The Twilight Zone (1959–1964)
33 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.


Robert Parrish


Rod Serling

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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

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Release Date:

6 May 1960 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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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 »


Several times, a crossing gate bell is heard during the train trips. In reality, there are 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 Friend Request (2013) See more »


Camptown Races
Written by Stephen Foster
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User Reviews

The best episode of "The Twilight Zone"
14 May 2006 | by oversplayerSee all my reviews

Gart Williams is a harried, miserable Madison Avenue ad exec with a social climber of a wife, a relentlessly demanding boss, and an ulcer that won't quit. Riding the commuter train home to Connecticut one evening, he falls asleep and awakens on an 1890's train stopping at "Willoughby," a bucolic village where "a man can live his life full measure." He quickly returns to the present, but can't stop dreaming of the simple life for which he longs in a place where a band plays in the town square and kids carry fishing poles. There is little doubt that, when the pressures of modern day life become truly unbearable, Gart Williams will pay a visit to the place of his dreams. Rod Serling's most personal episode. When I had the privilege of seeing him in person in 1970, he described it, along with "The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street," as his two personal favorites. The final scene drew multiple gasps from the audience.

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