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"A World of His Own"
A World of His Own
Series:The Twilight Zone (Original Series)
Episode:Season 1, Episode 36 (S01E36)
First Aired:July 1 1960
Teleplay:Richard Matheson
Story:Richard Matheson
Director:Ralph Nelson
Music:Stock
Guest Stars:Keenan Wynn, Phyllis Kirk
Lead Character:Gregory West
Previous Episode:The Mighty Casey
Next Episode:King Nine Will Not Return

"A World of His Own" is the thirty-sixth episode of the The Twilight Zone, and is the last episode of the show's first season.

From the CBS Video Library cover:

"Victoria West is dumbfounded when she looks in the window of her husband's study and sees him with a pretty blonde. But she's even more shocked when she barges in and finds him utterly alone! Playwright Gregory West calmly explains that all he need do is describe anything into his dictaphone and —poof!—it magically appears. To make it vanish, he just throws the tape in the fire. He demonstrates both actions, first with his mistress and then—when Victoria tries to run off—with a full-grown elephant in the hallway. Unfortunately, Victoria's still not convinced of her husband's supernatural powers. It seems Gregory's going to have to teach her a lesson..."[1]

Episode Details

Title Sequence

This was one of five episodes to include an eye, not a spiral, at the introduction, the others being Season 1's The Mighty Casey, The After Hours, Mr. Bevis and Mr. Denton on Doomsday.

Opening Narration

"The home of Mr. Gregory West, one of America's most noted playwrights. The office of Mr. Gregory West. Mr. Gregory West - shy, quiet, and at the moment, very happy. Mary - warm, affectionate. And the final ingredient - Mrs. Gregory West."

Episode Summary

Coming home, Victoria West (Phyllis Kirk) spots her husband, playwright Gregory West (Keenan Wynn), through the window sharing a drink in his study with Mary, an attractive, affectionate blonde. When Victoria barges into the room, Mary is nowhere to be found. Gregory explains to his wife that any character that he describes into his dictation machine will appear according to his description. To make it disappear, all he has to do is cut out that portion of the tape and throw it into his fireplace. He demonstrates this, first with Mary and then with an elephant in the hallway. Gregory discovered this talent when a male character he had put a great deal of effort and attention into approached him as a real flesh-and-blood person with his own independent will, shook his hand, and thanked him. Believing none of this (despite seeing and hearing the elephant), Victoria tells Gregory that he is insane and she is going to have him committed. In response, Gregory pulls a section of tape from his safe and explains that it contains her description. Victoria snatches the tape away from him and throws it on the fire to prove he is insane, and promptly begins to feel faint. "You don't mean you were telling the truth?! You were right!" she cries, and disappears as the flames consume the tape. Frantic, Gregory rushes to his dictation machine and begins to re-describe Victoria. He quickly reconsiders and instead describes Mrs. Mary West as his wife. Mary reappears and mixes her husband a drink. Serling appears on the set and says, "We hope you enjoyed tonight's romantic story on The Twilight Zone. At the same time, we want you to realize that it was, of course, purely fictional. In real life, such ridiculous nonsense could never—" "Rod, you shouldn't!" interrupts Gregory, who walks over to his safe and pulls out a tape marked "Rod Serling". "I mean, you shouldn't say such things as 'nonsense' and 'ridiculous'!" he continues as he throws the tape into the fire. "Well, that's the way it goes," replies Serling, in a resigned tone as he fades away. Nevertheless, Serling's voice comes in at the epilogue, as usual.

Closing Narration

Leaving Mr. Gregory West, still shy, quiet, very happy - and apparently in complete control of the Twilight Zone.

Themes

Critical Response

Background Information

Cast

Crew

  • Rod Serling (executive producer: Cayuga Productions)
  • Buck Houghton (producer)
  • George T. Clemens (director of photography)
  • Joseph Gluck (film editor)
  • George W. Davis (art director)
  • Merrill Pye (art director)
  • F. Keogh Gleason (set decorator; credited: Keogh Gleason)
  • Henry Grace (set decorator)
  • Ralph W. Nelson (production manager)
  • Donald C. Klune (assistant director; credited: Don Klune)
  • Franklin Milton (sound; credited: Frank Milton)
  • Philip Mitchell (sound)
  • Van Allen James (sound effects editor; uncredited)

Production Companies

Distributors

  • Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) (1960) (USA) (TV) (original airing)

Trivia

  • Rod Serling's cameo at the end of the episode marked his first onscreen appearance in the show. Although Serling appeared on-screen at the end of most first season Twilight Zone episodes to plug the following week's show, this is the only episode in the first season in which Rod Serling appears on-screen within the episode itself (i.e., not in a separate "coming next week" segment). This is also one of only two episodes of the entire series where Serling appears on camera at the conclusion of the episode -- the other episode was the last broadcast episode of the second season. "The Obsolete Man"). From the second season onward, Serling began to appear on-screen at the start of each episode.
  • At the end of the first season, Kimberly-Clark discontinued their alternate sponsorship of the series. A new sponsor began alternating with General Foods that summer, Colgate-Palmolive, primarily on behalf of Colgate Dental Cream, as well as some of their other products (including "Veto" deodorant).
  • The episode in syndication, at least on the SciFi Channel as of 2001, cuts the sequence where West creates an elephant to stop Victoria from leaving. The cut is abrupt and quite noticeable. According to The Twilight Zone Companion they went to great lengths to get an elephant. The MeTV Network repeats include the footage.

Cast Connections

  • Mary La Roche also starred as Annabelle in the Twilight Zone episode, "Living Doll."

Notes and References

  1. CBS Video Library: Twilight Zone #0318 "The Obsolete Man/Long Distance Call/What You Need/A World of His Own" ; UPC: 000318060000, EAN: 0000318060000, ASIN: B0007LHU64; Format: NTSC, VHS, Collector's Edition (1987)

External Links

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