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Recap / The Twilight Zone S 1 E 36 A World Of His Own

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Rod Serling: The home of Mr. Gregory West, one of America's most noted playwrights. The office of Mr. Gregory West. Mr. Gregory West: shy, quiet, and at the moment, very happy. Mary: warm, affectionate...And the final ingredient: Mrs. Gregory West.

Air date: July 1, 1960.

Gregory West (Keenan Wynn) is a mild-mannered, affable playwright. He is having a pleasant evening in his study, snuggling with his wife Mary who has just made him a cocktail, when his wife Victoria shows up. Gregory hurriedly snatches a bit of tape and throws it into the fire—and Mary vanishes.


Victoria is not nearly as gentle and loving as Mary is. Her persistent, aggressive questioning leads Gregory to finally confess the truth: that he invented Mary out of his imagination. In fact, any character he describes into his dictaphone comes to life in the real world. When Victoria refuses to believe him, he conjures Mary again.

Last episode of Season 1. Written by Richard Matheson. Notable for being the first on-screen appearance of Rod Serlingnote ... and the only time he's been noticed.

Rod Serling: Leaving Mr. Gregory West - still shy, quiet, very happy . . . and apparently in complete control of the Twilight Zone.


A Trope of His Own:

  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Victoria doesn't believe that Gregory conjured Mary up, even after he describes an elephant in the foyer and one actually appears. Then at the end when she sees the envelope with "Victoria West" written on it, she refuses to believe she is Gregory's creation—this after she's both seen the elephant and seen Gregory make Mary appear and disappear. Victoria then makes the extremely poor decision to throw it in the fire herself.
    • Ironically, Rod Serling himself falls victim to this at the end of the episode, describing it as being nonsense... causing a pissed off Gregory to erase him in response.
  • Betty and Veronica: Gregory's blond-haired, sweet, loving second creation Mary, and his fiery and demanding first creation Victoria. Despite the fact that Victoria is mean and nasty and obviously can't stand him, Gregory picks her, until she makes the decision for herself.
  • Book-Ends: At the beginning Gregory is on the couch as Mary fixes him a martini, and at the end he is again.
  • Bottle Episode: The entire episode takes place in Gregory West's study or the hallway leading to it.
  • Creator Cameo: This, the last episode of the first season, is the first time that Rod Serling showed up on camera himself. Serling's appearances would become a fixture and a trademark of the series in Season 2.
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  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: How else do you describe erasing the creator of the show?
  • Dramatic Drop: Gregory drops his martini when Victoria raps on the door to the study. At the end he reveals that he was even more surprised because she had broken loose of the storyline he had written for her.
  • Foreshadowing: Gregory describes Victoria as perfect, impeccable and flawless, hinting at the fact that she is a fictional character brought to life.
  • Famous Last Words:
    • "You were right!" - Victoria West
    • "...Well, that's the way it goes." - Rod Serling
  • Grew Beyond Their Programming: Victoria comes back to Gregory's house against his will. This is the first time that she has demonstrated independence, indicating to Gregory that she has grown beyond the parameters that he set when he created her.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Gregory wrote Mary, his second, much more calm and sweet love interest to be blonde-haired.
  • Happily Married: Gregory and Mary at the ending, after Victoria destroys herself.
  • Loophole Abuse: Right before Gregory is about to erase Mary for the second time in the episode, Mary simply requests that George doesn't bring her back again. After Victoria accidentally erases herself, Gregory begins frantically describing his wife into his dictation machine... only to promptly switch gears, and describe his wife Mary.
  • Oddball in the Series: This is the only episode of The Twilight Zone where Rod Serling appears at the end rather than at the beginning, though he appears at both the beginning and the end in "The Obsolete Man" and "The Fugitive". It is also the only one where he is part of the story as opposed to merely delivering narration. Gregory throws the "Rod Serling" envelope into the fire and he disappears in the same way as Mary and Victoria.
  • Oh, Crap!: Victoria, too late, when she starts feeling weird as the envelope crinkles up in the flames and she realizes Gregory was telling the truth.
  • Pygmalion Plot: Gregory West and his habit of inventing women to be with. His first attempt failed quite badly but his second attempt seems to be a success.
  • Real Time: No discernible time skips in the narrative.
  • Rewriting Reality: Gregory can change reality however he wants, apparently, just by describing what he wants to his dictaphone.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: An In-Universe example. Not only is Gregory the only character who acknowledges the existence of Rod Serling, but it turns out that Rod Serling himself is a product of Gregory's dictaphone. It gets worse when Gregory murders Rod...
  • Tomato in the Mirror: Victoria is one of Gregory's creations. She realizes this too late, at the last second before she disappears after throwing her own envelope into the fire.
  • Wham Line: "Rod, you shouldn't!"

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