A World of Difference

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Howard Duff: Arthur Curtis/Jerry Raigan
Eileen Ryan: Nora Raigan
David White: Brinkley
Gail Kobe: Sally
Peter Walker: Sam
Susan Dorn: Marian Curtis
Frank Maxwell: Marty Fisher
Bill Idelson: Stagehand

"A World of Difference" is an episode of the American television anthology series The Twilight Zone.

Contents

Synopsis

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 his office was actually a set on a sound stage. He is told "Arthur Curtis" is merely a role he was playing, and 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 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.

Plot adaptations

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).

References

  • 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. ISBN 978-0970331090

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