The Twilight Zone

Season 4 Episode 13

The New Exhibit

Aired Unknown Apr 04, 1963 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (3)

Write A Review
out of 10
120 votes
  • The Twilight Zone at its Finest!

    In the book The Twilight Zone Companion, author Marc Scott Zicree's allegation is that this episode fails in its denouement because we the audience see the wax statues of Jack the Ripper (David Bond) stab to death Emma Senescu (Maggie Mahoney), Albert W. Hicks (Bob Mitchell) ax murder Dave (William Mims), and Henri Desire Landru (Milton Parsons) fatally strangle Ernest Ferguson (Will Kuluva), however, in the end we find out it was actually Martin Lombard Senescu (Martin Balsam) who committed the murderers. According to Zicree the murder scenes needed greater subtlety as to only suggest the statues committed the murders to allow for the latter conclusion to be convincing. Perhaps the reason Chuck Beaumont and Jerry Sohl chose the former route was to take us the audience on a journey through the mind of a killer: Martin Lombard Senescu. When we the audience see the statues committing the murders we are seeing them the way Martin Lombard Senescu believes they have happened. This initially creates some sympathy for Senescu but in the end when we learn the truth Senescu no longer rates sympathy, but somehow-in the strangest way-he does rate understanding. For on the surface Senescu appears like a typical everyman, one who no one would ever suspect of being a murderer, but who knows what lurks underneath. Senescu himself elaborates on the brilliance of Henri Guilmont, the sculptor of these wax statues in conveying the fact that these murderers were human beings just as we are no matter how depraved their actions. For instance, Senescu states that in looking at the statue of the Henri Desire Landru you see the serial killer he was, while simultaneously seeing the choir boy he was. Just as at the end of the episode when you see the new exhibit at the Marchand Museum in Brussels and one sees the statue of Martin Lombard Senescu, clad in overalls, holding a shovel, digging a hole for one of his victims, one simultaneously sees the mild-mannered museum curator, the scholarly art historian, the devoted husband, and the upstanding citizen he was, as well as the mass murderer he was. All-in-all, "The New Exhibit" effectively poses the question of who is the type to become a killer the answer: any one of us.

    Zicree states that seeing the statues commit the murders does not wash, when in fact it washes just as well as seeing the statues close in on Senescu and accuse him of the murders and using their weapons. In all likelihood this is not actually happening but again we are seeing things happen as Senescu believes they are happening as if journeying through the mind of a killer in order to create a better understanding of him. Additionally, we the audience never learn the actual fate of Martin Lombard Senescu. It is highly doubtful that the wax statues (including Burke (Robert L. McCord) and Hare (Billy Beck)) actually killed him in revenge for him trying to blame them for the murders, as this is likely a figment of his delusional mind. Perhaps Senescu committed suicide or died accidentally trying to escape the clutches of the statues-again his delusion. Or perhaps Senescu is in fact alive at the end of the episode and is incarcerated and even on death row, or maybe he is institutionalized and in a rubber room and a straitjacket. The fact that "The New Exhibit" leaves this up to the imagination of us the audience is what makes it an example of The Twilight Zone at its finest.

  • The episode that made me fall in love with The Twilight Zone.

    The New Exhibit is by far one of the most terrifying episodes of the Twilight Zone and one of my all time favorite episodes of the Twilight Zone. This was actually the very first Twilight Zone episode I remember actually sitting down and watching. At that time it scared the living daylights out of me.

    The curator of the museum, portrayed by Martin Balsam, adores these murderous wax figures and when they are left in his care they kill his boss, his wife, and her brother and at the very end he becomes their last victim and a part of the new exhibit.

    The New Exhibit is one of the scariest episodes of The Twilight Zone that I can't get enough of.
  • Probably the best of the horror episodes.

    9.1? 9.1? 9.1 doesn't do this episode justice. effectively creepy, this is one episode you don't want to miss. The wax figures (Jack the Ripper especially) are very creepy, and the ending makes you wonder," Whaaat?" The man's love for these mannequins is sort of like an anti-Miniature, the yin to its yang. This is probably the only creepy episode that (in my opinion) is better than what people say about it. I just can't recommend it enough, I really can't. The ending, describing how everyone is uneasy around his figure is so thought-provoking, you can't help but wonder; did he kill them? Did he take the fall for the mannequin's sins? Or was it a combination? Effectively scary.