Classic TV Episodes: Twilight Zone – Walking Distance

The Twilight Zone is a show that I can watch at any time. Different people have tried to remake the show but it never works like the original. Picking one classic show is impossible but this is one of my favorites. Gig Young plays Martin Sloan who does a great job in this episode. Many people try to go back home but it’s never the same because of progress and change…Martin Sloan DOES go home and everything is the same…he even sees himself as a boy…and meets his parents…again.

I guess because we only get one chance. Maybe there’s only one summer to every customer. That little boy, the one I know – the one who belongs here – this is *his* summer, just as it was yours once. Don’t make him share it.

Martin, is it so bad where you’re from?

You have to leave here. There’s no room, there’s no place. Do you understand that?

The Twilight Zone: Walking Distance

The characters: Martin Sloan, Robert Sloan, Mrs. Sloan, Young Marty, Wilcox Boy, Charlie, Gas Station Attendant, Soda Jerk, Teenager, Woman in Park, and Mr. Wilson

Martin Sloan, a successful 36-year-old advertising executive, stops at a gas station. He’s very stressed out and behaves like a stereotypical rude New Yorker. In the distance, he sees the town he grew up in, Homewood. Curious about his childhood, Martin leaves his sports car for an oil change and walks about a mile and a half to get a closer look. His first stop is an old ice cream shop. Martin is surprised to see that the attendant and the prices are the same as he remembered.

Walking down the street, he sees a young child (the four-year-old Ron Howard), who turns out to be his old neighbor. Martin then sees an 11-year-old boy carving the name “Martin Sloan” into a gazebo, and he recognizes himself. The child flees, thinking the adult wants to punish him. Martin then goes to his house, and his parents answer the door. He finally realizes that he’s back in 1934. His parents don’t believe him when he says he’s their grown-up son, and he tries to prove it by showing them his wallet.

Desperately wanting to tell the 11-year-old that he should treasure this time in his life, Martin finds his younger self riding on a merry-go-round. The child, still thinking the adult is angry with him, runs and falls, and the two are injured simultaneously. Later, Martin’s father, who has examined the wallet and now understands the truth, finds Martin sitting alone by the carousel. The two have a sad, beautiful conversation about life, and the father gives his son the advice he really needed when the story began. Martin begrudgingly accepts that he must return to the present. On his way out of town, he stops into the soda shop, which is now “modern”… Seemingly at peace with himself, he gives the gas station mechanic a tip and drives away.



Author: badfinger20 (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

31 thoughts on “Classic TV Episodes: Twilight Zone – Walking Distance”

  1. There are SO many great episodes to chose from in the TZ series. I am not shocked that you chose to write about one that I knew, but it doesn’t come to mind right away when I think of the show. This really is a great episode. I need to go rewatch this one. Been too long.


    1. Yes! It had a young William Shatner before he became spastic on Star Trek.
      They were for the most part smartly written.


      1. No I love Star Trek…William’s acting method was different but he IS Captain Kirk. Loved Spock also.


      1. The Twilight Zone? F*** NO. I love all that stuff…Night Gallery, Circle of Fear…then onto Tales From The Dark Side, The Outer Limits, Poltergeist: The Legacy… Got exposed to all of that stuff with my dad. With him, it was cop shows, weird s*** and ‘wrastlin”! 😄

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I love the weird s***… I have all of the Circle With Fear ones…it was named something else when it started I believe and they changed the name…but nothing tops the TZ


      3. Ghost Story with Sebastian Cabot. Circle of Fear came later. That is just how I remember it. One episode had Leif Garrett. Episode 20 is the one I remember the most…Spare Parts. That was the first time I saw Meg Foster and those pale eyes of hers. *shudder*

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I didn’t remember her until I just brought her up…yep what eyes!
        I watch them often….I will look for this one this weekend.


    1. I like that one also. I have all of them and I find myself watching them over and over again. Although it’s late 50s and early sixties…I have found many copy shows but none have the impact that the original does.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes…that one is from the 80s… Some of the other shows that copied the TZ were One Step Beyond, The Outer Limits, Tales from the Darkside, and Black Mirror but nothing compares to the original Twilight Zone.


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