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January 4, 2010

The Twilight Zone: Eye of The Beholder (1960)


This is what happens when you eat the brown acid in The Twilight Zone: Eye of The Beholder (1960)

Janet Tyler finds out what happens when you eat the brown acid in The Twilight Zone.

Eye of The Beholder broadcast in 1960 (episode 42 from season two) was re-edited and re-titled The Private World Of Darkness in 1962 and is one of the most referred to episodes of the entire series.

Janet Tyler has undergone her eleventh treatment in an attempt to look like everybody else. The details of the treatment are not given, but Tyler is first shown with her head completely bandaged, so her face cannot be seen. She is described as being "not normal" by the nurses and doctor, whose own faces are always in shadows or off-camera during the first part of the episode.

The outcome of the procedure cannot be known until the bandages are removed. Tyler pleads with the doctor and eventually convinces him to remove the bandages early. After a climactic buildup, the bandages are removed, revealing to the audience that she is beautiful. However the reaction of the doctor and nurses is disappointment; the operation has failed, her face has undergone "no change — no change at all".

At this point, the doctor, nurses and other people in the hospital, whose faces have never been seen clearly before, are now revealed to be horribly deformed in the audience's perspective, with large brows, curled lips, and misshapen, pig-like snouts. Distraught by the failure of the procedure, Tyler runs through the hospital as the terrible faces of everyone she runs into, apparently the norm in this society, are revealed. Large screens throughout the hospital project an image of the State's despotic leader (sounding and making gestures a lot like Adolf Hitler), calling for greater conformity.

Eventually, a man afflicted with the same "condition" arrives to take the crying, despondent Tyler into exile to a village of her "own kind", where her "ugliness" will not trouble the State. Before the two leave, the man comforts Tyler with the "very, very old saying" that "beauty is in the eye of the beholder".


References:
Wikipedia, Eye of The Beholder
Cult TV, Twilight Zone Episode Guide
Twilight Zone Autographs


Season Two Of The Original Twilight Zone is available at:
Season Two of The Original Twilight Zone on Amazon

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