The Tale of the Virtual Pets (Are You Afraid of the Dark?)

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The Tale of the Virtual Pets
Series: Are You Afraid of the Dark?
Part of Season: 6
Episode Number: 69
Air Date: February 27, 1999
Writer: Alice Eve Cohen
Previous episode: The Tale of Jake the Snake
Next episode: The Tale of the Misfortune Cookie

"The Tale of the Virtual Pets" is the fourth episode of the sixth season of Are You Afraid of the Dark?, as well as the sixty-ninth episode in total.


Everyone wants a virtual pet, but Isabel and Kate find out that playing with them can be dangerous.

Why It Shouldn't Be Fed

  1. To Get The Elephant Out of the Room: This episode feels like little more than a rehash of the previous episode, The Tale of the Renegade Virus, but inferior in every way. As unlike Renegade Virus, it doesn't do anything remotely interesting or even scary about the idea of a computer takeover.
  2. Cringeworthy dialogue. Mainly Kate's "Now that's a computer crash!"
  3. The villain of the episode, the Digger, is an AI dog, and it completely and utterly fails at actually being an intimidating monster. Not to mention it's constant use of the phrase "Feed Me" gets annoying really fast due to it's repetition and it's sheer lack of any intimidation.
  4. The scenes of the characters getting digitized by the Digger are incredibly awkward and the effects (while not exactly "bad") look rather dated by today's standards. The CGI used for the Digger has also not aged well.
  5. While not to an extreme level, the episode can get rather mean-spirited at times. Like when Vange rudely takes Megan's cell phone from her, and tells Megan's mom that she'll call her back and turns it off.
  6. There's a scene where Kate walks out of the store after trying on a new jacket in the mall and seemingly walks out of the store forgetting to pay for it. And it's never confirmed if she actually did forget to pay for it or not.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. Both the story's ending (the Digger is defeated and it's victims are freed) and the general episode's endings aren't too bad.
  2. The whole concept of the episode isn't a bad one if it was only executed in a better and more original way.
  3. It can be seen as having a good lesson not to make your entire life centered around electronics.


  • Tom's book "Advanced Computer Language" says it's written by I. Paterson. Iain Paterson directed the episode.
  • This was the first episode in the series revival where the portrayals didn't make any more appearances.
    • Also this was the Fifth episode in the entire series where the portrayals didn't make any more appearances. The first time was in "The Tale of Locker 22". The second time was in "The Tale of the Frozen Ghost", the third time was in "The Tale of Apartment 214" and the fourth time was in "The Tale of the Bookish Babysitter".


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