In spring 2009, during an interview at TIME’s office, Lost creator and Star Trek director J.J. Abrams geeked over his favorite Twilight Zone episode ever. We’ll let him speak for himself:
“‘Walking Distance’ is maybe the show’s best episode. It’s about a businessman. He’s almost 40, he’s got a suit, and he hates his life. He’s miserable. The stress of work is just getting him down. And his car breaks down in the middle-of-nowhere countryside. He goes to the gas station to get his car fixed and he realizes that he grew up very close to where they are. It’s walking distance.
“So he says, ‘I’m just going to take a walk back to the town I grew up in.’ He gets there and he soon realizes he’s walked back not just to where he grew up, but when he grew up. He’s back in the time when he was a kid. And it’s just this beautiful story of a guy who, as an adult, wants to go back to his young self, and tell himself to be aware of what it is to be alive, to be young, and to enjoy that. And of course, you can never go back and tell yourself that. It’s a beautiful demonstration of the burden of adulthood, told in The Twilight Zone, which everyone thinks is a scary show, but it’s actually a beautiful show. The Twilight Zone at its best is better than anything else I’ve ever seen on television.”