Tales from the Crypt – The Secret (S2E18)

tftcsecret02Theodore is the oldest kid at the orphanage, and there is little chance any parents will adopt him.  Being the oldest and the biggest, the standard bowl of orphan-chow they serve just isn’t enough.

We catch him sneaking down the stairs to the kitchen to steal a snack.  In the fridge, there is one chicken leg, an apple, an onion and half a bottle of milk.  This is to feed about 10 kids, so if they are hungry tomorrow, I don’t think it is going to be his fault.

He is busted by the headmaster Mrs. Hagstead who, like Mrs. Goodbody in the Bradbury episode, is not quite appropriately cast.  She is an older woman, but not a hag.  The casting director was on the ball casting a hottie as her assistant Miss Heather, though,  because, as science has proven, all Heathers are hot.  Hagstead tells Heather she must never talk about what happened to Theodore’s parents.

tftcsecret07Hagstead instructs Heather to take Theodore back upstairs and lock him in his room. That night, Theodore sneaks out again by the full moon and comes back in the morning covered in dirt from his escape.

Against all odds, a couple comes to the orphanage and thinks Theodore is the perfect choice to live with them in “the lap of luxury.”  Theodore is in awe of the large house and his room which is filled with toys — which is a good thing since they keep him locked in his room.  All he has to keep him company are the many toys, Tobias the butler and a never-ending series of cakes, pies, sundaes, eclairs, ice cream, napoleons and milkshakes.

During a moonlight stroll around the estate, the couple tells Theodore that the have a special surprise coming up for him, but that it is a secret.  Tobias, also an orphan, seems genuinely concerned for Theodore’s welfare.  One night, Tobias is caught trying to smuggle Theodore out of the house.

tftcsecret13He is caught by the couple who are revealed to be vampires.  Theodore manages to escape, but is caught running across the estate.  Turns out Theodore has a secret of his own.

That night, or at least at night, Theodore returns to the orphanage dressed like Danny Noonan at the Yacht Club and tells Hagstead and Heather that there are going to be some changes.

Great episode — this is how you handle kids, Outer Limits!


  • No idea when this is set, but Hagstead calls Theodore a “little Sputnik”, so it had to be after 1957.  Sputnik seems to have a few translations in English: Something that travels with the earth, Traveling Companion, Fellow Traveler.  This is funny considering the colloquial meaning of fellow traveler in this country even before Sputnik.
  • Tobias is played by Larry Drake, last seen in the great And All Through the House and The Message.
  • This is the writer’s sole credit.  The director had only one other directing credit, but was a production designer on a lot of big movies.  Despite these slim resumes, the writing and especially the direction were better than the average TFTC.
  • Last episode of the season — don’t forget what you learned over the summer, guys.
  • Gaines Orphanage, I get it.

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