Eye of the Beholder

A shocking suicide on the Enterprise leads Deanna Troi on a psychic journey into a killer’s memories. It’s part Columbo, part Sixth Sense and more TNG mind-bleepery. This week, Eye of the Beholder goes into the Mission Log.

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  • Dave Steph Taylor

    I see dead people

  • CmdrR

    This podcast is honestly the most I have enjoyed this episode ever. I can deal with mind-bleepery; muddy writing ‘saved’ by technobabble… nah! I love that Worf and Deanna did the deed, but that’s about it.

    • Dave Steph Taylor

      As much as I prefer watching the good Episodes of Trek, when we get the bad ones it is a treat listening to Ken and John try and make sense of these shows and their great shortcomings.

  • DataMat

    This was another OK episode. Does just enough to keep you interested.

  • That “in the most peculiar way” line was really bugging me. Now I know why, it is from David Bowie Space Oddity. Unintentional, I guess.

    In the debriefing at the end, did Deanna tell the entire story of the hallucination in her report? Warf doesn’t seen to know the finer details. I guess she skipped that whole part, but it is a key plot element of the hallucination. I don’t know.

    Maybe it is just season 7, but I like this episode. Even though the psionic (sp?) residue causing hallucinations is kind of far-fetched.

    • DataMat

      Faster than light speed is far fetched… just thought I’d remind you!

      • In science fiction, faster than light is almost a given or the stories are pointless.

        • DataMat

          Well it depends. Time travel devices, transporters… again far fetched in theory… but these are narrative possibilities!

      • Amelie_stardust

        It’s not far fetched if you are warping/folding space. That’s how I understand warp drive. Could be wrong.

  • Bob Little

    We saw the Nacel in TAS in the episode “One of Our Planets is Missing”.
    When they were in the cloud that was heading to kill a planet and Scotty beamed a box of anti-matter and we saw him place it in the nacel

  • Matt Bell

    Somehow, I’d never thought of Riker’s romantic encounters in terms of a power play before! Fortunately, TNG has shown us time and time again how relaxed and casual these things are in the 24th century 😀

    • yeah..per “Lessons” Starfleet’s lack of a fraternization policy is pretty unrealistic. Riker hooking up w any Starfleet personnel on the ship, would just be a problem. Not saying it doesn’t happen, but just sOOooOOoo inappropriate given a command structure. Goes against human nature. Speaking of human nature….Worf’s inability to give Riker a heads up that he’s gonna pursue Troi? A shining example of how fraternization can make problems. What if Riker orders Worf on the extra dangerous mission and Worf dies? lol..just saying….

      • Amelie_stardust

        Lol 😂 poor worf :p

  • Amelie_stardust

    I cringed when Worf told Deanna that some things we don’t understand and yet they are real. Voyager has done it a few times (although there usually was some logical explanation in the end) . It just felt like jumping into an episode of Ghost Whisperer. It seems that the writers knew this was the final season so they had fun with it? Is that possible?

    • I think the quality of writing became more cringe worthy because writer’s were shifting focus to DS9. There was also an element, “What the Hell…it’s the last season, why not??”

      • More of an exhaustion-as-they-approach-the-finish-line thing than DS9’s fault, after all, the two shows had separate writing staff; Moore, Echevarria et al. didn’t join DS9 or have anything to do with it until TNG was finished. Piller ran the DS9 writing room, while Jeri Taylor was effectively running TNG now, though *their* attention was already divided by planning and preparation for Voyager, which had a hard launch date in January ’95 set by UPN. As far as the writers went, unless you were a freelancer coming in to pitch ideas for both shows, there was little to no interaction.

        Mainly I think they were tired and out of ideas.

        • DataMat

          I thought a fair few episodes in S7 were OK. Not great, but not unwatchable. One episode coming up, Firstborn, I will say is quite bad. All the others are all really not too bad.

    • Totally agree – it seems like an easy way out.

  • Jerry Stokes


  • This episode is emblematic of one of my least favorite things about ’90s Trek: the narrative reset button. It’s all happening in someone’s head, or in a virtual reality, or in a time loop, so we can push the boundaries of the show and raise the stakes to a ridiculous degree and then bail out without any future episodes having to acknowledge any of it. Just whip the rug out from under the audience and hey, this was never real, it was a daydream Bobby Ewing had in the shower, but Bobby Ewing only exists in the autistic child’s snowglobe at St. Elsewhere. [cue music from Inception]

    It’s a cheap cop-out card that ’90s Trek played too often, primarily TNG and Voyager though DS9 did it too…with one bound, Jack was free of his script having any consequences that later scripts would need to take into account.

    Agreed also on the missed opportunity to address suicide within the episode. Why even go there? Lt. Dan could’ve just stumbled, disoriented, through the Force Field of Pointlessness and into the plasma stream, and you’d still have a mystery.

    The “psychic residue” plot point actually has a name: the Stone Tape phenomenon, owing its name to the BBC’s 1972 TV movie “The Stone Tape” (written by Nigel Kneale of Quatermass fame, no less), which was incredibly atmospheric and gripping and, basically, everything this episode wasn’t. You can still get it on DVD.

  • Durakken

    Just go back to the beginning of TNG and realize that during the course of all 7 seasons there was just a dead body that no one knew about laying about all that time… The barion sweep didn’t eliminate it. The sensors didn’t pick it up. No hull breeches removed. It was just there all that time, perfectly in tact…

    I bet if you keep that in mind watching the series you’d get a whole different sense of the ship lol.

    • Dave Steph Taylor

      And never smelt bad either

  • Jerry Stokes


  • Derwood

    Wasn’t there an episode where they were being bombarded by some radiation and the whole crew had to camp out in the nacelles for like six weeks because that was the only place with shielding enough to survive?

    • Durakken

      That’s in Enterprise and maybe Voyager…don’t think TNG

      • Dave Steph Taylor

        Yes, I clearly remember this one on Enterprise

        • Derwood

          Enterprise S2 episode The Catwalk: When a deadly neutronic storm threatens the ship, the crew must take refuge for eight days inside the maintenance shafts of the warp nacelles.

          • Dave Steph Taylor

            Yup, that’s the one

  • Derwood

    Maybe you could turn off the gravity in the nacelle ladder well and just float up or down, rather than climb the 10 flights every time? Whatever happened to Fizzy-Lifting drink technology?

  • Pete2174

    What no Kiss reference? Shows going downhill!!!!

    A confusing episode this. It could’ve been a classic but gets confused with what story it wants to tell.

  • Morgan Smith

    Just wanted to add my two cents.

    Per suicide in the 24h century – you mention that many people know someone whose life seemed great, yet committed suicide anyway. But the 24th century Federation enables people to live lives that ARE great not just SEEM great.

    And this episode isn’t really interested in telling a story about suicide – probably for the above reason that there just isn’t much in the Federation of that time – it is a mystery/ghost story. That is what the episode is focused on. The suicide option is just a way to get the mystery rolling, and should be treated much like any other aside in an episode focused on other topics: seriously but not significant to this episode.

    A word to the wise would be to always keep in mind to review the material for what it is, what story it is trying to tell, not one which you would prefer it had told.

    As for fraternization between crew members, much like many of the other developments of this future world, the Federation/Starfleet/people are largely beyond issues with potential power imbalances/misuse in the workplace. Even with Picard in “Lessons”, there is no issue with/consideration of misuse of his position, but rather that the emotional entanglement would endanger his decision making.