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"A World of His Own" is an episode of the American television anthology series The Twilight Zone.

Opening narration

Synopsis

Coming home, Victoria West spots her husband, playwright Gregory West, through the window sharing a drink with Mary, an attractive blonde. But when Victoria barges into the room, Mary is nowhere to be found.

Gregory explains to his wife that if he describes anything into his dictation machine, he can cause that thing to suddenly appear in his study. To make it disappear, all he has to do is throw the tape into his fireplace. He demonstrates this, first with Mary and then an elephant in the hallway. Gregory discovered this talent when a male character he had put a great deal of effort and attention into approached him as a real, flesh-and-blood person, shook his hand, and thanked him.

Believing none of this (despite seeing the elephant with her own eyes), Victoria tells Gregory that he is insane and she is going to have him committed. In response, Gregory takes a tape from his safe and explains that it contains her description. Victoria snatches the tape away from him and throws it on the fire to prove he is insane— and promptly begins to feel faint. "Y-You- You don't mean you were telling the truth?! You were right!" she cries, and disappears. Frantic, Gregory rushes to his dictation machine and begins to re-describe Victoria— then reconsiders, and instead describes Mrs. Mary West. Mary reappears and mixes her husband a drink.

Serling appears on the set and says, "We hope you enjoyed tonight's romantic story on The Twilight Zone. At the same time, we want you to realize that it was, of course, purely fictional. In real life, such ridiculous nonsense could never—"

"Rod, you shouldn't!" interrupts Gregory, who walks over to his safe and pulls out a tape marked "Rod Serling". "I mean, you shouldn't say things as 'nonsense' and 'ridiculous'!" he continues as he throws the tape into the fire.

"Well, that's the way it goes," replies Serling, in a tone of 'I guess I deserved that' as he fades away.

Closing narration

Reception

This is the only episode in the first season in which Rod Serling appears on-screen and breaks the fourth wall and served as a running joke referencing the fact he had appeared on screen at the end of the previous episodes introducing next week's show. Serling's cameo was so well-received, from the second season onward, he began to appear on-screen at the start of each episode and sometimes at the end, usually becoming incorporated into the scene.

Influence

The 2002 Twilight Zone ran a similar episode: A graphic novel author, afflicted with writer's block, creates a perfect girlfriend to help inspire him. However, she soon asserts her independence and starts cheating on him. Eventually, she reveals she is the real author, not him, and then erases him from existence.

Inside The Twilight Zone Tower of Terrormarker, there is an envelope with "Rod Serling" written on it much like on this episode.

Production notes

At the end of the first season, Kimberly-Clark discontinued their alternate sponsorship of the series. A new sponsor began alternating with General Foods that summer, Colgate-Palmolive, primarily on behalf of Colgate Dental Cream, as well as some of their other products (including "Veto" deodorant).

References

  • Zicree, Marc Scott: The Twilight Zone Companion. Sillman-James Press, 1982 (second edition)
  • DeVoe, Bill. (2008). Trivia from The Twilight Zone. Albany, GA: Bear Manor Media. ISBN 978-1593931360
  • Grams, Martin. (2008). The Twilight Zone: Unlocking the Door to a Television Classic. Churchville, MD: OTR Publishing. ISBN 978-0970331090


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