Tired of his miserable job and wife, a businessman starts dreaming on the train each night, about an old, idyllic town called Willoughby. Soon he has to know whether the town is real and fancies the thought of seeking refuge there.
Ad agency executive Garth Williams has had a particularly rough day - his young protégé has left to work at another agency and took a $3 million account him. He falls asleep on the train home and wakes up in another place and another time. It's July 1888 and he's in the village of Willoughby, a peaceful town where life is easy. He comes to back in his own time but as the pressures of works and his home life continue to mount, he decides Willoughby is exactly where he would like to spend the rest of days. Written by
The original draft of this story was considered for the pilot episode of the series but eventually rejected. It was later rewritten for this end of season one episode. See more »
Just before Gart Williams enters the restroom, the office assistant tells him his boss wants to talk to him. He uses the phone and hangs the receiver up backwards (cord across the dial). When he returns to the desk, after breaking the mirror, the receiver is hung up correctly. See more »
And just where would you be if it weren't for my appetite?
I know where I'd like to be.
A place called Willoughby, a little town I manufactured in a dream.
Tell me about your dream, Gart.
It was an odd dream. Very odd dream. Willoughby. It was summer, very warm. Kids were barefooted. One of them had a fishing pole. It all looked like a Currier and Ives painting. Bandstand, bicycles, wagons. I've never seen such serenity. It was the way people must have lived a hundred years ago. ...
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Rod Serling's personal favorite for the first season
Along with Rod Serling's choice as writer, A Stop at Willoughby is one of the all time favorite of many fans in the entire Twilight Zone series. Its theme is classic and recalls the never-never Utopias of a human heart desperate to escape the pressures of every day reality.
Shangri-La from James Hilton's Lost Horizon and Brigadoon, the musical by Alan Jay Lerner (based on an old German story, Germelshausen by Freidrich Gerstacker) are just two of these places. Hilton's Shangri-La is based on the concept of Shambhala, a mystical city in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition.
In this memorable series show Serling's Willoughby takes its place among the literary Utopias. It was expanded into a TV movie in 2000, entitled, For All Time, starring Mark Harmon with a new teleplay by Vivienne Radkoff.
Many of us have from time to time dreamed of such a place where we could leave all of our cares behind and live an idyllic life. As in the best of The Twilight Zone episodes we are given that moment of revelation in the end and this time with a twist that some might call tragic while others might see it as hopeful.
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