Original air date – 4/15/60
Watch it here.
Directed by John Brahm, one of the most prolific Twilight Zone‘s directors whose previous credit include one of my favorite episodes Time Enough at Last amongst others), A Nice Place to Visit was written by our whiz kid TTZ writer, the talented Charles Beaumont. The half hour episode came from a short saying, “A nice place to visit, but I don’t want to live there” which was also morphed from “The past is a good place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there.” Personally for me, this episode can be summed up in one sentence – “That was a decent episode, but I don’t want to see it again.”
Rocky Valentine is a small time criminal. He is chased by the cops and gunned down. When he wakes up, he finds himself a guardian angel in Pip, a man in a white suit, who constantly showers him with all the luxury that Valentine asks for.
He gets a makeover…
He gets to gamble all days.
And a nice car to ride with his dames.
This must be heaven! Valentines resorts to believe that after all he must have done a teensy bit of goodness in his degenerate life.
To confirm that, he asks Pip to take him to the hall of records to go through what it was that he did well to deserve a life in heaven.
Going through his life file, Valentine is unable to find any evidence of even a wee bit goodness he had ever done. Brushing the file aside, Valentine reckons that God must have thought that he is alright to let him into heaven.
Seeing that Valentine has settled nicely into his life of perceived “heaven,” Pip’s job is done and now he lets Valentine go about his eternity on his own.
But as luxurious as life in “heaven” is for Valentine, he is getting bored. Everything he wants, he gets. Every game he plays, he wins. Women surround him like loyal puppies. Sick and tired of the perfect life, he summons Pip to come back. At this encounter, Pip has to finally make it known to Valentine that this place he is in isn’t “heaven.”
“A nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there” is a short premise Beaumont pitched to Serling along with an odd pitch. Beaumont told Rod Serling to cast Mickey Rooney as Rocky Valentine (this one isn’t odd), but if Rooney turns it down, Serling should play Valentine himself (okay, this one is). As short as a TTZ episode is, this one seems to run a little bit too long. At the end of the episode, another saying comes to mind – “Much ado about nothing”
• Sebastian Cabob had a misgiving about the role since would have to bleach his hair with zinc oxide and then dye it white. It would took Sebastian three months to grow his dark hair back out.
• This was Charles Beaumont 4th TTZ episode as a writer and John Brahm’s 5th as a director.