We begin this week-long look at the dolls seen in the 'Twilight Zone' episode "Five Characters In Search Of An Exit" with The Major. The Major was the central character and was played by the late, great character actor William Windom who just passed away a few months ago.
Remember, this is all speculation.......
"Clown, hobo, ballet dancer, bagpiper, and an Army major -
a collection of question marks.
Five improbable entities stuck together into a pit of darkness.
No logic, no reason, no explanation;
just a prolonged nightmare in which fear, loneliness,
and the unexplainable walk hand in hand through the shadows.
In a moment, we'll start collecting clues as to the whys, the whats, and the wheres.
We will not end the nightmare, we'll only explain it - because this is the Twilight Zone."
Major Rick Graves
Mrs. Rick Graves (Mercedes "Mercy" Graves?)
REASON IT WAS NEVER PICKED UP:
When Mrs. Graves ordered the doll to be made, it was to celebrate her husband's promotion to the rank of Major. At that time, theirs was still a happy marriage, but the magic must have burned out quickly - which is why she never bothered to pick up her order and wrote off the down payment.
They could probably both be to blame for the marriage falling apart, or it could be a "Divorce Hers"/"Divorce His" situation. Perhaps it was because of his assigned posting which took him too far away from her for too long a time.
I don't know if Major Graves was married in that episode of 'The Invaders', but if so, he had remarried at some point in those intervening years.
WHO WAS MRS. GRAVES?
'The Adventures Of Superman' only used a handful of characters from the DC Comics and none of them were the super-villains and other super-heroes connected to the Superman mythos. But that doesn't mean they didn't exist in Earth Prime-Time.
Mercedes "Mercy" Graves is a fictional supervillain who appears in comic books published by DC Comics. She debuted in 1996 on 'Superman: The Animated Series' as the bodyguard/personal assistant of Superman's archenemy, Lex Luthor. Like the Batman villain Harley Quinn, she has since crossed over from the DC animated universe into the comics.
And like Harley Quinn, she could have also crossed over into one of the live-action TV dimensions. Mercedes Graves could be one of those DC Universe characters whom we have to assume existed in Toobworld, but at the same point in the timeline as Clark Kent/Superman. This means she would have been in Earth Prime-Time forty years before she first appeared in the Tooniverse, before she was even created!
But it's a theory that could work......
From the official website of the U.S. Army:
In July 1948, the first enlisted women entered the Regular Army and in December, the first WAC officers received Regular Army appointments. Women could enlist from ages 18 to 35. Enlistment under age 21 required parental or guardian consent. Women were no longer sent to a TO unit of 150 women, but received individual assignments. Enlistments in the Women’s Army Corps, Regular Army, opened to civilians in September 1948, and on Oct. 4, the Women’s Army Corps Training Center opened at Camp Lee, Va.
So Rick Graves may have met Mercedes while they were both serving in the military. She may have shown extraordinary prowess while in basic training and was given special training to develop certain skill sets to make her a "weapon".
But something may have been overlooked when it came to her psychological profile. For whatever reason, she became increasingly darker in mood. This could be why they divorced in the early 1960's. Maybe she then left the Army as a deadly super-soldier and soon allied herself with Lex Luthor. (Never seen in the TV series, but in my mind he was played by R.G. Armstrong.)
Again, this is all supposition......
- 'The Twilight Zone' - "Five Characters In Search Of An Author"
- 'The Invaders' - "Doomsday Minus One"
- 'Superman: The Animated Series' - beginning with "A Little Piece Of Home"
- 'The Adventures Of Superman'
- 'Birds Of Prey'