From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"A World of Difference" is an episode of the American television anthology series The Twilight
||You're looking at a
tableau of reality, things of substance, of physical material: a
desk, a window, a light. These things exist and have dimension. Now
this is Arthur Curtis, age thirty-six, who also is real. He has
flesh and blood, muscle and mind. But in just a moment we will see
how thin a line separates that which we assume to be real with that
manufactured inside of a mind.
Arthur Curtis is a businessman. One day, he finds his phone no
longer works, and is surprised to hear a voice yell, "Cut!"
Suddenly he is faced with the fact that his office was actually a
set on a sound stage. He is told that "Arthur Curtis" is merely a
role he was playing, and that his real name is Jerry Raigan, a
declining movie star. He tries to find Arthur Curtis's house, but
cannot find any evidence of it; Raigan's agent tells him that the
movie called "The Private World of Arthur Curtis" is being
cancelled because they believe he has had a nervous breakdown. Raigan/Curtis rushes
back to the set, which is being dismantled, and demands not to be
left in the uncaring world of Jerry Raigan. Sure enough, Curtis
reappears in his office (as it was before), just as his wife
arrives. As he hears echoes of the "studio", he tells her he's not
going to wait for their vacation, they're leaving "right
away". Bewildered at his behavior, Curtis tells her, "I just
don't want to lose you". Raigan/Curtis and his "wife" board a plane
which then "vanishes". Raigan's agent shows up on the set to find
Curtis/Raigan has vanished—as the set is being dismantled, a teaser
shows the "Arthur Curtis" script left on a table, waiting to be
thrown in the trash.
||The modus operandi
for the departure from life is usually a pine box of such and such
dimensions, and this is the ultimate in reality. But there are
other ways for a man to exit from life. Take the case of Arthur
Curtis, age thirty-six. His departure was along a highway with an
exit sign that reads, "This Way To Escape". Arthur Curtis, en route
to the Twilight Zone.
Preview for next week's
Announcer: "And now, Mr. Serling."
||Next week, the
culprit is Charles Beaumont, the gentleman
responsible for a story unlike any you've ever seen. You talk of
immortality, the business of being able to live for as long as one
wants. Well, next week, you'll see Kevin
McCarthy at the tail end of a life that's gone on for two
thousand years. The play is called "Long Live Walter Jameson", on
"The Twilight Zone".
In later years, several TV series featured episodes with similar
plotlines to "A World of Difference"—a character in the series
finds himself in the "real world" and trying to convince people
he's actually the character. The 1970–71 British TV series UFO, in
the episode "Mindbender" has the lead character, Col. Ed Straker,
briefly entering a dimension where he's an actor in a TV series
called UFO. An episode of the 1980s US sitcom, Growing Pains
entiled "Meet the Seavers" has character Ben Seaver dream that he
is an actor named Jeremy Miller starring in a sitcom about
the Seaver family, with Miller and other cast members appearing as
themselves. An episode of the original sci-fi series Eerie,
Indiana called "Reality Takes a Holiday" centered on
Marshall (played by Omri
Katz) finding a script in his mailbox and his life is suddenly
revealed to be a TV show (with his family and friends as the
real-life actors and actresses of Eerie, Indiana).
- 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.