The Twilight Zone: Season 1 Episode 24 Long Live Walter Jameson

From Television and Film Character Encyclopedia

A professor suspects his colleague is immortal.

Series Index

The Twilight Zone (1959-1964)

Characters/Groups

Narrator - Rod Serling

Walter Jameson - Kevin McCarthy

Professor Samuel Kittridge - Edgar Stehli

Laurette Bowen - Estelle Winwood

Susanna Kittridge - Dody Heath

Character thumbnails with links to profiles

Detailed Synopsis

Walter Jameson is teaching his students about the Civil War when he reads from the diary of Major Skelton. The diary journal recounts the day Atlanta was burned. After class, Professor Samuel Kittridge, who was sitting in on the lecture, asks to see the diary and then asks to borrow it, which Walter tells him no. Samuel then invites Walter to dinner that night. As Walter leaves his house, Laurette Bowen spies on him behind a tree. Walter enters the home of Samuel and hugs Susanna Kittridge. After dinner, Samuel tells Susanna that she should start on her studies. Walter and Samuel sit down for their continued chess game and during the game, Samuel grabs Walter's hand and mentions how his own hands have aged, while Walter's have stayed the same. Samuel asks Walter how old he is and Walter tells him 44. Samuel recalls how when he originally applied to become a professor he listed his age as 39, which was 12 years ago. Samuel talks again about how much he has aged and yet Walter simply hasn't. Samuel pulls out a book of photographs from the time of the Civil War. In one photo is a person who looks exactly like Walter, a Major Hugh Skelton. Samuel points at Walter's ring, which matches the one Major Skelton is wearing in the photo.

Samuel asks Walter to tell him the truth and Walter tells him that he is old enough to know Plato personally and Samuel asks him the secret to his longevity. Walter tells him that he always feared death and paid an alchemist who conducted an experiment on him which gave him his longevity. As time went on he saw his wife and children aging and his friends dying. Samuel tells him that he is afraid of dying and Walter admits that he is a coward and is still too afraid of death to commit suicide. Walter admits that he has been married before and Samuel tells Walter that he won't let him marry Susanna. Susanne overhears him and Walter tells her to pack her things and they will get married that night. Walter goes to his house to pack and starts to write a letter and pulls out the gun from his desk. Laurette is waiting in his office and calls him Tommy and says she knows who he is, Tom Bowen her former husband. She tells him that he is hers and then shoots him. Samuel hears the gunshot and runs to Walter's house. As Walter is dying, he starts to age rapidly. He falls to the ground and dies. Susanna runs to Walter's house and sees Walter's clothes on the ground and a powdery substance surrounding them. She asks Samuel what it is, and he tells her, only dust.