Episode 5: ‘The Twilight Zone’ Walking Distance

You can’t go home again. People try to return home, to their past, to their roots, but life doesn’t work that way. Sometimes, however, you do have to find its memory to improve your life today. Martin Sloan arrives near his home town and walks right into “the Twilight Zone” and his 11th summer. Once he realizes when he is, he tries to find his younger self, Marty, and reconnect with his mother and father.

The consequences are drastic and enervating, but his father comes to Martin to return his wallet. Dad knows who the older Martin is, but he urges Martin to leave. There’s only one summer per customer and this summer belongs to Marty, who shouldn’t have to share it.

Dad hypothesizes that Martin is wrong. Maybe, there are calliopes and merry-go-rounds near Martin, but he hasn’t been able to see them because he’s been too focused on the past and looking backwards. Dad says that Martin needs to start looking forward in his current life to enjoy his future.

Like Martin, we need to live in the present to enjoy the future. We can look to the past to draw strength, but it would be foolish to attempt to go back there… because you can’t go home again, even in “the Twilight Zone.”

Episode 4: ‘The Twilight Zone’ Sixteen Millimeter Shrine

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.”