The New Exhibit

Summary

"The New Exhibit" is an episode of the American television anthology series The Twilight Zone. In this episode a museum worker (played by Martin Balsam) takes a set of wax figures into his home, where they begin to show the homicidal tendencies of the famous murderers they depict.

"The New Exhibit"
The Twilight Zone episode
Episode no.Season 4
Episode 13
Directed byJohn Brahm
Written byJerry Sohl (credited to Charles Beaumont)
Featured musicStock
Production code4866
Original air dateApril 4, 1963 (1963-04-04)
Guest appearances
Martin Balsam: Martin Lombard Senescu
Will Kuluva: Mr. Ferguson
Maggie Mahoney: Emma Senescu
William Mims: Dave
Marcel Hillaire: Guide
Milton Parsons: Henri Désiré Landru
David Bond: Jack the Ripper
Billy Beck: William Hare
Phil Chambers: Gas Man
Bob Mitchell: Albert W. Hicks
Robert McCord: William Burke
Episode chronology
← Previous
"I Dream of Genie"
Next →
"Of Late I Think of Cliffordville"
The Twilight Zone (1959 TV series) (season 4)
List of episodes

Opening narrationEdit

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.

PlotEdit

Martin Senescu works at a wax museum. His boss and best friend, Mr. Ferguson, informs him that, due to a long-term decline in sales and his desire to retire, he is selling the museum, which will be torn down and replaced by a supermarket. The dispirited Martin, desperate to save the figures from the "Murderer's Row" exhibit - Jack the Ripper, Albert W. Hicks, Henri Désiré Landru, William Burke and William Hare - volunteers to keep them at his house until a buyer can be found for them.

Martin's wife, Emma, becomes frustrated at having the figures in their basement. They require an air conditioner to keep from melting, and due to the hot weather, the resultant electric bill wipes out their savings within a month. Martin makes only perfunctory efforts at finding a buyer for the figures, instead spending most of his time tending to them. Emma is disconcerted by this, especially when he begins talking about and to them as if they were alive. Her brother, Dave, advises her to shut off the air conditioning so that the figures will melt. After one last effort to convince Martin to return the figures to Ferguson's care, Emma sneaks out of bed one night and goes down to the basement. When she tries to shut off the air conditioner, the Jack the Ripper figure stabs her.

The next morning, Martin discovers his wife dead and Jack's bloody knife. Realizing no one will believe Emma was killed by a wax figure, he buries her under the basement floor. The next day, Dave pays a visit. Martin nervously claims to have gotten rid of the wax figures, which arouses Dave's suspicions when he hears the air conditioner hum and finds the basement door locked. When he presses Martin further about Emma's whereabouts, Martin rushes him out of the house. Dave then sneaks into the basement through the back entrance. While he is examining the area, the Hicks figure strikes Dave with its axe. Martin comes down later to find the carnage.

Several weeks later, Ferguson comes by to tell Martin that he has sold the figures to the legendary Marchand's Wax Museum in Brussels. However, Martin is still reluctant to give up the wax figures he has so greatly cared for. While he goes upstairs and makes tea, Ferguson takes measurements of the figures for the buyer. When he makes a passing remark about Landru's width, the latter strangles him. Martin comes downstairs with the tea and finds Ferguson's body. Deeming this the last straw, Martin rebukes the figures and grabs a crowbar, planning to smash them. Suddenly, the wax figures come off their pedestals and advance on him, claiming he murdered Emma, Dave, and Ferguson despite not being in the basement when the murders occurred. Martin screams as the figures close in.

Years later, at Marchand's, the five murderer figures are now accompanied by a wax figure of Martin, who is believed to have killed Emma, Dave, and Ferguson.

Closing narrationEdit

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.

ReferencesEdit

  • 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.

External linksEdit

  • "The New Exhibit" at IMDb