The busy and stressed VP of an ad agency, Martin Sloan, stops his car at a gas station. When asked the attendant tells him it will take about an hour to change the oil and perform a lube job. In the meantime Martin realizes he is 1.5 miles away from Homewood the hometown he left 25 years ago and decides to walk there. Soon he finds that he has returned to the past; where he finds his 11 year old self and his parents. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
This episode takes place in 1934 and 1959. See more »
After Sloane eats a little of his three scoop soda, we see the cup placed towards the middle of the counter where he is sitting. When he gets up to leave and the camera angle changes, the unfinished soda is now pushed to the far side of the counter. See more »
[to his younger self]
Martin, I only wanted to tell you that this is a wonderful time of life for you. Don't let any of it go by without enjoying it. There won't be any more merry-go-rounds, no more cotton candy, no more band concerts. I only wanted to tell you that this is a wonderful time for you. Now. Here. That's all, Martin. That's all I wanted to tell you. God help me. That's all I wanted to tell you.
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Wow, what a treat. 'Walking Distance' is just one of those Twilight Zone episodes that you finish watching and you have to sit back and wonder how exactly something so fantastic could be dreamt up. Although admittedly a little overdone at times, this is the first real shining star for the series, making testament as to how it became the success it eventually did.
'Walking Distance' is an episode that explores the idea of leaving behind a home, whether it's a collective place, person(s) or event. Much like the previous episode, our main character Martin Sloan is caught up in the memories of his younger self, but the difference with Martin is that he didn't realise how much he missed home until he got back. Stuck in a stressful and demanding job, our troubled character goes for a drive away from the business and hustle of the big city in search for peace, and subconsciously it would seem, for his care-free childhood life.
The whole story has a tragic melancholy tone running throughout that works very well with our main character's reminiscent adventure. Everything else in the script from the dialogue to the great time-bending plot work just as well, running at a great pace, always holding the attention and imagination. Furthermore the cast does a very good job of handling the script, which failing to do so was the downfall of the previous episode. There are noticeable weak spots here and there with some over-acting and dialogue that seems a little forced (how about those 'band-concerts'!) but taken as a whole, 'Walking Distance' has a real class to it, full of professional ideas and implementation.
Aesthetically the episode is just as pleasing, if not more-so. Of special notice is a particular scene where Martin is left alone beside the merry-go-round; the dramatic change to spotlight lighting and cue of Herrmann's magnificent score fit perfectly with the mesmerising monologue that Young then goes on to deliver eloquently. The sets too are elaborate, being similar to that of the pilot, giving the episode a wide-open and fresh feel that is necessary when delving into the character's memories of childhood.
Taken as a whole this is simply a wonderfully realised episode that deals with some great themes in even greater ways. With exceptional photography, music, performances and writing, 'Walking Distance' is true classic Twilight Zone in every way.
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