CBS All Access (Original TV network: NBC)
January 5, 1974
Run Time: 24 minutes
Episode 15 – “The Eye Of The Beholder”
Kirk, Spock and McCoy beam down to a planet inhabited by creatures that communicate telepathically. Soon, they are captured and become zoo specimens. Meanwhile, Scotty aboard the Enterprise tries to figure out how to rescue the crew and save the ship from being bombarded by the waves of telepathic requests. The creatures treat the humans as pets.
This episode reminds me of the classic Twilight Zone episode “People Are Alike All Over” starring Roddy McDowall. The idea that humans would be considered simplistic to far more advanced aliens has been covered several times. What makes this episode shocking is it seemed so fresh in the 60s and only a little cliched in the 70s. In 2021, it all seems very, very cliched and less of a surprise.
Without spoiling, this episode has an anticlimactic ending. It builds good, with the landing crew being taken capture and then, just poof, it’s over, with a very convenient and unsatisfying close. One of my least favorite episodes of the first season. Feels almost like they were running out of ideas for this one and just threw it all together like: hey, we have creatures, a planet, let’s make it a zoo for other species. Just not as imaginative as other episodes.
Episode rating: ⭐️⭐️