The Twilight Zone (1985–1989)
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The Road Less Travelled 

Vietnam-era draft dodger Jeff McDowell sees something familiar about a wheelchair-bound man who has appeared in his house unexpectedly.


Wes Craven


Rod Serling (created by), George R.R. Martin | 1 more credit »


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Episode credited cast:
Cliff De Young ... Jeff McDowell (as Cliff DeYoung)
Margaret Klenck Margaret Klenck ... Denise McDowell
Jaclyn Bernstein ... Megan McDowell (as Jaclyn-Rose Lester)
Clare Torao ... Susan (as Clare Nono)
John Zarchen ... Jock
Christopher Brown Christopher Brown ... Grunt
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Charles Aidman ... Narrator (voice)


Vietnam-era draft dodger Jeff McDowell sees something familiar about a wheelchair-bound man who has appeared in his house unexpectedly.

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Release Date:

18 December 1986 (UK) See more »

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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This episode has no opening narration. See more »


Features The Thing from Another World (1951) See more »

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User Reviews

The one he left behind
7 September 2011 | by sol1218See all my reviews

***SPOILERS*** It's when little Magen, Jaclyn-Rose Lester, began seeing this stranger in her bedroom that things started to unravel for her father Jeff McDowell, Cliff De Young, who felt that his past as a Vietnam War era draft-dodger was finally catching up him. Feeling somewhat guilty in what he did by dodging the draft and service for his country Jeff has hidden his skipping out of the country and into Canada to avoid the draft secret from everyone but himself and his wife Danise,Margaret Klenck, who checked out to Canada, even thought she wasn't draft eligible, along with him. But now his past has finally corralled him and Jeff is more terrified of that then he was of being drafted and sent to "Nam".

As we and Jeff soon find out that he was in fact sent to that jungle hell in South-East Asia not on this plane of existence but in a parallel universe. And it was there that the man he left behind, himself, from going there was chopped up in a Viet Cong ambush and left crippled for life. It's that man, Jeff's twin, from a parallel universe who's been trying to get in touch with him through little Megan to show Jeff how things would have turned out if he in fact went to "Nam" as he was supposed to.

****SPOILERS**** As we soon find out Jeff's twin wasn't at all bitter at being the one who ended up crippled for life in a wheelchair from his injuries in Vietnam. He in fact was glad that Jeff indeed fled the country to avoid ending up the way he did. As things turned out it wasn't anything courageous on Jeff's part, he always considered himself to be a coward, at what he did but it was the right thing for him to do. For himself as well as his twin or double in the parallel universe. At least now Jeff's twin can share the same things in life that Jeff has like a loving family and good health that the Vietnam War, in his being crippled by it, denied him. Even if it's billions of miles or a universe away!

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