The Twilight Zone - Vol. 34
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A Stop at Willoughby (Ep. 30, May 6, 1960) - Advertising exec Gart Williams (James Daly) cracks under the pressures of his job. But, in this classic episode, he dreams about a peaceful town named Willoughby.
Three episodes dealing with dreams, with two excellent forays into Zone-ishness and one clunker. Also on the disc are special hidden zones that contain the isolated music score for each program and a few of the show's original ads.
"A Stop at Willoughby"
"A Stop at Willoughby" is Rod Serling in top form, using one of his favorite themes of escaping to a simpler time. James Daly is a businessman frazzled to the breaking point by an insensitive, demanding wife and a blubbery plutocrat of a boss who importunes him to "Push! Push! Push!" On the train ride home, he begins to dream of an idyllic town called Willoughby, not on the map or train schedule, but perhaps more than just the stuff of imaginings. Ah, Willoughby! Still relevant after all these years.
"Twenty-Two" is one of the show's six episodes shot on videotape, but still achieves a rare degree of eeriness due to its strong concept and acting. Barbara Nichols stars as a stripper who's checked into a hospital with nervous exhaustion, where she begins having precognitive dreams about deadly doings in the hospital's basement, an exotic nurse leading her there with the foreboding phrase, "Room for one more, honey."
"I Dream of Genie"
"I Dream of Genie" shows the strain of TZ's change from half-hour to full-hour format. A nebbish accountant (Howard Morris) acquires a magical lamp whose genie grants him one wish. The only highlight of this not-too-funny humoresque is the genie, played by veteran character actor Jack Albertson in a brief cameo, smoking a fat cigar and cracking wise. All else is drawn-out Walter Mitty-style fantasy sequences of said nebbish imagining the results of his prospective wish. Oh, and that signpost up ahead? Boredom. --Jim Gay
- "Inside the Twilight Zone" section with the series history
- Episode reviews
- Cast info
- Season-by-season commentary
- Serling bio by "Twilight Zone Companion" author Marc Scott Zicree
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Top customer reviews
When I think of TWENTY-TWO written by Rod Serling all I can think of is "Room for one more." Haunting stuff. I think everyone remembers Barbara Nichols in this frightfully nightmarish role.
I DREAM OF GENIE is from the Fourth Season of hour long episodes. It is a rather forced story of a genie and a single wish granted to Howard Morris. This is rather predictable and it really should have been a half hour episode. It was written by John Furia and directed by Robert Gist. As for the genie popping out of a bottle and granting one wish, I think Howard Morris deserved better. It is not one of my favorite episodes I am sad to say.
A Stop At Willoughby (Episode 30 - May 6, 1960): Advertising exec Gart Williams (James Daly) cracks under the pressures of his job. But, in this classic episode, he dreams about living in a peaceful town named Willoughby. A dream that seems tantalizingly real...
Twenty-Two (Episode 53 - February 10, 1961): Liz Powell (Barbara Nichols) is terrified by a recurring nightmare involving the number 22. Her doctor (Jonathan Harris) reassures her that it is just a bad dream, yet Miss Powell is soon to learn differently.
I Dream Of Genie (Episode 114 - March 21,1963): George P. Hanley (Howard Morris) never had much success in life. But when he rubs a magic Arabian lamp and a genie (Jack Albertson) emerges, he gets one wish, leading him to imagine all kinds of possibilities.
Don't know. All I know is that "A Stop at Willoughby" is one of my all-time three favorite TZ episodes ("Time Enough at Last" and "Walking Distance" being the other two).
Sharing a theme similar to "Walking Distance" (another episode about a burned out advertising executive who gets to step back in time), "A Stop at Willoughby" is the story of a harried, "average" man caught up in a lifestyle that pushes him to ulcers and dreams of days gone by. While on board a train returning home one evening, he dozes off only to be awakened by the conductor calling out the stop -- "Willoughby" -- a place not even found on the map. Of course, it's summer in Willoughby. And the townspeople are happy, slow-paced and friendly...a life the ulcerated ad-man wishes he could step into.
Of course, he does. And there's a typical TZ twist at the end.
I bought this DVD just for "A Stop at Willoughby." And it's a good thing, too. Althought the episode "Twenty-Two" is interesting (especially watching Lost in Space's Jonathan Harris in the role of a doctor), it's not even close to Willoughby's finesse.
The third episode -- "I Dream of Genie" -- is interesting only because Andy Griffth Show's Howard Morris stars. Other than that, it's nothing worth remembering.
If you're a middle-aged advertising executive, you need to see "A Stop at Willoughby." Or, then again, maybe not. That first step is a doozy.