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The Twilight Zone: Walking Distance

Martin Sloane returns to his hometown where he discovers nothing has changed there since he was a child.

Episode Info

Episode number: 1x5
Production Number: 173-3605
Airdate: Friday October 30th, 1959

Director: Robert Stevens
Writer: Rod Serling


Guest Stars
Gig YoungGig Young
As Martin Sloan

Co-Guest Stars
Frank OvertonFrank Overton
As Martin's Father
Irene TedrowIrene Tedrow
As Mrs. Sloan
Nan PetersonNan Peterson
As The Woman in the Park
Pat OPat O'malley
As Mr. Wilson
Michael MontgomeryMichael Montgomery
As Martin as a child
Ron HowardRon Howard
As Wilcox Boy (as Ronnie Howard)
Byron FoulgerByron Foulger
As Charlie
Sheridan ComerateSheridan Comerate
As The Gas Station Attendant
Joseph CoreyJoseph Corey
As The 1959 Counterman
Buzz MartinBuzz Martin
As The Teenager
Main Cast
Rod SerlingRod Serling
As Narrator/Host


Ad agency executive Martin Sloan pulls into a gas station and honks for service. As the gas station attendant works on his car, Martin notices that Homewood is a mile up the road. He grew up in Homewood and hasn’t been back there in over 20 years. Martin talks about how he had to get out of New York City after another series of board meetings. He decides to walk to Homewood while the attendant finishes work on his car...

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Episode Notes
The sets at the park such as the carousel and bandstand were used previously for a 1959 TV movie remake of Meet Me in St. Louis.

Pat O'Malley would later star in another two episodes.

Frank Overton returns in ''Mute.''

Irene Tedrow also appears in ''The Lateness of the Hour.''

Nan Peterson returns in "The Whole Truth" and ''From Agnes, With Love.''

Ron Howard is best known for his roles in Happy Days as Richard J. Cunningham, [seasons 1-7] and The Andy Griffith Show as Opie Taylor, [1960-1968] as well as being an academy award winning motion picture director.

Episode Quotes
Opening Narration
Martin Sloan, age thirty-six. Occupation: vice-president, ad agency, in charge of media. This is not just a Sunday drive for Martin Sloan. He perhaps doesn't know it at the time, but it's an exodus. Somewhere up the road he's looking for sanity. And somewhere up the road, he'll find something else.

Martin Sloan: Used to live in Homewood. Grew up there as a matter of fact. Haven't been back in 20, 25 years. Twenty, 25 years. Yesterday I just got in the car and drove. I had to get out of New York City. One more board meeting, phone call, report or problem, I would have jumped right out the window. That's walking distance, isn't it?
Gas Station Attendant: Yep, 'bout a mile an' a half.
Martin Sloan: Yeah, that's walking distance.

Martin Sloan: (to his younger self) Martin, I only wanted to tell you that this is a wonderful time of life for you. Don't let any of it go by without enjoying it. There won't be any more merry-go-rounds, no more cotton candy, no more band concerts. I only wanted to tell you that this is a wonderful time for you. Now. Here. That's all, Martin. That's all I wanted to tell you. God help me. That's all I wanted to tell you.

Martin's Father: Yes, I know. I know who you are. I know you've come from a long way from here. A long way and a long time. But I don't understand how or why. Do you?
Martin Sloan: No.
Martin's Father: But you do know other things, don't you, Martin? Things that will happen.
Martin Sloan: Yes, I do.
Martin's Father: Martin?
Martin Sloan: Yes, Pop?
Martin's Father: You have to leave here. There's no room. There's no place. Do you understand that?
Martin Sloan: I see that now, but I don't understand. Why not?
Martin's Father: I guess because we only get one chance. Maybe there's only one summer to every customer. That little boy, the one I know, the one who belongs here, this is his summer just as it was yours once. Don't make him share it.
Martin Sloan: All right.
Martin's Father: Martin, is it so bad where you're from?
Martin Sloan: I thought so, Pop. I've been living at a dead run and I was tired. Then one day I knew I had to come back here. I had to come back and get on the merry-go-round and eat cotton candy and listen to a band concert. Just stop and breathe and close my eyes and smell and listen.
Martin's Father: I guess we all want that. Maybe when you go back, Martin, you'll find that there are merry-go-rounds and band concerts where you are. Maybe you haven't been looking in the right place. You've been looking behind you, Martin. Try looking ahead.

Closing Narration
Martin Sloan, age thirty-six, vice-president in charge of media. Successful in most things but not in the one effort that all men try at some time in their lives - trying to go home again. And also like all men perhaps there'll be an occasion, maybe a summer night sometime, when he'll look up from what he's doing and listen to the distant music of a calliope, and hear the voices and the laughter of the people and the places of his past. And perhaps across his mind there'll flit a little errant wish, that a man might not have to become old, never outgrow the parks and the merry-go-rounds of his youth. And he'll smile then too because he'll know it is just an errant wish, some wisp of memory not too important really, some laughing ghosts that cross a man's mind, that are a part of the Twilight Zone.

Episode Goofs
The windshield on the convertible in the opening scene at the service station, with the camera shooting from the rear of the car, is so opaque or occluded that it would have been impossible to have seen through to drive.

Episode References
The inspiration for the park seen in this episode came from Recreation Park, from Rod Serling's home town of Binghamton, N.Y., including the carousel and bandstand.

Other Episode Crew

CreatorRod Serling
Executive ProducerRod Serling
ProducerBuck Houghton
EditorJoseph Gluck
CastingMillie Gusse
MusicBernard Herrmann
Set DecoratorRudy Butler  |  Henry Grace
Director of PhotographyGeorge T. Clemens
Art DirectorWilliam Ferrari  |  George W. Davis
Production ManagerRalph Nelson
Sound EditorFranklin Milton  |  Jean Valentino
Main Title ThemeMarius Constant
Sound Effects EditorVan Allen James
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