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Sunday, January 15, 2006

1.34 --- The Little People of Killany Woods

Directed by : J.D. Feigelson
Written by : J.D. Feigelson
Starring : Hamilton Camp, Michael Aldridge
First aired : 3rd of January, 1986.

Liam O'Shaughnessey (Hamilton Camp, Heaven Can Wait), a penniless alcoholic, is convinced he saw leprechauns (or, as he calls them, "the little people") in the nearby woods. Sharing his story with the rest of pub he frequents, he enrages Mike (Michael Aldridge), who promptly tosses Liam out, threatening him with physical violence if he ever dares to repeat his stories.

Later that night, Mike spies Liam exiting the hardware store, with a load of supplies. The hardware store owner, O'Dell, is reluctant to tell Mike what is Liam planning, but eventually caves in and tells him that he is carrying the supplies to "the little people". While Mike hardly finds this lunacy surprising, he is surprised by the fact Liam paid O'Dell in solid gold ! After inquiring with his landlady, who was also paid in gold, Mike decides to ambush Liam on his way to Killany Woods.

Once there, he forces Liam to hand him the gold, which Liam does, warning him that the gold has no value in hands of people for whom that gold is not intended. Mike ignores this warning and demands more, but Liam manages to flee from him, heading to a strangely-lit portion of the forest. Giving him chase, Mike is amazed to see Liam spoke the truth - there are indeed little people in Killany Woods ! Not leprechauns however - the "little people" Liam raved about are actually stranded midget-like aliens, with their ship looking like a big mushroom.

Frantic, Mike runs back to the pub and shares his story with the rest, who obviously are reluctant to believe him. But Mike has proof - the gold piece Liam gave him. Alas, the gold piece has turned to plain lead, just like Liam hinted, and Mike is laughed at. Meanwhile, the mushroom ship, fixed and repaired, takes off and flies away...its crew enrichened for one local specimen.

***

The Little People of Killany Woods, written and directed by J.D. Feigelson (who previously helmed The Burning Man), is a humorous little story set in Ireland. Which is an assett, considering that leprechauns are almost exclusively Irish in modern folklore and literature...and a curse, if you can't find any actual Irish people to act in it. The cast, almost wholesale English, hams up their Irish accents to the hilt and is borderline unwatchable - Camp is tolerable in the main role, looking somewhat Dickensian with that coat, glasses and a hat, but the rest - especially Aldridge - are hardly digestible. Not to mention that there could not be any more clich├ęd Irish name than "Liam O'Shaughnessey"...at least there wasn't any "O'Brady" or "O'Leary" involved.

All that said, this is not a bad episode, and despite the awful accents, Camp and Aldridge provide good entertainment - they accompany each other well in their roles, Camp barely tall enough to pass the security limit at amusement parks, and Aldridge a gargantuan presence with his six-plus feet in height and at least a quarter of that in width.

Comments on "1.34 --- The Little People of Killany Woods"

 

Anonymous Howard Goldman said ... (11:52 AM) : 

That the accents aren't authentic doesn't bother me -- more important is that the actors keep them consistent. Often when actors try to impersonate accents they keep slipping in and out of them while talking, and that's what makes it unbearable to me. As long as the accent is consistent, which all the actors do very well, it's okay.

The whole spaceship thing is a little campy, but the bar scenes were fun. O'Shaughnessey trying to weasel a free drink from the bartender ("I've got a tickle here in my essoFAgus") and Mike trying to convince the crowd at the end that he's also seen The Little People and they're real (a flashback to Somerset Frisbee at the end of the original series episode "Hocus-Pocus and Frisbee) were nice.

 

Anonymous Howard Goldman said ... (11:58 AM) : 

Oh, and the music is terrific. Catchy melody and authentic Renaissance instruments, no cheezy synthesizers. I would love to get my mitts on a recording of the soundtrack.

 

Anonymous Anorak said ... (5:00 AM) : 

I guess this one could be passable as a comedy, but it's almost bordering on total patronage of the Irish. The incidental music just makes it all the worse.

 

Blogger Matthew Maloney said ... (5:27 PM) : 

Just a few observations, as an Irishman.

First of all, this depiction of Irish society is totally accurate. We are all unemployed, only shop for our clothes at charity shops and drink all the time.

Second, I can't understand why American actors keep doing that same 'Irish' accent in movies and tv. Most Irish people do not have that accent. There are many different accents. In fact, the only people that have that accent are American actors playing Irish people and about 5 people living on the islands off the west coast.

Finally I thought it really camp but good fun.

 

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