024 – Long Live Walter Jameson

Original air date – 3/18/60

Written by Charles Beaumont |  Directed by Tony Leader

Starring Kevin McCarthyEdgar StehliEstelle WinwoodDody Heath

Walter Jameson (Kevin McCarthy from the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers film) is a college professor whose knowledge of history seems as though he has first-hand experience living through the events he describes in his lectures. We learn quickly in the course of the episode that Jameson is engaged to Susanna (Dody Heath), the daughter of fellow professor and good friend, Samuel Kittridge (Edgar Stehli).

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Kittridge admires Jameson but is suspicious of his friend’s appearance, which has seemingly not aged a day in the 12 years period since they have known each other. 
While having Jameson over for dinner one night, Kittridge, flipping through a Civil War history book, finds a photograph of war soldiers with one bearing a striking resemblance to Jameson.

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Confronted by Kittridge, Jameson is forced to reveal to his friend that he has been walking the earth for more than 2000 years. Given the gift of agelessness, he has been fortunate enough that he has never been inflicted with life-threatening injury or sickness that could kill him. When Kittridge yearns for the same gift, Jameson confesses that eternal living is not as rosy as it would seem. Through the years he has gone through seeing his loved ones grow old while he stays the same. Because of this anguish, he keeps a gun in his drawer but is too much of a coward to take his own life.
Back at home, Jameson encounters an elderly female stranger (Estelle Winwood) in his study who turns out to be one of the wives he had left behind.

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A scorned wife, the old lady discovers Jameson’s gun…

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And just one shot in his chest ends Jameson’s 2000 years of cheating death. He begins to age right in front of Kittridge, who had just arrived at Jameson’s home to check on him.

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By the time Jameson’s fiance and Kittridge daughter, Susanna, arrives at the house, Jameson is nowhere to be found.

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What’s left of him are his clothes resting peacefully on the ground above a pile of 2000 year old dust.

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Like The Picture of Dorian Gray, but without the painting, Long Live Walter Jameson (watch it here on imdb) lightly dabbles on the topic of eternal living with the same philosophical theory that living forever sucks. But who really has the authority to know. Seriously…

Just a few years after appearing in his star-making role in the original The Invasion of The Body Snatchers, Kevin McCarthy looked suave and perfect for the role of Walter Jameson. McCarthy would go on to live a long and fruitful life before passing on at 96 years old. Not bad for a mortal man.

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