The Twilight Zone

Season 1 Episode 5

Walking Distance

6
Aired Unknown Oct 30, 1959 on CBS
8.7
out of 10
User Rating
246 votes
10

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Episode Summary

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Martin Sloan, driving through the country, leaves his car and starts to walk toward his hometown, Homewood. He finds things exactly as they were when he was a child. He soon realizes he's gone back in time.

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  • 1.5 Miles to Homewood

    6.5
    Another 'fish out of water' exploration where a man tries to deal with an impossible scenario. Not a bad story, but a bit slow in the retelling.
  • wow!!

    10
    ever since i started learning more about the 50's and 60's i have often wished to go back there such as mister gig young with the home town i always cry when i see this because it just remindes me that i can never go back to anything and that things change
  • Excellent episode

    10
    Martin Sloan walks back in time to his child hood town with fun and exciting results. This episode wont scare you but will still make the hair on the back of your neck stand up.
  • You can never go home again.

    9.8
    Whenever we leave home, we do it beause it's not our home anymore, everything we loved about it is now somewhere else and we have to go to it.



    This episode is another one I love because it really holds an emotionally weight to it and rings true to everyone of us that grew up and left home. It was also a partial inspiration to the underrated film "Disney's The Kid".



    We feel a sense of pathos for Martin as we see he is a man that is tired, weary, bored and unhappy with his career and life in general. He one day makes a stop at a town only to discover he's came back though time. From all his observations of his past things within him long dormant awaken within him, longtime joys he has experenced in a decade long gone.



    This episode is sort of about the common mid-life crisis dilema. We see that Martin according to his present life though not much about it is revealed, is a person that has not lived a forfilled life. Somewhere along the line he has betrayed and has forgoteen about the ideals and joys he has had as a child which has put him in the state he is in now. He is also a man in his mid thirties and is comming close to that point where he must make a choice whether he wants his life to continue the way it is now, or to make the changes needed in order to live the life he truly desires, go back to a home that has everything he loved as a child and can continue loving now.



    My favorate moment that almost put a tear in my eye would have to be the conversation with the father when the father discovers who the future Martin really is, and words that don't just ring true to Martin's soul but our own as well.



    We can never go home again because the past is gone, we can only go back home to a home of our own from the present, which holds everything we loved from the past and can live on forever in the future.moreless
  • …some wisp of memory…

    10
    Wow, what a treat. 'Walking Distance' is just one of those Twilight Zone episodes that you finish watching and you have to sit back and wonder how exactly something so fantastic could be dreamt up. Although admittedly a little overdone at times, this is the first real shining star for the series, making testament as to how it became the success it eventually did.



    'Walking Distance' is an episode that explores the idea of leaving behind a home, whether it's a collective place, person(s) or event. Much like the previous episode, our main character Martin Sloan is caught up in the memories of his younger self, but the difference with Martin is that he didn't realise how much he missed home until he got back. Stuck in a stressful and demanding job, our troubled character goes for a drive away from the business and hustle of the big city in search for peace, and subconsciously it would seem, for his care-free childhood life.



    The whole story has a tragic melancholy tone running throughout that works very well with our main character's reminiscent adventure. Everything else in the script from the dialogue to the great time-bending plot work just as well, running at a great pace, always holding the attention and imagination. Furthermore the cast does a very good job of handling the script, which failing to do so was the downfall of the previous episode. There are noticeable weak spots here and there with some over-acting and dialogue that seems a little forced (how about those 'band-concerts'!) but taken as a whole, 'Walking Distance' has a real class to it, full of professional ideas and implementation.



    Aesthetically the episode is just as pleasing, if not more-so. Of special notice is a particular scene where Martin is left alone beside the merry-go-round; the dramatic change to spotlight lighting and cue of Herrmann's magnificent score fit perfectly with the mesmerising monologue that Young then goes on to deliver eloquently. The sets too are elaborate, being similar to that of the pilot, giving the episode a wide-open and fresh feel that is necessary when delving into the character's memories of childhood.



    Taken as a whole this is simply a wonderfully realised episode that deals with some great themes in even greater ways. With exceptional photography, music, performances and writing, 'Walking Distance' is true classic Twilight Zone in every way.moreless
Irene Tedrow

Irene Tedrow

Mrs. Sloan

Guest Star

Michael Montgomery

Michael Montgomery

Martin as a Child

Guest Star

Ron Howard

Ron Howard

Wilcox Boy

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (1)

    • 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.

  • QUOTES (3)

    • (Closing Narration)
      Narrator: 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.

    • (Opening Narration)
      Narrator: 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: (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.

  • NOTES (1)

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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