The Third Eye (TV series)
|The Third Eye|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Running time||1 hour|
|Original release||January 1983– 1984|
The Third Eye is an American anthology series on Nickelodeon. It consisted of several English-language science fiction serials from the United Kingdom and New Zealand. All of the program's featurettes focused on characters with psychic abilities.
The Third Eye premiered on Nickelodeon in January 1983. Initially, three serials were shown as part of the program: Into the Labyrinth, The Haunting of Cassie Palmer, and Under the Mountain. In April 1983, a fourth serial (Children of the Stones) was added. The fifth and final serial to be aired as part of the series was The Witches and the Grinnygog. Described by Nickelodeon president Geraldine Laybourne as part of a confusing "checkerboard schedule", The Third Eye was pulled from Nickelodeon's lineup so that the network could focus on original series.
In 1984, film historian Aljean Harmetz stated that Nickelodeon acquired the program's presentations "for a pittance" because their relatively low production values and their actors' foreign accents made them "unacceptable" to other networks.
Series within the anthology
In The Haunting of Cassie Palmer, the title protagonist, the daughter of a medium, decides to see if she has inherited her mother's powers. She tries to conjure up a spirit, with unexpected results. By the end of the series, her powers have burned out. Adapted from the book by Vivien Alcock.
Twins Rachel and Theo Matheson have limited telepathic abilities and can wield light as a weapon. Aided by the mysterious alien Mr. Jones, they must defeat an evil alien who lives Under the Mountain of Rangitoto Island. Their main power, though, is a psychic bond with two stones from another world which are used as weapons, and (it is strongly implied) may be sentient life forms. Adapted from the book by Maurice Gee.
Matthew Brake demonstrates native psychometric abilities on Children of the Stones, although it is implied that his father Adam may have them too, though in denial of them as a scientist. Matthew can experience the thoughts and experiences of other people by holding items belonging to them. Matthew's powers do not manifest themselves until the fourth episode of the series. It is also strongly suggested that Matthew first learned of his powers after his mother died, and Matthew had handled some of her possessions. Matthew is the only one in "The Third Eye" who maintains his powers at the end of the series.
Phil Church and siblings Terry and Helen (no surname given) are bestowed borrowed power by the sorcerer Rothgo and they are sent Into the Labyrinth. They are able to communicate with Rothgo telepathically throughout time. They are also given individual powers: Phil channels Rothgo's powers in challenging the tyrant Cynon; Helen is able to release all prisoners of Masrur (Belor in disguise); and Terry is given command of a genie in the same episode "Masrur." At the end of the series, Rothgo alters time so that Terry, Helen and Phil never go on their journey, but they are given souvenirs (presumably nidus fragments). Two more series of seven episodes each of "Into the Labyrinth" aired in the UK, but not on Nickelodeon.
When an ancient English church is moved to a new site in The Witches and the Grinnygog, one stone - a strange statue, the Grinnygog of the title - is found to be missing. Its accidental rediscovery (by a woman who, not realising its significance, gives it to her elderly father as a pseudo garden gnome) coincides with the arrival in the same town of three eccentric old women who seem to be looking for something lost or hidden many years before, and a nervous, "other-worldly" child. The townsfolk find themselves looking into their collective past but it takes a group of children to put the pieces of the puzzle together and make amends for an ancient injustice. Adapted from the book by Dorothy Edwards.
- Harmetz, Aljean (February 14, 1984). "'Third Eye' a Favorite". The New York Times. The New York Times Company.
A particular favorite in one Los Angeles household is The Third Eye, a series of short serials with supernatural or science-fiction overtones made by Welsh or Australian or Canadian or New Zealand producers.
- "Prime time cable/pay TV listings". Philadelphia Daily News. January 18, 1984.
- "For the Children". Democrat and Chronicle. November 20, 1983.
- "Thursday listings". Albuquerque Journal. February 1, 1985.
- "Spooky show on 'Third Eye' series". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. April 10, 1983.
Children of the Stones is a new, seven-episode miniseries on Nickelodeon beginning Sunday...The miniseries is part of Nickelodeon's ongoing Third Eye series, which premiered in January.
- Hendershot, Heather (February 1, 2004). Nickelodeon Nation: The History, Politics, and Economics of America's Only TV Channel for Kids. New York University Press. p. 138. ISBN 0814736513.