The Twilight Zone – Complete Series Review – Season 1 Episode 24 – Long Live Walter Jameson

Walter Jameson is a history professor in an American college.  He is engaged to Susanna Kittredge, the daughter of another professor in the Chemistry department.  Professor Kittridge suspects that Jameson is older than his alleged age and after researching a Civil War photo of a man that Jameson quoted in his lectures Kittridge discovers that Jameson was the Civil War officer.  Kittridge convinces Jameson to tell his story.  Jameson was an ancient Greek and he feared death so he paid an “alchemist” to give him eternal life.  It worked but over time he realized that seeing his family age and die was a terrible thing.  And the pattern repeated itself over thousands of years.  Kittridge forbids Jameson from marrying his daughter but Susanna defies him and they plan to elope that night.

When Jameson gets home, he is confronted by an old, old woman who was one of his former wives.  She found him through the engagement announcement and is determined to stop him from destroying another woman’s life.  She sees a revolver on his desk and shoots him.  When Kittridge hears the shot, he comes across the street and finds Jameson dying and already aging at an enormously accelerated rate.  When Susanna runs across to the house all that’s left of Jameson is his clothes and dust.

The story of the deathless man is classic.  Even in the 1960s the concept ended up in a Star Trek episode.  This one’s okay.  I’ll call it a B.

6 thoughts on “The Twilight Zone – Complete Series Review – Season 1 Episode 24 – Long Live Walter Jameson

  • February 6, 2019 at 12:32 am
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    Picture of Dorian Gray.

    Highlander.

    Death Becomes Her (played for laughs).

    The character Darius Biederbeck in Dr Phibes Rises Again. Amazing as the villain comes out on top in this movie.

    Several vampires and a mummy or two have done the same thing. Writers all steal from each other.

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    • February 6, 2019 at 7:06 am
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      I thought it was a serviceable version. Right around a B.

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  • February 6, 2019 at 11:19 am
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    It wasn’t bad for its type. The acting was actually pretty good. Kevin McCarthy is a solid actor. At least as good as Leslie Nielsen or William Hopper in dramatic roles and almost as good as Peter Graves. A solid “B” is about right. What made me think when I first saw it as a lad was that if an alchemist did that for one ancient Greek, how many others with more money are still running around with us? Surely the alchemist did it for himself, too, so maybe there was a fictional serum of life as in “Death Becomes Her” and people are keeping it quiet. And if Jamison was not invulnerable (as in Highlander – except for decapitation) why did he choose to be a military officer in the US Civil War? He feared death so much, yet he willingly took part in America’s bloodiest war. Even if he was immune to disease, as we saw he was not immune to shot, shell or bayonet.

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    • February 6, 2019 at 11:36 am
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      Yes, I liked McCarthy in the original “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.” To my mind the ending of that movie was just right. Even though the hospital personnel thought McCarthy was crazy they have the truck full of pods crash and the verification of his story right there in front of them. If old Rod were writing the story it would have ended with the doctor getting hauled off to the funny farm.
      Great minds think alike. I had the same thought about him avoiding the Civil War.

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      • February 11, 2019 at 3:35 pm
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        Perhaps he’d grown weary of immortality, and so joined the American Civil War as a form of death wish. I imagine after living for 4000 years, you start getting a bit weary. Or maybe he needed some excitement (or some cash–imagine how much you’d have to save for retirement if you were going to live forever).

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        • February 11, 2019 at 7:38 pm
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          Well, most Methusalehs are supposed to be as rich as Croesus. If you can live forever compound interest is your friend. If he isn’t rich then he must have been a nincompoop.

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