|“||The new exhibit became very popular at Marchand's, but of all the figures none was ever regarded with more dread than that of Martin Lombard Senescu. It was something about the eyes, people said. It's the look that one often gets after taking a quick walk through the Twilight Zone.||„|
|~ The closing narration for the episode, after Martin Senescu joins a gallery of wax figures of famous murderers.|
Martin Lombard Senescu is the protagonist villain of The Twilight Zone episode "The New Exhibit". He is a wax museum worker who is particularly close with the wax figures of a group of infamous murderers who he is unhealthily enamored with and protective of, including after the wax museum shuts down.
He was portrayed by the late Martin Balsam.
Martin Senescu is introduced working at a wax museum, where he is especially dedicated to a display of infamous murderers, namely Jack the Ripper, Albert W. Hicks, Henri Desire Landru, William Burke, and William Hare. However, he is informed by his boss and best friend, Mr. Ferguson, that, due to a long-term decline in sales and his desire to retire, he is selling the museum, which will be torn down and replaced by a supermarket. The dispirited Martin, desperate to save the figures from the "Murderer's Row" exhibit volunteers to keep them at his house until a buyer can be found for them.
However, Martin's wife, Emma, becomes frustrated at having the figures in their basement, as she finds their presence oppressive and off-putting, not to mention that they require an air conditioner to keep from melting, and due to the hot weather the resultant electric bill proves devastating to the couple's savings, which get wiped out in a month. It also becomes clear that Martin is making little effort to actually find a buyer for the figures, instead spending most of his time tending to them, soon talking to them as though they were alive. Becoming increasingly disgusted and fed-up, Emma goes to her brother, Dave, who advises her to shut off the air conditioning so that the figures melt. Reluctant to do this, Emma tries again to convince Martin to sell the figures, but fails. So, she sneaks out of bed one night and goes down to the basement, but when she tries to shut off the air conditioner, the wax figure of Jack the Ripper appears to stab her. Discovering the murder the following morning, Martin buries her body to cover it up, knowing no one will believe him if he says she was killed by a wax figure.
The next day, Dave pays a visit. Martin tries to lie his way around Dave's questions regarding Emma's whereabouts, but he fails to convince Dave that Emma is safe and that he destroyed the wax figures. Later that night, Dave sneaks in to investigate, and is seemingly murdered by the wax figure of Hicks with an axe. Once again, Martin buries the body.
Several weeks later, Ferguson comes by to tell Martin that he has sold the figures to the legendary Marchand's Wax Museum in Brussels. However, Martin is less-then-enthusiastic about this news, as he is reluctant to give up the wax figures he's so greatly cared for. While he goes upstairs and makes tea, Ferguson takes measurements of the figures for the buyer. When he makes a passing remark about Landru's width, Landru lowers the rope around his neck and strangles him. Martin comes downstairs with the tea and finds Ferguson's body. Going berserk in the face of his one, true friend having been taken from him, Martin angrily disowns the figures, condemning them as the monstrous murderers they really are before grabbing a crowbar with which to smash them to bits. However, it is then that the wax figures get up off their pedestals and advance on Martin, one by one telling him that he was the one that murdered Emma, Dave, and Ferguson, revealing the apparent murders by wax figures to have been committed by a mentally ill and delusional Martin all along. Martin tries desperately to deny it, and then screams as the figures close in.
Years later, at Marchand's, the five figures of the murderers are now accompanied by a wax figure of Martin, who is believed to have killed Emma, Dave, and Ferguson.
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