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Overall Rating
2.63

Awesome: 15.79%
Worth A Look: 21.05%
Average: 10.53%
Pretty Bad: 15.79%
Total Crap36.84%

1 review, 13 user ratings


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Twilight Zone, Episode 3.26: Little Girl Lost
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by Chris Parry

"Mommy? Can someone turn off the smoke machine?"
1 stars

“Missing: One frightened little girl. Name: Bettina Miller. Description: Six years of age, average height, and build, light brown hair, quite pretty. Last seen being tucked in bed by her mother a few hours ago. Last heard… aye, there’s the rub, as Hamlet put it. For Bettina Miller can be heard quite clearly, despite the rather curious fact they she cannot be seen at all. Present location: Let’s say for the moment… in the Twilight Zone.”

Penned by Twilight Zone screenplay workhorse Richard Mathieson, Little Girl Lost isn’t the greatest Twilight Zone episode you’re likely to see, but it is one of the most simplistic. A couple of parents are woken one night by the cries of their daughter, only to find upon inspection of her bedroom that she’s nowhere to be found. Oh, she can be heard all right, but much like Homer Simpson did in the famous 3-D Halloween episode of The Simpsons, little Bettina has found her way to another dimension. How will they get her out of the mysterious hole in the wall?

Director Paul Stewart, who was an original cast member on Orson Welles’ Mercury Theater, opposite such luminaries as Joseph Cotton and Agnes Moorhead, would never direct another episode of this series after this, his Twilight Zone directing debut, and few would argue that such a decision was ill-founded. Stewart would go on to continue his acting career, which stretched from the 40’s right up until his appearance in Revenge of the Pink Panther in 1979 and S.O.B. in 1981, but though he sporadically directed episodes of other TV series’ in the 50’s, if this one is anything to go by, he brought limited talent to the table.

The absolute low point of this episode is the God awful acting of Sarah Marhsall and Robert Sampson as parents of the young girl, though Mathieson’s surprisingly ten cent script with two cent dialogue is a close second. The expressions on the faces of the leads vary from bewilderment to “oh lordy, somebody just inserted squishy fruit into my bottom,” and it’s tough to take the story seriously when there are so many plot-holes and obvious instances of unrealistic ‘techno speak.’ Both Marshall and Sampson were career bit players in the TV and movie world, with Sampson’s highlight being his turn in 1985’s Re-Animator, and Marshall’s perhaps when she appeared as Librarian #2 in Dangerous Minds, and though Stewart’s directorial touch certainly wouldn’t have helped their performances, both were patently awful here.

Scenes of the production that take place in the supposed ‘fourth dimension’ are nothing short of hokey. Consisting of a smoke machine, some glitter, a close-up of a metal ball, and some echoed speech, they do nothing to fill the gaps left by an abundance of incompetence in every other area. In the end, Little Girl Lost looks like a definite filler episode, perhaps shot on the cheap to allow budget to be spent on other, more worthy episodes, as had this been the first Twilight Zone made, there might not have been a second. Somewhat bizarrely, it was produced in the third season, when you’d expect that things might have been at their most polished.

Still, crap Twilight Zone beats no Twilight Zone at all, and considering this episode inspired plenty of other ‘dimension travel’ sci-fi over the decades since, such as Stargate and Sliders, to name but a few, one has to consider that Little Girl Lost at the very least is worth far more than the sum of its parts.

link directly to this review at https://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=5998&reviewer=1
originally posted: 07/10/02 09:45:51
[printer] printer-friendly format  
This episode of Twilight Zone has been reviewed as part of an ongoing retro TV series. For more in the Twilight Zone Episodes series, click here.

User Comments

1/04/18 Peter Raven A wonderfully minimalist episode that is very scary because of that. Inspired many movies 5 stars
12/23/12 bobbynear interesting idea but poor execution and over the top acting..roll into a wall? not likely 2 stars
6/03/09 Brenda This episode terrified me (age 8) more than any other. Cheesy, yes, but memorable. 4 stars
4/19/08 Pamela White simple yes but always great TZ 4 stars
7/28/06 David Cohen Good idea brought down by (unusually) sub-par acting 3 stars
11/19/05 BrendaS918 Good story idea...bad episode. 2 stars
8/18/04 Max After veiwing this episode as a kid I had many nightmares falling through my bedroom wall 5 stars
4/26/04 Lori This is the episode I remember best as I was scared for YEARS to touch bedroom wall. 3 stars
4/04/04 Matt Vandermast Love actor Charles Aidman & the 4-D effects; hate dubbed "girl's" voice 4 stars
8/07/03 Susan I saw this when I was about 5 and 33 years later still can't stand to sleep next to a wall 4 stars
8/28/02 bonnie blue saw it when 8, learned abt dimensions, got hooked on TZ. love the trippy imagery/echoes 5 stars
7/11/02 Melissa in NYC With a firl like that, I'd likely leave her in the wall and move away. 1 stars
7/10/02 Kilmore Trout The voice of the little girl was like nails on a blackboard. Gah! 2 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  16-Mar-1962 (NR)
  DVD: 28-Jun-2005

UK
  N/A

Australia
  16-Mar-1962 (G)


Directed by
  Paul Stewart

Written by
  Richard Mathieson

Cast
  Sarah Marshall
  Robert Sampson



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