Sometime after World War II, a small group of people make a pact to develop their telepathic abilities as a means of communicating, foregoing any type of oral communication. One couple, the Nielsens, announce that they are migrating to a small town in the USA, German Corners, Pa. After a tragic fire at their house 10 years later, Sheriff Harry Wheeler and his wife Cora take in the only survivor, the now orphaned Ilsa Nielsen. The young girl has never learned to speak, always using telepathy to communicate with her parents. They don't quite understand why Ilsa won't speak to them and Cora sees her as a replacement for the daughter she lost in an accident some years ago. When they enroll Ilsa in school, her teacher is determined to make her act like all the other children. Written by
This episode takes place in Düsseldorf, West Germany in 1953 and German Corners, Pennsylvania from August to November 1963. See more »
What you're witnessing is the curtain-raiser to a most extraordinary play; to wit, the signing of a pact, the commencement of a project. The play itself will be performed almost entirely offstage. The final scenes are to be enacted a decade hence and with a different cast. The main character of these final scenes is Ilse, the daughter of Professor and Mrs. Nielsen, age two. At the moment she lies sleeping in her crib, unaware of the singular drama in which she is to be ...
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Ann Jillian stars as a young girl named Ilse Nielsen who is caught by a cruel trick of fate: she was the subject of a telepathic experiment by her parents where she wasn't taught to speak verbally, but mentally. Unfortunately her parents die in a fire, and since the experiment was done in secret, no one else knows what is "wrong" with Ilse, but a determined teacher named Miss Frank will force Ilse to speak, and be just like everyone else... Appalling episode gives an entirely wrong-headed message about forced public pressure on a young girl to crushingly conform, and her misguided, ignorant teacher to escape unpunished, and indeed to have the ending viewed as a "happy" one is a travesty to be shunned. Only Jillian's sympathetic performance as this poor cursed girl saves it from total ruin. Substitute telepathy with autism to see what I mean...
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