Director: John Brahm
Writer: Charles Beaumont
Cast: Ann Blyth, Lee Philips, Celia Lovsky, and Frank Ferguson
Composer: Lucien Moraweck
Air Date: 3/6/1964
Production Code: 2626
While interviewing actress Pamela Morris (Ann Blyth), columnist Jordan Herrick (Lee Philips) makes a harrowing discovery. Specifically, through conducting research and meeting with Pamela’s “daughter” Viola Draper (Celia Lovsky), Herrick learns that an Egyptian relic has prevented Pamela from growing old—at a grave cost.
Exploring the pitfalls of immortality, “Queen of the Nile” deserves praise for its thought-provoking subject matter. Fans of The Twilight Zone may, however, criticize this episode for its derivative premise and mean-spirited finale.
In contrast to Kevin McCarthy (known for “Long Live Walter Jameson,” a similar entry from season one), Ann Blyth portrays an immortal character with cruelty, malice, and disregard for other people—a terrifying glimpse at how eternal life could, in a hypothetical scenario, lead to infinite corruption in those with selfish or immoral tendencies.
(Spoilers beyond this point)
Revealing that a scarab beetle allows Pamela to steal the youth of unsuspecting men, “Queen of the Nile” benefits from a clever twist in the final act. That being said, the ending of this episode is marred by two logical flaws. First, Herrick—an astute and resourceful journalist—fails to contact the authorities upon learning of Pamela’s secret, choosing instead to endanger himself by confronting Pamela directly. Second, Pamela shows no hesitation when using the beetle to drain Herrick of his life force—an action that, given Herrick’s position at the time of his death, would likely prompt the police to investigate Pamela.
Unlike Walter Jameson, a man who views his immortality as a great burden, Pamela Morris goes out of her way to lie, cheat, and even kill in order to survive indefinitely—a statement on how vain, worldly people might prefer perpetual existence, with or without purpose, over a short but meaningful life.
This offering should be commended for its horror-themed, supernatural twist on a classic series trope. Nevertheless, viewers may take issue with “Queen of the Nile” for its lack of justice in the final scene.
Overall Quality: 6/10
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