Director: John Brahm
Writer: Charles Beaumont
Cast: Larry Blyden and Sebastian Cabot
Composer: None (Stock Music)
Air Date: 4/15/1960
Production Code: 173-3632
Having been killed by the police, small-time criminal Rocky Valentine (Larry Blyden) awakens in a paradise where all his needs are met by Mr. Pip (Sebastian Cabot)—a guardian angel. Despite fulfilling his every desire, Rocky discovers that a life without conflict can be more tedious than he had imagined.
A tongue-in-cheek study on the human condition, “A Nice Place to Visit” will appeal to those who enjoy the subtle comedy often featured in The Twilight Zone. Especially praiseworthy, Sebastian Cabot’s portrayal of Mr. Pip (a.k.a. Fatso) provides an excellent contrast to Rocky—a more straight-faced, albeit incredibly sarcastic, character.
By exemplifying a jovial manner of condescension when addressing Rocky, Mr. Pip will amuse audiences of a lighthearted inclination. Notably, Mr. Pip reacts with a calm, almost inappropriately delighted expression upon enduring the taunts, threats, and insulting quips of a dim-witted crook, thereby humorously affirming a hidden knowledge concerning Rocky’s predicament. Rocky, on the other hand, maintains a remarkable lack of perceptiveness throughout his time spent in “Heaven,” a fact that appears to secretly give Mr. Pip a great deal of smug satisfaction not befitting a traditional angelic figure.
Though deliberately ironic, “A Nice Place to Visit” prompts a thoughtful discussion on the paradoxical nature of conflict as it pertains to the human animal. Specifically, Rocky wishes to resume a life of crime only after eliminating all stressful encounters—a statement on the impossibility of ever achieving true contentment, for the very obstacles that must be overcome in order to attain happiness ultimately provide man with his purpose for existing.
“A Nice Place to Visit” puts a clever and insightful twist on the guardian angel trope. Fans of The Twilight Zone will therefore enjoy the quirky, if slightly mean-spirited, subject matter covered in this installment.
Overall Quality: 10/10
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