Twilight Zone Marathon: “The Little People”

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Welcome back to my Twilight Zone Marathon! The concept of playing God is both cool and terrifying. Many shows, movies and even video games allow for the possibility of it and show the creation and devastation that can be involved. Today’s episode is another example of that, only set in the reaches of space. This is “The Little People.”

Commander William Fletcher and his copilot Peter Craig are forced to make an emergency landing in a canyon far into space after a meteor storm damages their rocket. While there, Craig discovers a microscopic civilization and begins damaging their town. He invokes fear into them to make them consider him a god, much to his delight and Fletcher’s horror. Will Fletcher be able to stop him and get him back home, or is he too late for either?

Despite knowing the twist to this one, I thought it was a good psychological story. The pacing was pretty good even if the story itself was pretty simplistic, focusing on them finding the civilization and Craig’s downward spiral. The effects were also pretty good as well, which I’m guessing were miniatures.

We only have two characters to talk about, so let’s get to it. Of the two, I preferred Commander Fletcher, although both were well-acted. Being the leader, he’s smart, resourceful and authoritative. I also liked that he was sympathetic toward the little people. He even has sympathy for Craig as he goes more power-hungry, even going so far to call him “buddy” in an effort to try bringing him home. I’m not sure if that was to imply that they’d been together long, but it showed he was the more caring person of the two.

Peter Craig was a mix for me, in that I felt sorry for him and at the same time hated him. On one hand, he’d always wished to be the leader in his life and have that special authority. But on the other, from the get-go he’s unappreciative and grumpy. His attitude only worsens when he gets his hands on power over the little people. Even before the twist occurs, he’s basically gone insane with power and laughing it up like he’s the Joker. I didn’t feel overly sorry for him by the end.

Speaking of which, the twist is karmic but also a bit tragic. I won’t give away what happens, but considering the events of the story it felt clever and fit with the tone. I do kinda wish we could’ve seen a bit more of the civilization, but the hints of it we do see are well done.

Overall, “The Little People” is a relatable story that I think anyone can enjoy. It really shows how people love to be in control and what they might do if they have more power than they deserve. It’s a neat concept and one I would recommend checking out.

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