The Twilight Zone Episode 115: The New Exhibit

General Information

Director: John Brahm

Writer: Charles Beaumont

Cast: Martin Balsam, Will Kuluva, Maggie Mahoney, William Mims, Phil Chambers, Lennie Bremen, Ed Barth, Craig Curtis, Milton Parsons, David Bond, Bob Mitchell, Robert L. McCord, Billy Beck, and Marcel Hillaire

Composer: None (Stock Music)

Air Date: 4/4/1963

Production Code: 4860



After the closing of Ferguson’s Wax Museum, curator Martin Lombard Senescu (Martin Balsam) brings home all of the figures displayed on Murderers Row: Jack The Twilight Zone The New Exhibitthe Ripper, Albert W. Hicks, Henry Désiré Landru, William Burke, and William Hare—much to the chagrin of Martin’s wife Emma (Maggie Mahoney). Though initially content with his arrangement, Martin has a change of heart when dead bodies begin appearing in his basement.

Combining serial killer tropes with tongue-in-cheek undertones, “The New Exhibit” will appeal to fans of the black comedy genre. Specifically, this episode should be commended for its creepy and original twist on the movie Psycho—also featuring Martin Balsam.



Director John Brahm deserves praise for emphasizing subtle changes in the expressions of each wax figure, which reinforce the delusion experienced by The Twilight Zone The New Exhibitthe main character. Upon claiming his first “victim,” for example, Jack the Ripper appears to hover over the deceased with an evil smirk etched on his face, implying that he and his fellow dummies possess unique and malevolent personalities of their own.

(Spoilers beyond this point)

In the climactic scene, the wax dummies apparently spring to life and attack Martin with knives, hatchets, and other melee weapons that one would expect a serial killer to employ—a chilling and nightmarish finale that may remind horror fans of Maniac (1980), which offers a similar fate for its homicidal protagonist.



The Twilight Zone The New ExhibitThough quite gruesome, the twist ending of this episode may evoke criticism for its predictable nature.



“The New Exhibit” contains a worthwhile lesson on the destructive power of obsession, especially when dangerous, unproductive, or financially demanding hobbies become the sole focus of an individual’s life.


Concluding Comments

A horror-themed episode of The Twilight Zone, “The New Exhibit” earns its reputation as a season-four highlight. Especially captivating is the performance of Balsam, who adds an air of conflict to the character of Martin.


Overall Quality: 10/10


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4 thoughts on “The Twilight Zone Episode 115: The New Exhibit

  1. Your first “10” of season four! I bet your next, and last one, will be for “On Thursday We Leave For Home” (and please, if you can, award “The Bard, the final episode of an underwhelming season, your first “0”).

    • My rating scale only goes from 1-10, but I might make an exception for “The Bard.” “The New Exhibit” is one of the few comedy episodes of The Twilight Zone that I really enjoy, even though the humor is very subtle at times (e.g. Jack the Ripper’s face changing slightly from one shot to the next, conveying his “intentions” to the audience).

      • If “The Bard” had employed the kind of subtle humor “Exhibit” utilizes so winningly I probably would have enjoyed it significantly more (the premise is actually a pretty good one). The problem is Serling’s writing in “The Bard,” like his writing in most of his “comedy” episodes, has all the nuance of a heart attack. Honestly, the only time Serling elicits laughter of any kind is when he’s writing insults — like in the Gothic hoot “The Masks” or the less-than-stellar but still amusing “Uncle Simon.” Otherwise, he writes the kind of comedy you’d generally find in execrable sitcoms (though even garbage like “Full House” and “Saved By The Bell” would probably pass on most of Serling’s god-awful stabs at mirth). How a man who could write genius like “A Stop at Willoughby” and “The Monsters are Due on Maple Street” be capable of transgressions like “The Bard” or “Cavender is Coming” I guess I’ll never know ….

  2. Thank you a lot for your worthy reviews and articles especially on my favorite TV series The Twilight Zone.Your analysis helps me so much in understanding the significance of some ambiguous episodes like The New Exhibit. I think that there is much concern about the psychology of the murderer and the complex aspects of his character as a killer and a guilty. I wish to know if my opinion is right or not, and I really appreciate your help. With my best regards.

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