The Twilight Zone (1959–1964)
39 user 6 critic

A Stop at Willoughby 

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.


Robert Parrish


Rod Serling




Episode complete credited cast:
Rod Serling ... Narrator (voice)
James Daly ... Gart Williams
Howard Smith ... Misrell
Patricia Donahue ... Janie Williams
Jason Wingreen ... 1960 Conductor
Mavis Neal Palmer Mavis Neal Palmer ... Helen (as Mavis Neal)
James Maloney James Maloney ... 1888 Conductor


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 garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis



Did You Know?


Three of the songs played by the band in Willoughby, "Oh! Susanna", "Camptown Races", and "Beautiful Dreamer," are by Stephen Foster. Another is "Listen to the Mockingbird" by Foster's colleague Septimus Winner. 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 »


Misrell: We have now been here thirty-four minutes, Mr. Williams.
Gart Williams: This is a communication from Jake Ross.
Misrell: Would you be so kind as to share its contents with us?
Gart Williams: I can give you the sense of it very quickly, Mr. Misrell. This is Jake Ross's resignation. He's moving over to another agency.
Misrell: And...?
Gart Williams: And he's taking the automobile account with him.
Misrell: That account represented a gross billing of something in the neighborhood of three million dollars a year! And how many times have you promised it to me?
Gart Williams: This is as much ...
See more »


Referenced in Rugrats: Family Reunion/Grandpa's Date (1992) See more »


Beautiful Dreamer
Written by Stephen Foster
See more »

User Reviews

One Twilight Zone episode that sticks in the mind
29 May 2009 | by RedcitykevSee all my reviews

Of all of the episodes from The Twilight Zone it is this one that seems to stick in my mind most - alongside the episode entitled (I think) 'Terror at 10,000ft'.

Why 'A Stopover at Willoughby' should have such an effect on me I can not really say, but there is something about the idea of a place which you have never actually visited yet you know every street, building, shop, person, even the dogs on the streets that appeals to something deep within - maybe a psychological yearning for a place were you are eternally safe and free from worries. I have often had dreams like that and I guess that is what this episode taps into deeply, as do the very best of the rest of this amazing series.

The other thing that has stayed with me after watching this episode - which was some many moons ago! - is the train conductor saying "Willoughby, this is Willoughby...Willoughby, this is Willoughby..." When I am travelling on a bus (and, occasionally, the train) and it is idling at some stop somewhere I find myself saying these words in my head - now there are not many programmes that have the power to last that long in the brain!

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Release Date:

6 May 1960 (USA) See more »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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