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April 3rd, 2005, 11:46 AM
Re: US television:

About 30 years ago (?) there was a weekly (?) tv show with stories similar to Twilight Zone. Yesterday, I remembered an episode that has stuck with me all this time, and was remarkably creepy for that era.

The story was about a man who had an earwig enter his ear canal. The insect entered his brain and would only come out after it had eaten its way through the brain, causing great pain and destroying the man's mind.

I remember that this episode stuck in the minds of lots of people I knew, even several years later. But now I can't remember what the tv series was. Does this ring a bell?

April 3rd, 2005, 01:41 PM
maybe it was Tales From the Darkside (http://www.tvtome.com/tvtome/servlet/ShowMainServlet/showid-79/Tales_from_the_Darkside/), which was kinda like the Twilight Zone but mostly spooky stuff, from the mid-eighties.

I don't remember that episode in question, but it sounds like the sort of stuff they did.

April 3rd, 2005, 02:30 PM
Nope, sorry. Not that show. :) Maybe a decade earlier.

April 3rd, 2005, 02:49 PM
You are thinking of the Night Gallery episode "The Caterpillar", first broadcast on 3/1/72.

April 3rd, 2005, 03:15 PM
Wow! Night Gallery! I'd forgotten the name of that series. That's the one!

Just now I looked up the episode you mentioned and got this:

28. The Caterpillar
gs: Laurence Harvey (Stephen Macy) Joanna Pettet (Rhona Warwick) John Williams (II) (Doctor)

A bored colonial on a Malaysian plantation employs an exotic accomplice--an earwig--in his gruesome plot to assassinate a romantic rival.

b: 01-Mar-1972 pc: 34322 w: Rod Serling s: Oscar Cook d: Jeannot Szwarc

NOTE: This episode is based on the short story "Boomerang" by Oscar Cook. This story was first published in the Christine Campbell Thomson anthology Switch on the Light (1931).

Thanks so much!

April 3rd, 2005, 03:28 PM
I found this comment also. I'm glad I'm not the only one. I'd forgotten the end twist...ack! now I'll never sleep! (bolds are mine)

"Several shows that, if you saw them as a child, have stuck in your head for years. I'm surprised no one has yet mentioned "The Caterpillar"; Laurence Harvey (maybe his best performance ever) played a scoundrel wishing to kill an older gentleman to make a move on his much younger and very hot wife (played by Joanna Pettit). His scheme? A hybrid caterpillar (called an "earwig") would be inserted into the man's ear during sleep; the hybrid would be unable to "back up" and therefore would eat its way through the man's brain! Harvey falls afoul of his own scheme when a mistake is made, yet miraculously survives the creature's 2+ week journey across his head when it somehow finds its way out the other ear. THEN he learns that the earwig was a female, and had laid eggs in his brain! THIS one scared me as much as any episode of the Twilight Zone, Outer Limits or anything else you want to name."

April 5th, 2005, 12:49 PM
Yes Night Gallery was a great show that paved the way for Amazing Tales, Tales from the Darkside, etc. It is amazing how far viewer perceptions have come in just a few decades. Most would find the earwig premise humdrum and boring nowadays unless lots of slime and oozing grey matter were shown.
I'm glad that books seem to be immune to this phenomenon. There's a limit to how much action and gore you can read about before it becomes farcical.