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This episode begins in the foyer of Mr Williams' personal and
professional fatigue...This dilemma transcends the cumbersome nuisance
of an encroaching mid-life crisis..It is far more fatal!!..Mr Williams
is cannonaded by being under constant scrutiny at his high profile job,
and this undue stress takes a toll on his physical health as well as
his mental resolve...Pressure from all sides has made Williams acutely
aware of his actual breaking point...This Twilight Zone episode
brilliantly depicts how a man who has sophisticated Connecticut
suburbia by the throat can be the well deserved recipient of self
As Williams is returning home from work one evening, he falls asleep and has a dream about a town called Wiloughby...In this dream the train stops at a town named Wiloughby, which is a quaint little town in the late 1800's...Wiloughby "Where a man can live his life full measure".. Wiloughby is a simplistic and serene utopia.. Small town America in the late 1800's?.. No flu shots, no air conditioning, no television, abhorrent racial intolerance and non-refrigerated food!!..yet for Williams, Wiloughby represents an innocence and happiness that is right out of a Currier and Ives painting!!
When Mr Williams arrives home, he tells his wife about his dream!!! Let's first meet the wife...She is a preoccupied virago who is consumed by material accoutrement as a way of flaunting accomplishment and success...Her brow beaten husband's accomplishment and success!! It is Chateaubriand every Friday at the Country Club and clothes from Peck and Peck just to brandish a badge of prestige, her avaricious nature is solely for the purpose of nurturing the shallow virtue of vanity!!
As the husband explores the conundrum of climbing the corporate ladder, the wife merely purports her husband's social isolation and emotional neglect and relegates it to indignant and precocious whining...She perceives the town he manufactured in a dream called Wiloughby, as an escapist panacea which serves as a subterfuge for averting the reality of executive level competition!!
Returning home once again, Mr Williams has a dream about Wiloughby and now he is determined to get off the train and visit Wiloughby should he have this dream ever again!!...Increased pressure from his job and a total lack of empathy from everyone around him intensify his desire to change his life!!...He gives his wife one final plea to support his mixed feelings about everything...This completely backfires and she makes it perfectly clear as she previously stated, that she wants no part of a man "who's big dream in life is to be Huckleberry Finn"...It is important to note that William's wife is not impervious to what he is saying, she understands fully of what he is saying and resolutely resists it!!
Now being pressured from all sides to the point whereby a head vice seems like a Tonka Toy...Mr Williams once again falls asleep on the train and decides to get off at Wiloughby (The manufactured town in his persistent dreams)...To Williams, he has now entered the citadel of respite and solace...To the real world Mr Williams has committed suicide...For now, Mr Williams is in the world he wants to be!!
This Twilight Zone episode illustrates how being raptured up in white collar slavery can often times lead to being trounced by recrimination!! As a result, it is easy to lose sight of what is truly important to you!! Now all of a sudden, the joy of heartfelt laughter, and human compassion seem like old relics!!...A mandated life of affluence can be the insidious assassin to happiness, as well as a ruthless vitiation to a tolerable perseverance!!
The Twilight Zone episode "Stop at Wiloughby" is loosely based on Rod Serling's life in terms of the pressure he faced while doing Twilight Zone!! It is very ironic that this episode premiered on CBS the day I was born!!...Rod Serling's articulation of the social climbing America is done up to perfection in this episode!! Carrying across an idea that is prolific and socially astute in nature is difficult enough on it's own right, but when you are continually interrupted every twelve minutes by commercials about bleach detergent, chocolates that taste homemade, and Mercury Convertibles, it is seemingly far more difficult or next to impossible...Rod Serling somehow finds a way to convey his message and flawlessly...This is my second favorite Twilight Zone Episode of all time...I love it, but then again I love a lot of them!!
Rod Serling's distinctive approach gave "The Twilight Zone" a unique
character that will always keep it among the best-remembered of all
classic television shows. Not only that, but it set high goals for
itself, and it took a lot of chances - and not chances in the phony,
trivial sense in which a lot of more recent series "take chances" by
resorting to unnecessarily provocative or indecent material that
actually guarantees them attention and acclaim.
"The Twilight Zone" took chances by experimenting with many different kinds of stories and material, and by aiming to provide high-quality entertainment while simultaneously giving you something to think about. As a result, there were a few episodes that didn't quite click, and that seem odd or even dull. But when it worked - as it did a great deal of the time - no television show then or now was more imaginative.
In a short review, it would be impossible to list all of the memorable episodes, or even to cover the full range of the kinds of material that it used. There were chilling episodes like "To Serve Man", which is often remembered by those who saw it decades ago, and there were thought-provoking episodes like "In the Eye of the Beholder", which was also imaginatively filmed.
Many episodes relied primarily on a well-written and well-conceived story, while others, like "The Invaders", relied heavily on excellent acting performances (in that case, by Agnes Moorehead). There were occasional light-hearted episodes like "Once Upon a Time", which was also a nice showcase for the great Buster Keaton.
It's too bad that these anthology-style series went out of fashion, because a number of them were of high quality. This one, in particular, stands well above its subsequent imitators. The best science fiction, like the best of any genre or art form, appeals to the imagination, not to the senses, and imagination is what "The Twilight Zone" was all about.
Imagine you are an unsuspecting daughter of prominent New England
wealth, and suddenly you are upended by a malignant premonition!! This
woman is an enigmatic phantom who has been disillusioned by
consequences, she winds up resorting to dipsomanical forms of
entertainment, this means that her only form of emotional consolation
comes from a bottle of cognac, apathy is suffocating her, and she is
afflicted by her own personal failure!! The abrupt revelation that
mendacity is your stilted panacea, and reality is her bitter cynicism,
necessitates a formidable trepidation which you are unable to cope
with!! This is a dreadfully candid scenario with definable features!!
You are unfamiliar with this nightmarish figure, but she has an acute
resemblance to you, she is warning you about yourself, and you have
This Twilight Zone episode deals with devastating disappointments which emanated from personal neglect and wanton selfishness!! You (Ann Henderson) were mirrored by the fallen angel of darkness, otherwise known as you at age 43!! You were suppose to marry Mr Right, and as a result of your adolescent instinct being one of your downfalls, you wound up marrying your childhood sweetheart, he was definitely Mr Wrong!! ..The only constant in your life is alcohol, and your stupors of disenchantment result in blaming your father for everything, hence, you are stalemated by non-productiveness, and you have become misanthropic by default.. These irrational logic patterns of yours are indicative of a banal, run of the mill, alcoholic's proverbial cop out!! Your father's estate has been run into ruin, and your prevailing domestic enmity is a crippling force to your very existence!! At the ripe old age of 18, your desolate future accosted you, and you had no way of fighting back...You were victimized by a lethargic attrition, disheveled by circumstances, and though you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth, your incredible lack of discipline and discriminating judgment has caused you to be permanently bankrupt!! Bottom line, you had a dual with adversity and adversity won!! Everything in your life has gone wrong, and now you are isolated and despondent!! This comprises the callous vilification of your miserably pathetic plight...Without question!! It is definitely time for you to reap what you've sown!!
This was my favorite Twilight Zone episode of all time!! It depicts the realistic tragedy of deteriorating wealth decimating an entire family!! Rod Serling illustrates how lives can easily be destroyed by making the wrong decisions!! Films like "Dracula" and "Wolfman" are indeed supernatural sensationalism, and the real horror story which receives the certificate of authenticity is Ann Henderson's life!! Yes, the monster that will destroy you is your future!! While Ann owned a racing horse on the verge of bank foreclosure, by no means, may she ride off into the sunset!! This episode has a very poignant and compelling dialog which addresses the upheaval of pecuniary dissemination!! The trend of domestic disaster in this case is resoundingly irreversible!! In 1964, television's perception of the well to do insinuated that they were omnipotent.. The reality of affluence is that once it is passed down to the heirs (Otherwise known as the overgrown adolescents) it is reduced to nothing in record time!! The Twilight Zone segment "Spur of the Moment" does a tremendous job of displaying such an unfortunately realistic situation!! It was made during the last season of the series!! This was a fantastic idea for a Twilight Zone segment, as I stated before, this is my favorite Twilight Zone episode out of the entire series!!
Wow! Where should I start? "The Twilight Zone" is arguably the greatest
science fiction television show ever! Almost every single episode is a
masterpiece of modern Sci-Fi. I feel "The Twilight Zone" is responsible
the way we view science fiction today...provocative, strangely eerie, and
wildly entertaining. The shows creator and writer, Rod Sterling, was a
master of creating a show that caused you to stop and think, re-examine
reality, consider the impossible, check the closet before going to bed,
sleep with the lights on!
I watched this program religiously as a child. Every Saturday night I had
to bribe my little brother to stay up and watch "The Twilight Zone" with
because I was afraid to watch it alone. It came on at 11:00 p.m. By
my little brother was sound asleep with chocolate smeared around his
and I would be alone, curled in a blanket, awaiting the next spine
episode. I was never disappointed. By the time it went off, I would
usually be sitting there alone...in a comatose-like daze, staring at the
static on the television screen, too afraid to turn it off because to do
would ensure that you met with some hideous fate similar to the one you
"The Twilight Zone" was also a spring board for many young and talented
actors/actresses during its run from the late 50's well into the 60's.
Thanks to mail order companies, I have ordered and received every single episode of "The Twilight Zone"! It would be impossible for me to say which episode is my absolute favorite because I loved so many. But a couple do stick out in my mind. They are "Time Enough At Last" and "Eye Of The Beholder". If you've never watched this wonderful example of television at it's best, I plead with you to check it out. It can be found on the Sci-Fi channel as well as various other stations via cable T.V. There's no sex, no foul language, and no graphic violence. But you will find a solid plot, famous actors/actresses years before before they became famous, and a story with a very surprising twist at the end that will leave a smile on your face, or, a cringe as you wake up your someone else in the house to turn off the T.V.
"The Twilight Zone" brought a complexity and maturity to television that had never existed before and probably hasn't been seen since. The stories were always ironic, briliant, and fascinating, and they often came with a moral lesson. Episodes like "A Kind of a Stopwatch", with Richard Erdmann, "Time Enough At Last", with Burgess Meredith, "Nightmare at 20,00 Feet", with William Shatner, and "Where is Everybody," with Earl Holliman, dove into concepts and situations no other show would have even touched. The entertainment brought on by "The Twilight Zone" was as vast as the Zone itself. Its principal writers, Sterling, Beaumont, and Matheson, were the best of their era. For sheer television entertainment, nothing compares to the brilliant, heavyweight stories of "The Twilight Zone." TO be frank, "The Twilight Zone" was the first show that didn't insult the viewer's intelligence.
There is probably no one who doesn't remember the Twilight Zone and have a
favorite episode. I was 11 or 12 and so many of the episodes stick in my
mind. Many friends and co-workers are similarly afflicted. When a group
us are discussing the woes of commuting, someone is sure to suggest that
they get off at Willoughby. Stuck in a long line for whatever, with the
beginning of the line no where in sight - someone might rant "It's a
cookbook!". We laugh now but some episodes gave us cause for
Did you ever notice how many 50's, 60's and even 70's tv shows are represented by the guest cast of TZ? Gilligan's Island, Bewitched, Star Trek, Lost In Space, Beverly Hillbillies, The Farmer's Daughter, Dobie Gillis, My Three Sons, Batman, Big Valley, The Bob Cummings Show, My Favorite Doll (or is that My Living Doll - Julie Newmar plays a robot), Honey West, Police Woman, The Odd Couple and who knows how many more!
What a series - serious actresses like Ida Lupino and Agnes Moorehead and clowns like Don Rickles. Big screen names like Mickey Rooney and Charles Bronson. Lost In Space is represented by Johnathan Harris, Billy Mumy (numerous appearances -and its a good thing you did,Anthony) and Angela Cartwright. Batman has Adam West, Julie Newmar and the great Burgess! You have a James Bond villain (Joseph Wiseman) and the first James Bond himself (for the really entrenched trivia fans - I'm not telling you who he is but it ain't Connery).
An earlier commenter put it best - this show bred most of today's horror, suspense and occult films.
It is completely impossible to narrow down the best episodes of this classic TV series...everything about it (writing, acting, production values) is leaps and bounds above anything around today! That being said, since the Christmas season is approaching, Serling made two holiday episodes that are worth taking the time to watch all over again: "The Night of the Meek" with Art Carney and (my personal favorite) "The Changing of the Guard" with Donald Pleasance. Both are timeless classics, and show a very sentimental side to the Twilight Zone...Every year at the holiday season I like to sit back and take these episodes in; they get better and better with each repeated viewing! Merry Christmas & Enjoy!
Whatever incantation, whatever form, whatever decade, this show has managed to intrigue and defy logic with its use of imaginary story lines and ideas, mixing a palate of intrigue and genius to allow the common viewer to become engrossed in the weirdest television has to offer. While the original series was cheesy at some points, this show was always different, always something to look forward to in regards to the eeriness it created. Rod Serling helped usher in a generation of paranoia and science fiction thanks to this groundbreaking show, and I'm thankful for this. I could only imagine what the world would be like if all we had were terrible dramas and average sitcoms filling the airwaves. This show will rank as one of the best in my book, no matter what people say.
I would assume that everyone knows "The Twilight Zone"'s theme song, and recognizes Rod Serling's monotone explanations of how the given character has just crossed over into the Twilight Zone. I'm not sure which episode is my favorite. There's "Nightmare at 30,000 Feet", in which William Shatner sees a monster tearing at an airplane wing, and there's also "Time Enough at Last", where Burgess Meredith plays a bookworm who gets enough time to read as much as he wants...or does he? Or, it might be another episode. But no matter. "The Twilight Zone" never ceases to impress me. Even the 1983 movie was pretty interesting, not something that many movies based on TV shows accomplish. You should try to see the show.
How much do we really know about our next door neighbors? The pleasant facade they masquerade around becomes a stilted and decorative shield for them when their prevailing circumstances are totally cop aesthetic. What happens though, when adversity besieges, and the obligatory veneer is stripped away? The affable camaraderie of your friendly neighborhood kindred spirit, (otherwise known as your neighbor) becomes abruptly, and instantaneously obviated with these circumstances, and now, your neighbor is now a vulgar,venomous, vile, gut-wrenching, self-absorbed- for- survival- mode, monstrous parasite! This episode "The Shelter" is unequivocally,one of the best "Twilight Zone" segments out of the entire series! While it is compared to "The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street", I felt that "The Shelter" was a great deal more compelling. The intensity of the characters' excoriation was extremely gripping with the episode. As opposed to "The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street" where the people extracted a little too much exaggerated paranoia. The cast was very well put together, including Jack Albertson and Larry Gates. (Gates played a doctor, and was down in the basement in the "Twilight Zone's" "The Shelter", just like he was in the movie "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" ). "The Shelter" possesses a vitriolic contempt with which these threatened individuals harbored! This enmity is far more of a lethal arsenal than any defense weapon around. How much do we hate? What exactly is it that we are thoroughly willing to do just to stay alive? The desperation, the prejudice, the primal fears, and the scruple less non cooperation we capitulate to at the first sign of terror, becomes a grim scenario that is truly alarming!! This "Twilight Zone" segment "The Shelter" purveys an incredibly desperate acrimony which basically admonishes the entire human race. This false alarm for apocalyptic calamity with this "Twilight Zone" segment has encapsulated an aggregate character assassination for all of these New York suburban misanthropes who became victimized by this precariously macabre situation. You might want to look in the mirror and attempt to reaffirm the distinction between man and beast after watching this "Twilight Zone" episode. I did, and, quite frankly, such a situation that "The Shelter" brought before me, has made it very difficult for me to distinguish any comfortable dichotomy between human beings, and a bloodthirsty wolf pack!! This wry little epigram definitely put me in an frightfully horrid mood, particularly on a philosophical level! Rod Serling hones in on the rudimentary instincts of man, which are for better, or, for worse, Serling accomplishes this parody in a very successful manner too! What is the most significant aspect to Rod Serling's works is the esoteric element to them that transcends the importance of television ratings and popularity! This intriguing quality is one whereby the paradigms in which Rod Serling manifests were stunningly pertinent to the thought patterns of modern twentieth century America! I do not mean that these ideas were remotely similar to Eisenhower era conceptions, I mean that Serling pinpoints many U.S. cold war ideologies with an utterly succinct and identifiable accuracy! Rod Serling had attained such a creative stranglehold on television entertainment with "Twilight Zone" that it almost seemed as though programming approval from CBS President, William Paley, became relegated to the triviality of a tertiary concern! So many "Twilight Zone" segments were fabulous, and I feel that this episode of "Twilight Zone" entitled "The Shelter" was totally outstanding as well!!
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