25 February 2011

Rod, you shouldn't

Libraries are great places to hold secrets, as today’s hidden detail will reveal two times over.

We begin this morning in the library of the Hollywood Tower Hotel, otherwise The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. To be more accurate, we’re searching for two stuffed envelopes, one in each library. One is addressed to the patriarch of The Twilight Zone, Rod Serling, while the other is addressed to Victoria West. While these may seem to be letters left to hotel guests once upon a stormy night, most messages would have been left with the front desk and the truth is actually much stranger.

Beginning with Victoria West’s envelope, this is actually a reference to an episode of The Twilight Zone from the show’s first season. The episode, entitled A World of His Own, takes place in the library of a playwright named Gregory West and is centered around the abilities of his miraculous tape recording machine that brings his dictated descriptions to life. Such creations are able to be undone simply by burning the tape containing their narrative. One such creation, a woman whom he is carrying on an affair with named Mary, is discovered by his wife, our Victoria. After confrontation and explanation of the remarkable device, Victoria West is determined to have her husband committed, but is stalled when he shows her an envelope labeled with her name filled with audio tape. Convinced this is simply a ploy to keep her from divorcing or committing Gregory, Victoria tosses her envelope into the fire and subsequently fades away.

Horrified, Gregory begins to depict Victoria into the recorder again when he pauses and begins again, this time with a new spouse, Mary West. Rod Serling then appears on screen to close out the episode as a mere work of fiction. At this point the wall between narrator and story is broken when Gregory chides Rod. West then removes an envelope marked Rod Serling from his library safe, lobs it into the fireplace and causes Serling to disappear, but not before Serling gets in the episode’s parting words.

While an all together wonderful tale, and one that I have not done justice to here, what here grants A World of His Own such a unique status that it deserves a place among the peculiar artifacts of the Hollywood Tower Hotel? For starters, the interaction between Serling and the characters of The Twilight Zone, which was extremely rare. The second noteworthy element also involves Rod Serling, as A World of His Own is also the first time he appears as an onscreen narrator for the show, even though it is the 36th episode of the first season.

Just goes to show, that sometimes a library is meant to keep its secrets and nothing it what it seems in The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.

1 comment:

Ellen said...

Awesome detail!!! I had never heard about this before. Thanks for sharing this great post, and especially for sharing the Disney magic!!