The Twilight Zone Episode 143: Queen of the Nile

General Information

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

 

Overview

While interviewing actress Pamela Morris (Ann Blyth), columnist Jordan Herrick (Lee Philips) makes a harrowing discovery. Specifically, through conductingThe Twilight Zone Queen of the Nile 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.

 

Pros

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.

 

Cons

(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 beingThe Twilight Zone Queen of the Nile 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.

 

Analysis

The Twilight Zone Queen of the NileUnlike 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.

 

Concluding Comments

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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One thought on “The Twilight Zone Episode 143: Queen of the Nile

  1. An episode that could have benefited from being an hour, it was one of those zones that was both silly and frighting. The clueless actions of the reporter is almost laughable while the fact that no one noticed a famous actress not aging is pulling on the string of suspension of disbelief a little too hard. The mother was creepy keeping in the shadows and whispering in daylight. The episode was dated in that in the age of the internet old Cleo would have been discovered quite easily. The unexplained beetle and how for 2000 years it was kept alive is never explained ( a common trait of so many zones). Playhouse 90 stuff that fits like an old shoe for the times but slow and pedantic now.