Sandra Dee gets lost in a storm and winds up at the home of her son—twenty years in the future—in this Night Gallery story review of “Tell David”
“Tell David” **1/2
Teleplay by Gerald Sanford • Story by Penelope Wallace
Directed by Jeff Corey
Sandra Dee as Ann Bolt
Jared Martin as Tony Bolt/David Blessington
Jenny Sullivan as Pat Blessington
Jan Shutan as Jane Blessington
Françoise Ruggieri as Yvonne
Anne Randall as Julie
Chris Patrick as David Bolt
Ann Bolt (Sandra Dee) is driving her station wagon one night through a strong thunderstorm and gets lost. She stops at a house to ask to use the phone and is warmly greeted by Pat Blessington (Jenny Sullivan), who invites her in.
The house has futuristic elements to it, such as a one-way security window (they can see out but you can’t see in), closed-circuit tv for security and a FaceTime-like telephone she uses to try to call her husband, which doesn’t go through. They also have a MapQuest or Google Maps-like device to show her the route from their house to hers. Pat’s husband, David (Jared Martin), suggests that Ann return to visit and she agrees that she’d like to do so.
When Ann returns home, not far away, she notices that everything is dry—no rainstorm. Upon entering her house, there is a masked man, but it’s her husband Tony making some weirdly dramatic point about her returning late and not calling. He says the phone never rang, despite her attempt to call from the Blessingtons’ house. They then get into a fight and we get a none-too-subtle visual cue from director Jeff Corey that Tony (also played by Jared Martin) may be having an affair with their nanny.
Ann visits the Blessingtons again, though there is apparently no weirdness getting to their home in the future in calm weather. Ann confesses her feelings of jealousy regarding her husband possibly seeing another woman and David warns her against the “green-eyed monster” of jealousy, saying he still bears a scar from his fourth birthday when he cut his thumb the day his own jealous mother killed his father then took her own life. He shows her a picture of his mother and tells her he does not blame her.
He was raised by a relative of his father, a woman whose family name was Blessington. He warns Ann to not succumb to her feelings of jealousy as they could lead to tragedy.
In the next scene, Ann’s son (about four-ish) has cut his thumb while cutting his birthday cake. The nanny was there, but she is furious at her husband for being absent and suspecting he was seeing a woman. He says he was, but the woman was his cousin who’s in town—named Jane Blessington.
These “co-incidences” drive Ann to a breakdown and while she is hospitalized, she’s visited by Jane and Ann asks her to take care of her son should that become necessary. She has put together the pieces and believes that David Blessington is her own son David, twenty years in the future, trying to warn her of her unfortunate destiny. Still, she does not believe she will follow in this path: she is adamant that she won’t kill her husband and then herself.
Back home, to finally confirm her suspicions, she notices that the box of cigarettes the Blessingtons gave her bears the words “made in 1989” on the label (this episode is from 1971).
One night she is awakened and comes downstairs to find her husband in a passionate embrace with the nanny. She finds a gun and shoots him.
Later, in prison, Jane visits Ann and is there to arrange legal representation for her. In a strong final scene, Sandra Dee gives a good performance as if in a sort of euphoric trance, calm and relieved in the knowledge that her son will grow up well. “I know he’s going to forgive me. You see, he kept my picture. He said I was very beautiful.”
An uneven segment, but with its strengths. Another interesting near-miss in the Gallery.