Today, July 1st, This Day in Twilight Zone History and The Twilight Zone Encyclopedia celebrate the 1960 premiere of "A World of His Own."
In this cool episode written by Richard Matheson, Keenan Wynn as writer Gregory West was essentially playing Rod Serling, a man with a unique imagination who can summon characters to life simply by speaking their descriptions into a Dictaphone machine (which is exactly what Rod did on his chaise lounge out by the pool). Talk about the ultimate virtual reality!
Having such a handy device is wonderful when you're trying to duck your suspicious shrew of a wife (Phyllis Kirk) while you spend some quality time with someone very nice (Mary LaRoche).
It was fun to see Rod Serling make his first-ever appearance in the body of a show (this was the end of the first season, and he would not start hosting on camera until Season 2). And it was a pleasure to see Keenan Wynn playing a good guy. He often played obnoxious types in the movies, including his baseball announcer in Angels in the Outfield, his philandering correspondent in Don't Go Near the Water and his stubborn U.S. Army Colonel in Dr. Strangelove (although he turned out to be good in that one).
So let's hoist an after-dinner aperitif to Gregory West, his amazing Dictaphone, the genius of Richard Matheson, and the show that appears regularly without such an assist: The Twilight Zone.
Also, a quick birthday wish to Jean Marsh ("The Lonely"), Constance Ford ("Uncle Simon"), Murray Matheson ("Five Characters in Search of an Exit"), and Sydney Pollack ("The Trouble with Templeton"), all born on this day.