Chris and Ruth Miller wake up in the middle of the night to the sound of their six-year-old daughter Tina crying for them. Chris puts on his slippers and goes into Tina’s room but she’s not in her bed. He calls to her and she answers him but he can’t see her. Thinking that she’s rolled off and under the bed he looks underneath but she’s not there. Ruth comes into the room and turns on the light. Now they see she’s not in the room but they can still hear Tina crying out for them and now her voice seems to be coming from different places in the house. Chris says he’s going to check under the house but as he opens the kitchen door the little family dog Mack runs inside and runs past Ruth and under the bed. But Mack disappears too and only his bark indicates that he’s still nearby.
Chris rushes back in the room and after catching up with what happened from Ruth, he tells her that Tina isn’t under the house and he is going to call for help. He calls his friend Bill and tells him to hurry over. Ruth wants to know what Bill can do. Chris tells her that Bill is a physicist and maybe he can explain what is happening.
When Bill arrives, he listens to the story from the couple and then with Chris’s help he moves the bed out of the way. After some trial and error poking at the floor and wall behind the bed he finds a door sized area of the wall that, though it appears solid, allows his hand to pass through it. Borrowing a piece of chalk from Ruth he draws an arch around where the portal to another dimension seems to have opened.
Bill tells the Millers that the portal is an opening between our three-dimensional universe and a higher dimensioned space that temporarily are juxtaposed next to each other. Bill asks why he can’t just go in and get Tina and Bill says that the other dimension may not be normal enough for human sight to navigate it successfully. He suggests that they call to Tina and tell her to hold onto Mack and follow him back out when they call the dog. Apparently, the sharper senses of the dog would be a more reliable conduit for escape back into our world.
Tina does indeed see Mack and she begins to follow their instructions but while Chris is coaxing her to follow the dog, he falls into the portal and now is standing in the strange murky and confusing space inside the wall. With much back and forth talk between Chris and Tina she slowly follows Mack back to where Chris is waiting. Meanwhile Bill is imploring Chris to hurry the process as much as possible. Finally, Chris has Tina by the hand and all at once the two people and the dog come tumbling out onto the floor of Tina’s bedroom. Ruth grabs Tina and takes her out of the room for safety. Bill stands talking to Chris about the escape. Chris asks Bill how he was able to see him to pull him out of the portal. Bill explains that Chris was never fully in the portal. His back was still in the room. And now Bill slaps his hand on the wall where the portal used to be. It was shut. Bill told him that it was closing all the time he was half in and half out of it. Another few seconds and he would have been cut in half by its closing.
This is a weird one. The dramatic effect of the episode is marred by a few problems. The voice of Tina is actually noticeably that of a grown woman affecting a childish sound. I found it quite annoying. And the scene in the other dimension where Chris is calling to Tina and each can’t see the other but keep calling back and forth is also kind of monotonous and annoying. I get that they were trying to build suspense and excitement but I thought it was overly long and not very effective visually. And the fact that Chris would call a physicist to handle a missing child is kind of “Ghostbusteresque.”
But the use of the dimensional portal as a plot element in the conventional setting of a normal American household is original and interesting. Well, at least original for TV. After all, I remember Heinlein had that story “And He Built a Crooked House.” Either way it’s an interesting story concept. Despite the less than brilliant dramatic elements I’m giving this a B+.