The Twilight Zone – Complete Series Review – Season 5 Episode 23 – Queen of the Nile

Jordan Herrick is a newspaper columnist who is on an assignment to interview a famous actress Pamela Morris whose greatest role was as the queen in the film “Queen of the Nile.”  When he arrives, the maid shows him into the house which is filled with ancient Egyptian sculptures.  Here he sees a painting of the actress signed by the artist and dated 1940 (twenty-four years before).  Next he is escorted out to the swimming pool where the actress is swimming.  Pamela welcomes him and Jordan attempts to find out Pamela’s age.  When she tells him, she is thirty-eight he reminds her of the portrait dated 1940 which would have made her fourteen at the time the painting.  But the painting is of an obviously mature woman.  Pamela replies that she was precocious.  There is obviously chemistry between the two of them and Jordan asks if they can meet again and she agrees to tomorrow night at 8 pm.  But when he is leaving a woman whom Pamela has introduced as her mother tells Jordan that actually she is Pamela’s daughter.

During the date Jordan tells Pamela what the old woman said but Pamela explains that since an accident that killed Pamela’s father, her mother has been mentally disturbed.  They agree to see each other again the next night but after he leaves Jordan calls up his editor and tries to get more information on Pamela.  He finds out that a theater that she admitted to playing had been demolished in the 1920s and that the actress, Constance Taylor, that played in a silent era version of “Queen of the Nile” looked exactly like Pamela Morris.  And Taylor had disappeared in a mysterious cave-in during filming in Egypt.

When he arrives at Pamela’s house, he shows his evidence to Pamela’s “mother” and is told that all of it is true and that Pamela is dangerous and Jordan should leave.  But Jordan refuses, saying he wants to find out the truth of this amazing story.  When Jordan confronts her, she agrees to tell him everything but first she adds a powder to his coffee while he isn’t looking.  While he is drinking it, she goes over to a potted plant and retrieves a little glass box and brings it over to Jordan.  Jordan is already feeling the effects of the drug Pamela put in his drink but he still has the concentration to ask her about the box.  She tells him it contains a living scarab beetle that she got from a Pharaoh of ancient Egypt.  But at this point he collapses to the floor and when Pamela sets the beetle on his bare chest he ages instantly and goes from a very old man to a skeleton and finally into a pile of powder spilling out of his clothes on the living room floor.  Pamela scoops up the scarab and holding it breast absorbs the life force that she has stolen from Jordan.  The old lady comes in and upbraids her for her murder but is threatened with death by Pamela and retreats.

Finally, another young man shows up at the house and we are to assume that Pamela will go through the same sequence with him.

Okay, so this is a transparent plot that everybody has figured out two minutes in.  And the acting isn’t anything to write home about.  But having the old woman tell us that she is the younger woman’s daughter was kind of fun.  And even thought the special effects are pretty crummy I kind of liked this one.  B.