Stopover in a Quiet Town
|"Stopover in a Quiet Town"|
|The Twilight Zone episode|
|Episode no.||Season 5
|Directed by||Ron Winston|
|Written by||Earl Hamner, Jr.|
|Original air date||April 24, 1964|
A married couple, Bob and Millie Frazier, wake up in an unfamiliar house. They remember only that they both drank too much at a party the night before, and that on the way home, a large shadow had appeared over their car.
They soon discover that the house is mostly props—the telephone has no connection, the cabinetry is merely glued-on facing, the refrigerator is filled with plastic food. They hear a girl's laughter and go outside to find the child. However, once outside, they discover that the town is deserted. They find a stuffed squirrel in a fake tree, search for help in a vacant church, and ring the bell in the church's bell tower hoping someone will come to their aid. When no one comes to help them, the increasingly desperate couple discovers even the trees are fake and the grass is papier-mâché. The exasperated Millie begins to think that perhaps she crashed their car on the way home, and they are now in Hell. They hear a train whistle and, thinking they have finally found a way out of the town, rush to the train station and board the empty train. As the train leaves the station (revealed to be in "Centerville"), they begin a light-hearted conversation, vastly relieved. However, when the train soon comes to a stop again in Centerville, they realize it has only gone in a circle, and they are back where they started.
They leave the train and return to the center of town, once again hearing a little girl's laughter, and now pursued by a shadow. The shadow is cast by the hand of a little girl—a little girl giant. As she reaches down and picks them up, laughing with pleasure, the man and woman are like ants in the midst of her chubby palm. The couple have been abducted to a planet inhabited by humanoid alien beings many times the size of humans, and the shadow that was cast over them before the story began, as the audience deduces from the girl's mother's chiding, was that of the little girl's father, who brought them home to her from Earth as "pets" for his daughter's dollhouse neighborhood. At her mother's bidding, the little girl drops them back into the town, which is seen to be similar to a mock-up model railway town with a rail line traveling in a circle around it.
As the terrified couple stumblingly resume their running, Rod Serling, in voiceover, sardonically reminds the viewer not to drink and drive.
|“||Bob and Millie Frazier, an average young New Yorkers who attended a party in the country last night and on the way home took a detour. Most of us on waking in the morning know exactly where we are; the rooster or the alarm clock brings us out of sleep into the familiar sights, sounds, aromas of home and the comfort of a routine day ahead. Not so with our young friends. This will be a day like none they've ever spent – and they'll spend it in the Twilight Zone.||”|
|“||The moral of what you've just seen is clear. If you drink, don't drive. And if your wife has had a couple, she shouldn't drive either. You might both just wake up with a whale of a headache in a deserted village in the Twilight Zone.||”|
Uses in other media
The episode is referenced in the second verse of the Rush song "The Twilight Zone," recorded in 1976: "You wake up lost in an empty town/Wondering why no one else is around/Look up to see a giant boy/You've just become his brand new toy."
This Twilight Zone episode is referenced in the sixth episode of the fourth season of the Netflix series Orange is the New Black. Inmate counselor Healy mentions the episode to the paranoid prisoner Lolly to convey that he understands that she confuses fantasy with reality in much the same way as Healy's mother did.
- 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