The New Exhibit
|"The New Exhibit"|
|The Twilight Zone episode|
|Episode no.||Season 4
|Directed by||John Brahm|
|Written by||Jerry Sohl (credited to Charles Beaumont)|
|Original air date||April 4, 1963|
Martin Balsam: Martin Lombard Senescu
Mr. Serling's Opening Narration
|“||Martin Lombard Senescu, a gentle man, the dedicated curator of murderers' row in Ferguson's Wax Museum. He ponders the reasons why ordinary men are driven to commit mass murder. What Mr. Senescu does not know is that the groundwork has already been laid for his own special kind of madness and torment found only in the Twilight Zone.||”|
Martin Senescu works at a wax museum. His boss and best friend, Mr. Ferguson, informs him that the museum will close, to be torn down and replaced by a shopping market. The dispirited Martin asks one request; to spare the wax figures of Jack the Ripper, Albert W. Hicks, Henri Désiré Landru, William Burke and William Hare.
Mr. Ferguson complies, and Martin takes the figures home, to the dismay of his wife, Emma. They keep the figures in the basement, under high air conditioning and constant care. Emma, who is terrified of them and concerned by their effect on Martin, doesn't know what to do. She seeks the advice of her brother, Dave, who tells her to shut off the air conditioning and melt Martin's collection. She sneaks out of bed one night, goes down to the basement, and tries to shut off the air conditioner. The wax figure of Jack the Ripper pivots his knife-wielding hand towards Emma, who screams.
The next morning, Martin discovers his wife dead and Jack's bloody knife. Martin verbally chides Jack, explaining that what he did was wrong, and buries Emma's body to conceal Jack's crime. The next day, Emma's brother Dave visits Martin, wondering where she is. Martin nervously rushes him out of the house. Dave then sneaks into the basement through the back entrance and eyes the wet cement where his sister is buried. While he is examining the area, the wax figure of an ax-wielding Hicks watches him. Dave looks up in horror as Hicks's ax comes down and strikes him in the head.
Martin comes down later to find the carnage left by Hicks. He yells at Hicks, and once again hides the evidence.
Several weeks later, Ferguson comes to visit Martin. Happily, Ferguson tells Martin that the figures have been sold to the legendary Marchand's Wax Museum in Brussels. Martin is sadly forced to give up the wax figures he's so greatly cared for. Though clearly disappointed, he goes upstairs and makes tea to celebrate. Meanwhile, Ferguson is measuring and examining the figures. The wax figure of a rope-handling Landru eyes him. As soon as Ferguson turns around, Landru lowers the rope around his neck and strangles Ferguson to death.
When Martin comes downstairs carrying a tray, he finds Ferguson lying lifeless on the floor. Unstabilized, Martin yells at the figures who have betrayed him by killing his best and only friend. Martin grabs a crowbar, planning to smash them all to bits. He eyes Landru, indicating that he'll be the first destroyed for killing Ferguson.
The wax figures get up off their pedestals and slowly creep towards Martin. Their faces unmoving, they tell him that he was the one that murdered his wife, brother-in-law, and best friend, not them. Martin screams as the figures close in.
Some time later, at Marchand's, a tour guide introduces the wax figures to a crowd of visitors. However, there is a new addition to this exhibit: a wax figure of Martin Lombard Senescu, who is believed to have killed his wife, brother-in-law, and best friend.
Mr. Serling's Closing Narration
|“||The new exhibit became very popular at Marchand's, but of all the figures none was ever regarded with more dread than that of Martin Lombard Senescu. It was something about the eyes, people said. It's the look that one often gets after taking a quick walk through the Twilight Zone.||”|
- DeVoe, Bill. (2008). Trivia from The Twilight Zone. Albany, GA: Bear Manor Media. ISBN 978-1-59393-136-0
- Grams, Martin. (2008). The Twilight Zone: Unlocking the Door to a Television Classic. Churchville, MD: OTR Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9703310-9-0