The busy and stress VP of a company Martin Sloan stops his car at a gas station in a road and the attendant tells that he needs to change the oil. Martin sees a warning plate informing that Homewood is 1.5 miles away from the spot and he decides to walk to revisit his hometown. Soon he finds that he has returned to the past and he finds himself and his parents in the place. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Martin Sloan, age thirty-six, vice-president in charge of media. Successful in most things, but not in the one effort that all men try at some time in their lives - trying to go home again. And also like all men, perhaps there'll be an occasion - maybe a summer night sometime - when he'll look up from what he's doing and listen to the distant music of a calliope, and hear the voices and the laughter of the people and the places of his past. And perhaps across his mind, ...
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Gig Young plays Martin Sloan in this. There's a second lead character called Sloan in the Rod Serling written 'On Thursday We Leave For Home' in series four. Other surnames that Serling gave to a vital character more than once in a TZ episode are Horn, Koch, and Beechcroft.
'Walking Distance' explores a subject that Serling touched on several times in TZ and 'Night Gallery', that of a man going back to a happier time in his life. Martin Sloan is first seen honking his car horn and looking agitated. He is the vice-president of an ad agency and at thirty-six finds himself by chance within walking distance of Homewood where he grew up. First he meets a little boy (Ron Howard) who says he cant be Martin Sloan and runs away, but Sloan begins to realize the happy days of his childhood are still happening here.
The story is deceptively simple but the message is strong. You only get one unique stab at life and you must cherish the present. Martin Sloan gains a fantastic perspective by chasing after his eleven-year-old self hoping to tell him to enjoy the 'happiest' part of his life. The essence of a carefree childhood can stay a valuable part of you.
The carousel is a good plot device interestingly filmed for showing the elusive and magical quality of childhood happiness that nonetheless is nearer to you than you think. Walking distance actually.
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