The Twilight Zone (1959–1964)
33 user 5 critic

Eye of the Beholder 

A young woman lying in a hospital bed, her head wrapped in bandages, awaits the outcome of a surgical procedure performed by the State in a last-ditch attempt to make her look "normal".



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Episode complete credited cast:
William D. Gordon ...
Jennifer Howard ...
Joanna Heyes ...
Reception Nurse


Janet Tyler is in hospital having undergone treatment to make her look normal. It's her 11th trip to the hospital for treatment and she is desperate to look like everyone else. Some of her earliest childhood memories are of people looking away, horrified by her appearance. Her bandages will soon come off and she can only hope that this, her last treatment, will have done the trick. If not, her doctor has told she will be segregated with a colony of similar looking people. All that to say that truth is truly in the eye of the beholder. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

11 November 1960 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Originally a "The" preceded the title, until television producer Stuart Reynolds threatened to sue Rod Serling for the use of the name because at the time he was selling an educational film of the same name to public schools. Reruns following the initial broadcast featured the title screen "The Private World of Darkness". See more »


Before the post operation surgery is revealed, one of the doctor's faces, even though still in the shadows, is noticeable. See more »


Janet Tyler: Mr. Smith?
Walter Smith: Yes?
Janet Tyler: Why do we have to look like this?
Walter Smith: I don't know, Miss Tyler, I really don't know. But you know something? it doesn't matter. There's an old saying, a very, very old saying: "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder". When we leave here, when we go to the village, try to think of that, Miss Tyler. Say it over and over to yourself. "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder".
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Spoofed in Saturday Night Live: Pamela Lee/Rollins Band (1997) See more »

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User Reviews

The beauty is in the meaning.
6 January 2014 | by See all my reviews

A shadowy and expertly shot piece of television history. What I love about TZ is you wont find anything filed under normal anywhere in it. The stories often have a dictator or a hierarchy who decide what is and isn't accepted in their society. This is one such state that decides that a woman must have her face changed to fit in with the others. The medical people are sympathetic, while having to adhere to the stringent rules of seven operations and if you still don't look right you're out! Notice the patient is denied even to sit outside and glimpse the sun, her condition is thought so repulsive. Rod Serling was addressing the way politicians use prejudice to manipulate and divide people, making easy scapegoats out of minorities. The analogy goes as far as you want to take it. A universal statement against fearing and hating those who do not or cant conform.

This simply oozes classic TZ more and more as it goes on.

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