The Twilight Zone (1959–1964)
30 user 5 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.




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Episode complete credited cast:
... Narrator (voice)
... Gart Williams
... Misrell
... Janie Williams
... 1960 Conductor
Mavis Neal Palmer ... Helen (as Mavis Neal)
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






Release Date:

6 May 1960 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The train stations called out by the conductor on the 1960 train are real. At the time of the filming, stations such as "Stamford" and "Westport & Saugatuck" were stations on the New Haven Railroad. They continue to exist as of August 2015 as stations on the Metro North Railroad. However, present day maps, station signs and conductors, do not mention Saugatuck in the station name. See more »


Several times a crossing gate bell is heard during the train trips. In fact, by the 40's, there were no grade crossings on the New Haven RR line between Grand Central Terminal and Union Station in New Haven. 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 ...
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Referenced in Thirtysomething: A Stop at Willoughby (1991) See more »


Oh! Susanna
Written by Stephen Foster
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User Reviews

That Brilliant First Year
12 June 2013 | by See all my reviews

This entry very much reflects the button-down collar of the 1950's when success was identified with rising in the corporate world. I suspect Serling was reaching deep within himself with recollections of an uncluttered childhood as contrasted with the pressure of TV advertising surrounding a successful writer-executive.

Daly both looks and acts the junior executive part perfectly. And I like the traveling train as a metaphor for time passage. In a sense, Williams must depart the real world train to find the contentment he seeks. One thing to note – a 30-minute time frame doesn't leave much leeway for character development of supporting players, so Williams' "push, push" boss and grasping wife become shorthand caricatures for the pressures he faces. Nonetheless, it's a particularly poignant entry, deftly handled, with what I suspect is near universal appeal.

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