Walter Jameson is a respected history professor at a prestigious university. His students say he teaches history as if he lived it. One night, at the home of one of his fellow professors, Jameson reveals the reason why he knows history so well.
This episode is one one of the better ones of the first season of "The Twilight Zone" for a number of reasons. The first is Kevin McCarthy's very good performance. The supporting characters act well also, but McCarty's performance stands out. Another reason is how it focuses on something that many human beings hope for just as must today as when this episode aired for the first time: immortality. I like how this episode explores the dark side of what many people would believe to be a gift. Not many people realize that everything has a dark side. Entertaining episode.
How can I describe "Long Live Walter Jameson"? Well, what I really enjoyed about this episode was how even though it had a Science-Fiction aspect to it, the storyline had a more historical approach to it.
When the episode starts out, we find Walter Jameson, a History professor telling his class about a Civil War battle and how a certain Confederate officer thought of what he was seeing. What I thought was original, and also significant, about this part of the episode was how the officer Walter was talking about was an alias he used to go by, causing Sam, a colleague whose daughter Walter was involved with, to look up that officer in one of his History textbooks and ultimately call him out on.
The reason why I found this part so significant was because of how Walter reluctantly told Sam the truth about his exceptionally long life, from rubbing elbows with Plato, all the way through history up until that point in time; all because of how he was scared of dying. It was after Walter finished and ultimately told his friend about the numerous times he has been married thanks to the special treatment he received several centuries before and how he plans to do the same to Sam's daughter, the only part of the episode that I didn't like came along; when Susanna came in the room, Walter propositioning her to get married later that night. To me, it seemed that he was just doing that out of spite of the old man. However, this part of the storyline became more tolerable when Walter went home to pack some his things; thanks in large part to his current elderly wife refusing to let Walter ruin Susanna’s life by marrying her and then run out on her upon her getting on in years.
The one thing that I thought was really neat to see was after Walter was shot by his wife: he finally got his wish to just begin to waste away and die after living such a long life. I found it to be rather ingenious the way the writers had Walter begin to age so rapidly into dust.
I guess all that is left to say is that no matter how long a person lives, they can’t overcome their fear of death, with Walter Jameson a prime example of living out his years, look forward to death, but also fear it at the same time. I guess all it takes is for someone to give you that final push to do the thing you know is right, but are afraid to take the plunge.