Eye of the Beholder
The Twilight Zone “Eye of the Beholder” is the 6th episode of Season 2 and was originally aired on November 11th, 1960. It tells the story of a woman who is undergoing a series of treatments to make her look “normal” in a society where everyone else is disfigured. The episode explores themes of conformity, identity, and the power of perception
“Suspended in time and space for a moment, your introduction to Miss Janet Tyler, who lives in a very private world of darkness. A universe whose dimensions are the size, thickness, length of the swath of bandages that cover her face. In a moment we will go back into this room, and also in a moment we will look under those bandages. Keeping in mind of course that we are not to be surprised by what we see, because this isn’t just a hospital, and this patient 307 is not just a woman. This happens to be the Twilight Zone, and Miss Janet Tyler, with you, is about to enter it”
This Twilight Zone episode is a classic example of the show’s ability to explore social commentary through its science fiction and fantasy elements. The episode follows a woman named Janet Tyler (portrayed by Donna Douglas), who is undergoing a series of treatments in an attempt to make her face conform to the standards of beauty in her society.
Eye of the Beholder is set in a dystopian future where conformity is the norm and those who do not conform are ostracized and treated as outcasts. Janet Tyler is one such outcast, as her face is so disfigured that it does not fit the standards of beauty in her society. She is subjected to a series of treatments in an attempt to make her face conform, but each time the treatments fail.
The episode also explores the idea of beauty being in the eye of the beholder. At the end of the episode, it is revealed that Janet Tyler’s face is actually beautiful, but it is so different from the standards of beauty in her society that it is seen as ugly. This serves as a commentary on how beauty is subjective and that what one person may find beautiful, another may find ugly.
Overall, “Eye of the Beholder” is a classic example of The Twilight Zone’s ability to explore social commentary through its science fiction and fantasy elements. It is an important and thought-provoking episode.
The Twilight Zone episode “Eye of the Beholder” is a classic example of the show’s use of symbolism to explore themes of conformity, individuality, and acceptance
The episode begins with Janet Tyler in a hospital room, her face hidden from view. This is symbolic of the way society hides those who are different, refusing to accept them as part of the norm. As the treatments progress, Janet’s face is slowly revealed, but it is still not accepted by the doctors and nurses. This is symbolic of the way society often rejects those who are different, no matter how hard they try to fit in.
The climax of the episode comes when Janet’s face is finally revealed and it is revealed that she is actually “normal”. This is symbolic of the way society often judges people based on their appearance, rather than their character. It also serves as a reminder that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and that everyone should be accepted for who they are, regardless of how they look.
The Twilight Zone episode “Eye of the Beholder” is a powerful exploration of the themes of conformity, individuality, and acceptance. Through its use of symbolism, the episode serves as a reminder that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and that everyone should be accepted for who they are, regardless of how they look.
The Cinematic Techniques
The Twilight Zone episode “Eye of the Beholder” is a classic example of the show’s use of cinematic techniques to create a unique and powerful atmosphere. The episode follows a woman who is undergoing a series of treatments to make her look “normal” in a society where everyone else is hideously deformed. It uses a variety of cinematic techniques to create a sense of tension and suspense, as well as to explore themes of conformity and individuality.
In this episode, there are a series of close-up shots of the woman’s face, which gradually become more distorted as the treatments progress. This technique is used to create a sense of unease and to emphasize the woman’s struggle to conform to society’s standards. The camera also frequently pans away from the woman’s face to reveal the grotesquely deformed faces of the other characters, further emphasizing the contrast between her and them.
The episode also makes use of low-angle shots to create a sense of unease and to emphasize the oppressive atmosphere of the hospital. The camera often lingers on the faces of the other characters, creating a sense of dread and foreboding. The use of shadows and darkness also adds to the atmosphere, creating a sense of mystery and suspense.
Eye of the Beholder makes use of sound to create a sense of tension and suspense. The sound of the woman’s breathing is often used to create a sense of urgency and to emphasize her struggle to conform. The episode also makes use of a haunting musical score to create a sense of dread and to emphasize the oppressive atmosphere of the hospital.
Close Up Shots
Overall, “Eye of the Beholder” is a classic example of the show’s use of cinematic techniques to create a unique and powerful atmosphere. The episode’s use of close-up shots, low-angle shots, shadows, darkness, sound, and music all contribute to the atmosphere of tension and suspense, as well as to the exploration of themes of conformity and individuality.
The Twilight Zone episode “Eye of the Beholder” is one of the most iconic episodes of the series, and its legacy has endured for decades. The episode, which first aired in 1960, tells the story of a woman who undergoes a series of experimental treatments in an attempt to make her face conform to the standards of beauty of her society.
The episode has been praised for its powerful message and its innovative use of special effects. The episode’s use of camera angles and lighting to create a sense of unease and suspense has been widely praised, and it has been credited with helping to establish the visual style of the series.
Eye of the Beholder has also been praised for its exploration of themes such as conformity, beauty, and acceptance. It has been cited as an example of how science fiction can be used to explore social issues in a thought-provoking way.
The episode has been referenced in popular culture numerous times, including in the films The Silence of the Lambs and The Matrix. It has also been parodied in shows such as The Simpsons and Futurama.
Eye of the Beholder – Closing Narration
Now the questions that come to mind: “Where is this place and when is it?” “What kind of world where ugliness is the norm and beauty the deviation from that norm?” You want an answer? The answer is it doesn’t make any difference, because the old saying happens to be true. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, in this year or a hundred years hence. On this planet or wherever there is human life – perhaps out amongst the stars – beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Lesson to be learned in the Twilight Zone
Eye of the Beholder Cast:
- Maxine Stuart – Janet Tyler (under bandages)
- Donna Douglas – Janet Tyler (unmasked)
- William D. Gordon – Doctor Bernardi
- Jennifer Howard – Nurse
- Edson Stroll – Walter Smith
- George Keymas – The Leader
- Joanna Heyes – Nurse #2
The Twilight Zone Trivia
- A Twilight Zone movie was produced by John Landis and Steven Speilberg in 1983. The great actor Vic Marrow lost his life after a helicopter blade decapitated him. The film was narrated by Burgess Meredith
- Producers tried to revive the series in 1985 but after 3 seasons, it was canceled. It just wasn’t the golden age of sci-fi TV any more
- In 1993, a made-for-TV movie called Twilight Zone: Rod Serling’s Lost Classics was released. It featured two of Rod Serling’s works. The narrator was the great James Earl Jones, who also hosted the movie
- Mr Serling invited viewers to submit scripts and he receive over 1,500! He read over 500 of them and two were actually used
- Rod Serling wanted voice actor Richard Egan to do the narration but when Egan reported that he was not available, Rod did it himself
- After naming his show, Rod found out that “The Twilight Zone” was a term already used by US Air Force pilots. It means crossing over from a day sky to a night sky above the earth
- Desi Arnaz was technically the first host of The Twilight Zone. It was DesiLu Productions that produced the show. Thank goodness Rod Serling took control and hosted himself
Did you know that Donna Douglas, who played the main character Janet Tyler, also played Ellie Mae Clampett in the popular television series The Beverly Hillbillies?
Eye of the Beholder is a haunting reminder of how the pressures of society can lead us to define beauty in narrow ways, and how dangerous it is to ostracize those who don’t fit into those stereotypes. It challenges us to rethink our own biases and prejudices and to embrace diversity in all forms. As the closing narration so eloquently puts it, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” and it’s up to us to expand our vision and celebrate the unique qualities that make each of us beautiful. So the next time you find yourself judging someone by their appearance, remember the lesson of the Twilight Zone and open your mind to the endless possibilities of true beauty.