The Twilight Zone

Season 1 Episode 36

A World of His Own

Aired Unknown Jul 01, 1960 on CBS

Episode Recap

In a quiet suburban home, noted playwright Gregory West is admiring an attractive blonde woman, Mary, who is making him a martini. She chastises him for not working and he asks her to think of him. They kiss on the couch, unaware that a woman is at the window looking in: Victoria West, Gregory's wife. She enters the house and knocks at the door. Mary wonders if he's afraid and he tells her he has to "do it" again. Gregory goes to his study door and unlocks it, and Victoria comes in to find that Mary has vanished.

Victoria looks desperately around the study while Gregory feigns innocence. She notices he has a pair of scissors, and asks if he has a secret door while knocking on the walls. She finally admits she thought she saw someone through the window. They both share a laugh and Victoria describes the woman, which Gregory inadvertently fills in, giving himself away. Victoria demands an explanation and Gregory explains that when he describes his fictional characters on his Dictaphone, they become real. She assumes he's nuts and starts calling a psychiatrist, but he explains that he made Mary disappear by cutting out the piece of Dictaphone tape and burning it. When Victoria heads for the door, he convinces her to stay and starts dictating Mary in complete detail, describing how she comes into the house. Victoria manages to get the key from him and unlocks the door… only to hear footsteps outside. After a moment, Mary comes in.

Victoria insists Gregory is making up the entire thing and Mary slipped out through a secret passage, and he's trying to drive her nuts. Mary is disappointed that Gregory only summoned her to prove a point. Victoria tries to get out but he locks the door again and demonstrates by burning the tape with Mary on it. Before she disappears, Mary tells him not to bring her back again. He asks for her forgiveness… and burns the tape. Mary disappears before Mary's astonished eyes. He promises not to do it again, but he only did it at first because he was lonely and inadequate, and she's so perfect. She manages to grab the key and heads for the door, and Gregory hastily dictates an elephant into existence to block her escape.

Gregory finally realizes there's only one thing he can do. He opens a hidden safe and removes an envelope with Victoria's name on it. He takes a piece of Dictaphone tape out and asks her if he should burn it. He notes that she's incredibly beautiful but somehow got stuck with him. Gregory created her when he used to think that's the type of wife he wanted. However, she came back against his will and she's too strong to be frightened, without human frailty. Gregory gives up and tries to put the envelope in the safe, but Victoria dismissively throws the envelope into the fire. As it burns up, she realizes he was telling the truth… as she disappears. Gregory starts to recreate her through dictation… but having learned his lesson, decides to recreate Mary instead as his new wife.

Rod Serling appears to narrate the ending, noting the entire thing is fictional and couldn't possibly happen. Gregory notices him and says he shouldn't say such things. He takes another envelope out of the safe, with "Rod Serling" on it, and burns the tape inside. Rod Serling shrugs… and disappears.
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