The Twilight Zone (1963) – The New Exhibit, and Of Late I Think of Cliffordville

Look, there’s the signpost up ahead, it’s time to enter The Twilight Zone as I continue my exploration of The Complete Series on blu-ray available now from Paramount Pictures.

This week starts with The New Exhibit, which was written by Charles Beaumont and first aired on 4 April, 1963. The story follows Martin Lombard Senescu – three names –  (Martin Balsam), who is in charge of Murderers’ Row in a wax museum. He is great at his job and he loves it, so he is upset when he learns the museum is being sold to a developer and turned into a supermarket.

Martin is passionate about his work, and that love may push him into his own madness as he ventures into the Twilight Zone. Taking possession of his five pieces, the figures he’s seen over for years, they take over his life, and driving those he loves away.

And what happens to loved ones when they try to separate Martin from his collection?

Things get increasingly troublesome for Martin, and the collection, and while it seems that his love for the murderers may have imbued them with some form of life, I think it would have been better had we learned that he only thought they came to life, and it was he who had committed the murders himself.

The extras include an isolated score, and billboards, as well as two commentaries one by Zone historians Bill Warren and Marc Scott Zircee and the other by Zone historian Scott Skelton and accomplished editor Jim Benson.

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Of Late I Think of Cliffordville first aired on 11 April, 1963, and was penned by Malcolm Jameson based on his short story, Blind Alley.

William Fearhersmith (Albert Salmi) is a tycoon (with a really bad bald cap for the first part of the episode), and he’s cold, heartless, and no one seems to care for him. He breaks people, acquires wealth and doesn’t seem to want to stop. But he also seems to be tiring of it.

He does however, delight in belittling Hecate (Wright King), the custodian, who came from the same small town as he did, Cliffordville, and has worked in the same office building for thirty-four years. (Something tells me he may have a bit of a tie-in with the rest of the story).

When he gets off the wrong floor in his office building he discovers Devlin Travel, run by Miss Devlin (Julie Newmar – lovely and seductive even with a pair of devil’s horns sprouting from her head). She offers him a deal, all of his wealth for the trip of a lifetime, he would be sent back to his hometown, in the year 1910.

This would allow him to regain some of his youth, and he also sees a chance to amass even more wealth and power, he accepts, but things don’t seem to be working out the way he planned.

The twist and the reveal aren’t too surprising or unexpected, but it does serve some poetic justice.

The extras include an isolated score, billboards, and a radio adaptation starring H.M. Wynant.

There’s more mystery, fantasy, horror and magic next week when I continue my exploration of Paramount Canada’s The Twilight Zone: The Complete Series on blu-ray. Check it out!

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