What if a man who avoided going to war met himself coming back wounded from the battlefields?
Television Script Review George R R Martin The Twilight Zone The Road Less Travelled 1986
One of Martin’s personal scripts for the 1980’s Twilight Zone (Two) series, and one of the closest in spirit to the 1960’s original.
It is the story of a pacifistic Vietnam draft dodger visited decades after the war by an alternate self who actually went to Nam, only to return as a crippled veteran (with shades of the movie Born On The Fourth Of July).
The ghostly figure is by no means vengeful or aggressive – the men just share dreams and nightmares of their respective alternate paths in life as the non-serving Jeff’s wife watches the men communicate.
The spooky opening is traditional haunted house fayre, with a child seeing a mysterious presence in her bedroom, fleeting glimpses of an apparitional wheelchair bound figure, and wheel-chair tracks in an upstairs landing carpet, but the closing discussion and exchange of memories as the two halves of the same man meld is deeply moving.
A story Rod Serling would have been proud of.