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The Twilight Zone: A Stop at Willoughby

A fed up modern day executive finds escape in the peaceful town of Willoughby…in July 1880.

Episode Info

Episode number: 1x30
Production Number: 173-3629
Airdate: Friday May 06th, 1960

Director: Robert Parrish
Writer: Rod Serling


Guest Stars
Howard SmithHoward Smith
As Mr. Misrell
Jason WingreenJason Wingreen
As Train Conductor
Billy BoothBilly Booth
As First Boy
Butch HengenButch Hengen
As Second Boy
James DalyJames Daly
As Gart Williams
James MaloneyJames Maloney
As 1888 Train Conductor
Max SlatenMax Slaten
As Man on the Wagon
Patricia DonahuePatricia Donahue
As Jane Williams
Ryan HayesRyan Hayes
As Engineer
Main Cast
Rod SerlingRod Serling
As Narrator/Host


Gart Williams is an unhappy man, with a terrible boss and a shrewish wife. While riding home on a train, he manages to fall asleep and dreams. He awakens when the conductor yells out "Willoughby, All out for Willoughby." He asks the conductor where is Willoughby. It's a town where "A man can slow down to a walk and live his life full measure." He tells his wife about the dream and gets ridiculed. The pressure from his job is just too much and he finally cracks. He calls his wife and tells her he is quitting, but she hangs up on him. On the train ride home he tries to dream the same dream as before. Soon he is back to Willoughby and this time he gets off. He is greeted by friendly folks and decides he will stay there. Meanwhile, the train has stopped. Gart has jumped from the train to his death after being heard yelling out "Willoughby." The body is then loaded in a hearse that bears the name "Willoughby Funeral Home."..

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Episode Notes
James Daly was the father of actors Tyne Daly (Cagney and Lacy) and Timothy Daly (Wings).

Rod Serling said that this was his favorite episode of the first season.

Williams' mention of "The Bradbury Account" is an in-joke reference by Serling to legendary fantasy writer Ray Bradbury, of whom Serling was a big fan and whose story "I Sing the Body Electric" was later adapted as an episode.

Howard Smith would return in "Cavender is Coming."

Jason Wingreen also is in "The Midnight Sun," but is best known for his role in Archie Bunker's Place as Bartender Harry Snowden, [1979-1983].

Episode Quotes
Opening Narration
This is Gart Williams, age thirty-eight, a man protected by a suit of armor all held together by one bolt. Just a moment ago, someone removed the bolt, and Mr. Williams' protection fell away from him and left him a naked target. He's been cannonaded this afternoon by all the enemies of his life. His insecurity has shelled him, his sensitivity has straddled him with humiliation, his deep-rooted disquiet about his own worth has zeroed in on him, landed on target, and blown him apart. Mr. Gart Williams, ad agency exec, who in just a moment will move into the Twilight Zone, in a desperate search for survival.

Conductor: Willoughby -- this stop, Willoughby.

Mr. Misrell: We have now been here thirty-four minutes, Mr. Williams.
Gart Williams: This is a communication from Jake Ross.
Mr. 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' resignation. He's moving over to another agency.
Mr. Misrell: And...?
Gart Williams: And he's taking the automobile account with him.
Mr. 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 as much a shock to me as it is to you, Mr. Misrell.
Mr. Misrell: Don't sit down! And don't con me, Williams. It was your pet project. Your pet project! Then it was your idea to give it to that little college greenie. Now, get with it, Williams! Get with it, boy! So what's left, Williams? Not only has your pet project backfired, but it's sprouted wings and left the premises. I'll tell you what's left to us in my view. A deep and abiding concern about your judgment in men. This is a push business, Williams. A push push push business. Push and drive! But personally, you don't delegate responsibilities to little boys. You should know it better than anyone else. A push push push business, Williams. It's push push push, all the way, all the time! It's push push push, all the way, all the time, right on down the line!
Gart Williams: Fat boy, why don't you shut your mouth?!

1888 Train Conductor: Willoughby, sir? That's Willoughby right outside. It's July. It's summer. It's 1888. Real warm one, too. Really a lovely little village…you oughta try it sometime. Peaceful, restful, where a man can slow down…live his life full measure.

Helen: Mr. Williams, messages are on the desk, and there's some hot coffee here. Can I bring you some?
Gart Williams: No, no thanks.
Helen: Do you want anything at all?
Gart Williams: Yeah, a sharp razor and a chart of the human anatomy showing where all the arteries are.

Jane Williams: And just where would you be if it weren't for my appetite?
Gart Williams: I know where I'd like to be.
Jane Williams: Where's that?
Gart Williams: A place called Willoughby, a little town I manufactured in a dream.
Jane Williams: Tell me about your dream, Gart.
Gart Williams: It was an odd dream. Very odd dream. Willoughby. It was summer, very warm. Kids were barefooted. One of them had a fishing pole. It all looked like a Currier and Ives painting. Bandstand, bicycles, wagons. I've never seen such serenity. It was the way people must have lived a hundred years ago. Crazy dream.
Jane Williams: Yeah. You let me know when you wake up, huh, Gart.
Gart Williams: No, wait a minute, Janie, please. Janie!
Jane Williams: You know what the trouble with you is, Gart? You were just born too late. Because you're the kind of a guy that could be satisfied with a summer afternoon, or an ice wagon being drawn by a horse! So it's my mistake, pal, my error, my miserable tragic error, to get married to a man whose big dream in life is to be Huckleberry Finn!
Gart Williams: Yeah, maybe.

Closing Narration
Willoughby? Maybe it's wishful thinking nestled in a hidden part of a man's mind, or maybe it's the last stop in the vast design of things, or perhaps, for a man like Mr. Gart Williams, who climbed on a world that went by too fast, it's a place around the bend where he could jump off. Willoughby? Whatever it is, it comes with sunlight and serenity, and is a part of the Twilight Zone.

Other Episode Crew

CreatorRod Serling
Executive ProducerRod Serling
ProducerBuck Houghton
EditorJoseph Gluck
MusicNathan Scott
Set DecoratorHenry Grace  |  Keogh Gleason
Director of PhotographyGeorge T. Clemens
Art DirectorMerrill Pye  |  George W. Davis
Production ManagerRalph Nelson
Sound EditorFranklin Milton
Main Title ThemeMarius Constant
Assistant DirectorDonald C. Klune
Sound Effects EditorVan Allen James
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