A World of His Own
|This article relies on references to primary sources. (December 2011)|
||This article consists almost entirely of a plot summary. It should be expanded to provide more balanced coverage that includes real-world context. (December 2011)|
|"A World of His Own"|
|The Twilight Zone episode|
|Episode no.||Season 1
|Directed by||Ralph Nelson|
|Written by||Richard Matheson|
|Original air date||July 1, 1960|
|List of Twilight Zone episodes|
"A World of His Own" is an episode of the American television anthology series The Twilight Zone. It was the last episode of the show's first season, and the series' first episode that was essentially comedic in tone.
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, and describes Gregory West as once again happy and "apparently in complete control of the Twilight Zone."
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).
Other Twilight Zone credits
Mary La Roche also starred as Annabelle in the Twilight Zone episode, "Living Doll."
- Zicree, Marc Scott: The Twilight Zone Companion. Sillman-James Press, 1982 (second edition)
- DeVoe, Bill. (2008). Trivia from The Twilight Zone. Albany, GA: Bear Manor Media. ISBN 978-1-59393-136-0
- Grams, Martin. (2008). The Twilight Zone: Unlocking the Door to a Television Classic. Churchville, MD: OTR Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9703310-9-0