Night Gallery (1969–1973)
16 user 4 critic

The Caterpillar/Little Girl Lost 

Steven Macy lusts after his boss' wife and plans to use an earwig to be rid of him. / The government plays up to a genius' delusion that his dead daughter still lives so he can finish his experiments even though his mind is still clouded.


Timothy Galfas, Jeannot Szwarc (as Jean Szwarc)


Rod Serling (teleplay), Oscar Cook (short story) | 2 more credits »




Episode credited cast:
Laurence Harvey ... Steven Macy (segment "The Caterpillar")
Ed Nelson ... Tom Burke (segment "Little Girl Lost")
Joanna Pettet ... Rhona Warwick (segment "The Caterpillar")
William Windom ... Professor Putman (segment "Little Girl Lost")
Ivor Francis ... Dr. Charles Cottrell (segment "Little Girl Lost")
John Williams ... Doctor (segment "The Caterpillar")
Tom Helmore ... John Warwick (segment "The Caterpillar")
John Lasell John Lasell ... Colonel Hawes (segment "Little Girl Lost")
Don Knight ... Tommy Robinson (segment "The Caterpillar")
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Rod Serling ... Himself - Host


An unscrupulous man who wants the beautiful wife of another colleague pays to have an earwig placed in the husband's ear. This insect will will tunnel through the victim's brain causing excruciating pain and certain death. However, his accomplice enters the wrong bedroom and places the insect in the man's own ear by mistake. After weeks of pain he miraculously survives, but the doctor tells him that his ordeal is not yet over. Written by laird-3

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Release Date:

1 March 1972 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Television See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Laurence Harvey was already being treated for the stomach cancer which would kill him in 1973, the year after this episode aired. To convincingly depict his character's pain and agony, he briefly stopped taking the painkillers prescribed by his doctor. See more »


The story turns on the idea that the earwig eating through the villain's brain was excruciating; the fact is that the brain has no nerve endings in itself. Neurosurgeons frequently operate on patients while awake in order to verify the correct location of an electrical stimulus. See more »


Referenced in So I Married an Axe Murderer (1993) See more »

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User Reviews

holds up OK
8 September 2010 | by stones78See all my reviews

It seems as I watch this over again throughout the years, it loses some of the effect it once had on me when I was younger, but this episode is still well written and one of the better segments of the Night Gallery series. This is from the superior season 2 which has many solid episodes compared to the other seasons of the short lived show. What I remember most from the Caterpillar is the performance of Laurence Harvey, who may've overacted a bit when he was infected by the "little beastie" as Rod Serling calls it, but his portrayal is the most memorable anyway. There's no need to rehash the plot again, but the beginning drags a bit with the miserable weather in the Borneo jungle, so hang in there until the episode picks up. My favorite scene is probably the one in the pub when 2 men hatch an evil plan to have the woman's husband slowly driven insane and eventually die, so Harvey can have the man's wife. A cool twist gets in the way in typical Night Gallery fashion, as the deadly bug is accidentally inserted into Harvey's(Steven)ear instead of the husband's, as he runs out of the room screaming after hearing the bad news from the local doctor. Look for an interesting cameo by John Williams as the doctor on call as well.

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