Musings in the Dark: My Twilight Zone Tribute: S5E30


My Twilight Zone Tribute: S5E30

"Stopover in a Quiet Town"

Bob and Millie Frazier wake up in an unfamiliar bed.  Millie recalls that Bob drank too much the previous evening, but could not remember anything that happened after that.  They wake up, still dressed in their evening wear and begin to search the house.  To their surprise, the house is filled with nothing but props.  The food in the fridge is fake, the telephone isn’t connected to anything, and the cabinets don’t open.  Every now and then, they hear the laughter of a child.

Bob and Millie go outside and discover the town is deserted.  They discover that a squirrel in a tree is stuffed and the tree itself is fake.  They wander about and find a church, only to discover that it is also a prop and that the grass is papier-mache.  While stumbling about, growing steadily desperate, they hear a train whistle.  Excited that they can finally get out of town, Mille and Bob run to the train station and board the train, which is empty.  The name of the stop is “Centerville,” and the couple sit down, ecstatic.  The train takes off and Bob and Millie are relaxed and relieved.  

But soon the train stops and the couple notice that they are back where they started, in “Centerville.”  All the train did was go in a circle.  Frustrated, Millie and Bob get off the train and decide to get on the main road and walk until they find their way out of the creepy little town.  Once again, they hear a child’s laughter and then a shadow falls over them.  They try to run but are scooped up by a gigantic hand.  

Turns out that the hand belongs to a giant child and Bob and Millie are her new playthings, newly delivered to her by her father from Earth.  The child giggles as she looks at her new toys and her mother admonishes her to be careful.  The girl puts the couple back into “Centerville,” which is now revealed to be a model village.  

Man, this episode fucked me up when I saw it as a little girl.  The idea of being a child’s plaything...I just couldn’t get my head around it.  As an adult, all I can think about is that the child will only be able to play with her new toys for three days before they die of starvation and dehydration.  Maybe not what Rod Serling intended for us to take away from the ep (he does mention the problem of drinking and driving in the closing narrative).  But maybe Serling does intend that because D&D does lead to death sometimes.

And that, dear Dilettantes, is the end of my Twilight Zone tribute. Thank you for taking this journey with me.

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