A Small Talent for War
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|"A Small Talent for War"|
|The Twilight Zone episode|
Scene from "A Small Talent for War"
|Episode no.||Season 1|
|Directed by||Claudia Weill|
|Written by||Alan Brennert |
|Original air date||January 24, 1986|
An ambassador (John Glover) from an alien race arrives and claims that his race had genetically engineered the people of Earth. He tells the quarrelsome members of the United Nations Security Council that his race is displeased with Earth's "small talent for war," as they have failed to produce the potential that the aliens had nurtured. When the ambassador announces that his fleet will destroy all life on Earth, the Security Council pleads for and is granted a 24-hour reprieve to prove Earth's worth. With the survival of humanity at stake, the Security Council and the General Assembly negotiate an accord for lasting global peace and present it to the alien ambassador.
The global peace agreement brings great humour to the emissary. The aliens were, in fact, seeking a greater talent for war, as they had genetically seeded thousands of planets to breed warriors to fight for them across the galaxy. Humanity's "small talent" for war (crude weapons, petty bickering over borders) is not significant enough to be of any use to them. And he laughingly states that—worst of all—the people of Earth long for peace. As the ambassador calls down his fleet to destroy the Earth, he thanks the Security Council for an amusing day and their "delightful sense of the absurd." His parting comment is "...as one of your fine Earth actors, Edmund Gwenn, once said: 'Dying is easy—comedy is hard.'"
If we are pawns of dark powers, then even our highest aspirations become a grim joke. But if not, then no one will goad us toward world peace or take it away once we have achieved it. Doubters please note, you've just seen it achieved once, however briefly, in the Twilight Zone.