When faced with the reality of aging and the passage of time 20 to 25 years after her last big movie, Barbara Jean Trenton retreats in to her study. Curtains drawn, she sits in a chair watching her old movies and drinking – day after day, week after week. While she would welcome a starring role as a leading lady, she cannot accept that her star has faded in Hollywood.
When reality finally catches up with her, she rejects it and claims her home as a sanctuary returned to the 1930s. She escapes into the past, watching her movies and wishing for a better day, one that probably never existed but looked sweeter with time. When she returns to the past, it’s two-dimensional, but it fits her because she herself is shallow. She values looks over substance, and status over possibility.
Barbara Jean Trenton gets her wish and is seemingly none the worse for wear, but the days past aren’t always what they a cracked up to be. Should we move backward toward the comfort of our nostalgia, or should we look forward to a better tomorrow? A theme that the Twilight Zone explores further in “Walking Distance.”