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The Twilight Zone: I Sing the Body Electric

A widowed father buys a robotic grandmother to care for his three children in which one of them refuses to accept.

Episode Info  

Episode number: 3x35
Production Number: 4826
Airdate: Friday May 18th, 1962

Guest Stars
David White (1)David White (1)
As George Rogers

Co-Guest Stars
Vaughn TaylorVaughn Taylor
As Salesman
Dana DillawayDana Dillaway
As Karen Rogers (age 10)
Doris PackerDoris Packer
As Nedra
Veronica CartwrightVeronica Cartwright
As Anne Rogers (age 11)
Susan CraneSusan Crane
As Anne Rogers (age 19)
Paul NesbittPaul Nesbitt
As Tom Rogers (age 20)
Judee MortonJudee Morton
As Karen Rogers (age 18)
Charles HerbertCharles Herbert
As Tom Rogers (age 12)
Main Cast
Rod SerlingRod Serling
As Narrator/Host


Three children, Tom, Anne, and Karen, listen in as their Aunt Nedra talks to their father George, insisting that it's been a year since his wife died and the children aren't doing well. Anne is lacking guidance and Nedra's feels she won't be getting better. Nedra notices the children and tells them that she's not pleased with how things have been going in the house. She informs them all that she'll be in touch, particularly Anne. George admits that he might be too busy and the sitters and nurses haven't been right. He asks if they're unhappy and they deny it, but he wonders how he can provide them with the continual guidance and care that they need. Tom finds a scientific magazine article with an advertisement for a company named "Facsimiles Unlimited." The ad promises that they have developed an electronic processing system in the shape of an elderly woman, "I Sing the Body Electric," and that "she" can give love and care to a family. ..

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Episode Notes
Dana Dillaway was also in "One for the Angels."

David White was best known as Larry Tate on Bewitched, but was also seen in another Twilight Zone episode, "A World of Difference."

Vaughn Taylor was also in "Time Enough at Last," "Still Valley," "The Incredible World of Horace Ford" and "The Self-Improvement of Salvadore Ross."

One of only five episodes that includes additional narration partway through the episode.

Episode Quotes
Opening Narration
They make a fairly convincing pitch here. It doesn't seem possible, though to find a woman who might be ten times better than mother in order to seem half as good - except, of course, in the Twilight Zone.

Grandma: She'll accept me. Eventually. You see, Mr. Rogers, children are the most complicated things in the world. I could be the greatest cook in the world, the finest most exciting playmate, the most incredibly interesting companion. But those are very tiny niches, a shelf in the stomach, a small ledge in the brain. It's the heart I have to enter. A child's heart. It's a deep place, difficult to reach. But that too will come.

Grandma: Anne, Anne. You'd be surprised, my dear, how much a machine can do besides playing and cooking. This machine for example, this machine can love.
Anne: Love? Love who.
Grandma: You, Anne. I can love you, and I do. I love you more than... more than tongue can tell.

Narrator: As of this moment, the wonderful electric grandmother moved into the lives of children and father. She became integral and important, she became the essence. As of this moment they would never see lightning, never hear poetry read, never listen to foreign tongues, without thinking of her. Everything they would ever see, hear, taste, feel, would remind them of her. She was all life, and all life was wondrous, quick, electrical, like Grandma.

Grandma: You're going off to college now, you won't need me. That's the way it should be. I'm not the world. The world's out there, and it needs you.

Grandma: For a reasonable creature, I have an unreasonable dream. Some day, after... three hundred years, if I'm very wise and very good, perhaps I'll gain the greatest gift of all. Life.

Closing Narration
A fable? Most assuredly. But who's to say at some distant moment there might not be an assembly line producing a gentle product in the form of a grandmother whose stock in trade is love? Fable, sure - but who's to say?

Cultural References
Title: The title for this episode was taken directly from the Walt Whitman poem of the same name. The word electricity wasn't added when the poem was first released in 1855, until 1867 because the term electricity wasn't a everyday term used at the time.

Other Episode Crew

CreatorRod Serling
Executive ProducerRod Serling
ProducerBuck Houghton
EditorJason H. Bernie
MusicVan Cleave
Set DecoratorH. Web Arrowsmith  |  Henry Grace
Director of PhotographyGeorge T. Clemens
Art DirectorPhilip Barber  |  George W. Davis
Production ManagerRalph Nelson
Sound EditorFranklin Milton
Main Title ThemeMarius Constant
SoundWilliam Edmondson
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