Told by their parents that they are getting a divorce, Sport and Jeb Sharewood now have to decide who they are going to live with. They decide they would rather live with Aunt T, the woman they've met by traveling through a portal at the bottom of their swimming pool. At the other end is an idyllic world where children play and there are few adults. Aunt T is a kindly old woman but Sport is far more reluctant than Jeb to accept her invitation to stay with them.Written by
The "confrontation" sequence (where Jeb and Sport declare they don't have to live with their bickering parents anymore and dive into the pool for good), was actually written by Earl Hamner Jr. to be the climax of the story; it was also used at the beginning because the final version came up a few minutes short (Whit's "Howdy!" greeting as the kids emerge from the "swimming hole" and the tracking shot of the children in Aunt T's yard were repeated as well for the same reason). There was noise interference on the MGM back-lot during the pool sequences, and everyone had to be called back for post-dubbing, but actress Mary Badham wasn't available. June Foray was brought in to dub her lines. It was a "sloppy" job, and Rod Serling knew it. It was held until the very end of the season as the "final" show (where, it was figured, most people wouldn't notice, having tuned out of the series). See more »
The last time that Sport jumps in the pool to return to Aunt T's house, she is wearing a housecoat over her swimsuit. When she surfaces on 'the other side', she is no longer wearing the coat. Apparently the surfacing scene is the same scene used for their original arrival. See more »
A brief epilogue for concerned parents: Of course, there isn't any such place as the gingerbread house of Aunt T, and we grownups know there's no door at the bottom of a swimming pool that leads to a secret place. But who can say how real the fantasy world of lonely children can become? For Jeb and Sport Sharewood, the need for love turned fantasy into reality. They found a secret place - in The Twilight Zone.
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No getting around it- this is a bad episode. It makes a good point about self-obsessed parents being unworthy of their children. I like the fact that the Sport (Mary Badham) clearly IMAGINES a special place for children before she and Jeb are beckoned to go to such a place by a country boy in the swimming pool. Imagination is their escape from unhappiness with narcissistic and bickering parents. Aunt Ti in the 'other' world gives them a constructive mixture of work and pleasure to build their self esteem. These are the good points made by this final TZ episode, written by Earl Hamner, whose previous seven stories (apart from 'Black Leather Jackets') made him a stalwart contributor to the standard of the show.
However the faults with this one are manifold and well documented- the repetition of a scene - the dubbing of Mary Badham's voice. Too many too list.
A nice message to end on for the greatest show ever.
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