Some Fatherly Advice from the Twilight Zone
“The zenith of this film is when he meets his mother and father,” Serling once said of “Walking Distance,” a true Twilight Zone classic. “That’s when everything explodes.”
Indeed it does. But for me, the nucleus of this bittersweet tale is the all-too-brief discussion Martin Sloan has with his “pop” shortly before his journey back in time concludes. So as a Father’s Day tribute, I’d like to bring you that touching scene:
MR. SLOAN: Yes, I know. I know who you are. I know you’ve come from a long way from here. A long way and a long time. But I don’t understand how or why. Do you?
MR. SLOAN: But you do know other things, don’t you, Martin? Things that will happen.
MARTIN: Yes, I do.
MR. SLOAN: Martin?
MARTIN: Yes, pop?
MR. SLOAN: You have to leave here. There’s no room. There’s no place. Do you understand that?
MARTIN: I see that now, but I don’t understand. Why not?
MR. SLOAN: 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.
MR. SLOAN: Martin, is it so bad where you’re from?
MARTIN: I thought so, pop. I’ve been living at a dead run, and I was tired. Then one day I knew I had to come back here. I had to come back and get on the merry-go-round and eat cotton candy and listen to a band concert. Just stop and breathe and close my eyes and smell and listen.
MR. SLOAN: I guess we all want that. Maybe when you go back, Martin, you’ll find that there are merry-go-rounds and band concerts where you are. Maybe you haven’t been looking in the right place. You’ve been looking behind you, Martin. Try looking ahead.
Advice we’d all do well to heed. Thank you, Mr. Serling. And thanks to all the fathers out there who love us and do their best to guide us.
For a daily dose of Serling, you can follow me on Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest. You can also get email notifications of future posts by entering your address under “Follow S&S Via Email” on the upper left-hand side of this post. WordPress members can also hit “follow” at the top of this page.
Hope to see you in some corner of the fifth dimension soon!