"Young Man's Fancy" is the 34th episode of the 3rd season of The Twilight Zone, and was first broadcast in May of 1962. It starred Phyllis Thaxter as newlywed Virginia Walker. The episode was written by Richard Matheson, one of the Twilight Zone's most notable writers. The episode deals with issues of sentimentality and nostalgia, which was a familiar subject on the Twilight Zone, and was also the subject of the movie based on one of Matheson's works, Somewhere In Time.
After a series of comedic episodes, The Twilight Zone reminds us that it can be both psychologically taut and suspensefully creepy. But there isn't much of a hint at this with the beginning of the episode, which shows the newly married Virginia Walker returning with her husband Alex to his home. They have just been married, and are about to go on their honeymoon, but before they do, they have to sell his old house, where he lived with his ailing, and now deceased mother, for years. Although they believe they are ready to move out and move on, the old house has a hold on her husband that she can't quite explain. Over the episode, the nature of the house's attraction becomes clear.
This episode covers some ground that has been covered in the Twilight Zone before: nostalgia, which has been covered in such episodes as Walking Distance and A Stop at Willoughby, and family attachment, which has been covered in Long Distance Call. Whereas some Twilight Zone episodes present nostalgia as bittersweet, this episode is much more critical in its attitude towards nostalgia. Its analysis of the family dynamic, much like Long Distance Call, is also creepily Freudian. One of the things about the episode is it simultaneously develops the psychological drama while giving us hints of the supernatural, at the same time, and without missing a beat. Only the Twilight Zone could make the sight of a magazine on a chair cushion so scary!
This movie was also one of the episodes that was the most personally involving to me. My grandmother, despite her claims to not like science-fiction, always said that one of Richard Matheson's movies, Somewhere in Time, similarly themed on time travel and nostalgia, was her favorite movie. Seeing the house in the episode made me think of being in my grandmother's house a year or two before she passed away: the things that had seemed so comforting and permanent to me when I was younger seemed hollow and almost sad in the last years. As is often the case, The Twilight Zone provides us with a quick oracle of our feelings, and this story about a newlywed in an eerie house is more or less the story of why I came to Chile.