempted again.

Even though the six shows were taped in a row, through November and into mid-December, their broadcast dates were out of order and varied widely, with this, the final one, shown on March 31, 1961 as episode 22. The first, "The Lateness of the Hour", was seen on December 2, 1960 as episode 8; the second, "Static", appeared on March 10, 1961 as episode 20; the third, "The Whole Truth" was broadcast on January 20, 1961 as episode 14; the fourth was the Christmas entry, "Night of the Meek", shown as the 11th episode on December 23, 1960 and the fifth, "Twenty-Two" was seen on February 10, 1961 as episode 17.


The fifth season episode, Night Call, also deals with a phone call from beyond the grave. Writer Richard Matheson based it on his own short story "Long Distance Call" but had to change the title in deference to the earlier Twilght Zone episode of the same name.

The episode is referenced in the exit hallway of the Disney ride The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, which includes a replica of the toy telephone, and a card reading, "Perfect for the children's room and those late night calls from grandma."


*DeVoe, Bill. (2008). "Trivia from The Twilight Zone". Albany, GA: Bear Manor Media. ISBN 978-1593931360
*Grams, Martin. (2008). "The Twilight Zone: Unlocking the Door to a Television Classic". Churchville, MD: OTR Publishing. ISBN 978-0970331090

External links

*imdb title|id=0734587|title=Long Distance Call
* [http://www.tv.com/the-twilight-zone/long-distance-call/episode/12642/summary.html TV.com episode page]

Twilight Zone links

*The Twilight Zone (1959 TV series)
*Episode List
*Season 2

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • long distance call — In the old days, yelling at your neighbor across the street was a long distance call …   English expressions

  • long-distance call — noun a telephone call made outside the local calling area I talked to her by long distance • Syn: ↑long distance, ↑trunk call • Hypernyms: ↑call, ↑phone call, ↑telephone call …   Useful english dictionary

  • long distance call — telephone call between different cities …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Long Distance Call (song) — Infobox Single Name = Long Distance Call Artist = Phoenix from Album = It s Never Been Like That Released = 8 May 2006 Format = Promo CD, 7 , Maxi CD, download Recorded = 2005–2006 Genre = Rock Length = 3:04 Label = Source Producer = Phoenix,… …   Wikipedia

  • Long distance — in telecommunications, refers to telephone calls made outside a certain area, usually characterized by an area code outside of a local call area (known in the United States as a local access and transport area or LATA). Long distance calls… …   Wikipedia

  • long-distance — adj [only before noun] 1.) travelling over a long distance long distance runner long distance lorry driver long distance travel/journey/flight/commuting etc 2.) long distance call a telephone call to a place that is far away ≠ ↑local >long… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • long-distance — adjective 1. of or relating to or being a long distance telephone call a long distance call a long distance transmission line a long distance operator • Pertains to noun: ↑long distance 2. covering a long distance a long distance runner …   Useful english dictionary

  • long distance — Synonyms and related words: DDD, PBX operator, apart, asunder, at a distance, away, busy signal, buzz, call, central, dial tone, direct distance dialing, distal, distant, exotic, far, far off, faraway, local call, long distance call, long range,… …   Moby Thesaurus

  • long distance — noun a telephone call made outside the local calling area I talked to her by long distance • Syn: ↑long distance call, ↑trunk call • Hypernyms: ↑call, ↑phone call, ↑telephone call …   Useful english dictionary

  • long-distance — adjective (only before noun) 1 long distance runner/driver etc someone who runs, travels etc a long distance 2 long distance call a telephone call to a place that is far away long distance adverb …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.