The first thing I consider here, is that this WAS made in---which year---1964 or '65? And on a television budget for that day and age, which wasn't much. Yes, the special effects are primitive, for those of you spoiled on CGI, but they didn't have that then. I just watched this for the first time last night, and I enjoyed the casting, the story, the characters, and pretty much everything about it. And it's guys like Dr. James Stone (people like him DO exist), that today make it possible for you to have your vision corrected to the extent that you don't even need to wear glasses. I've watched several episodes of The Outer Limits since then---Behold Eck! was the first episode I've ever seen---and I'm still looking for one that's as good as this one.
This is one of your ho-hum, run of the mill episodes. The show in general is entertaining every time for me no matter what, so I enjoyed it. But obviously some episodes are better than others. There's nothing wrong with it. Entertaining, but kind of a throw away episode. If it's on, watch it. It's still better then most stuff on TV.
"Behold Eck" is definitely one of the less popular episodes of the Outer Limits. After a few viewings, there seems no doubt that it is a story trying to be funny. From the goofball lead, Dr. James Stone, to the four-eyed alien Eck, there are many efforts made to be funny here. Dr. Stone own an optometric lab where he makes prescription lenses for eyeglasses. Peter Lind Hayes as Dr. James Stone was actually a fun character especially early in the episode. His all-business demeanor and pre-occupation with his own studies make him appear to be lost in his own little world. His assistant, Elizabeth Dunn, seems to worship the ground he walks on. She brings the focus (no pun intended) to Dr. Stone's practice. Without her, it is doubtful Dr. Stone would last a day. The idea of a two-dimensional creature in a three-dimensional world is attractive. It is unfortunate that it was executed like this. The alien Eck is a disappointing special effect, even for early '60s television. Actually, he seems to be a pretty stupid alien and it's not hard to see (again, no pun intended) how he could have gotten lost. Dr. Stone and Miss Dunn help Eck in his attempt to return to his world by making him a special lens that will allow him to see where he is going. Eck is not able to see well and has caused a number of inadvertent injuries and deaths (not funny) because of it. A couple of appealing effects is a still shot of a skyscraper sliced in two and a hole in a wall (think Wile E. Coyote) left by a hastily escaping Eck. All in all, "Behold Eck!" is a dismal volume in the Outer Limits library.
When I criticize this episode as preposterous, what I refer to is the absurdity of the alien being two-dimensional. In the episode, the Optometrist tries to explain the principle by using a sheet of paper, saying that when the alien shows only the SIDE of his body that it becomes "invisible." That comparison between the alien and a sheet of paper does not make sense at all, because if you look at the EDGE of a sheet of paper, it STILL has a thickness, a depth. So the idea that an object can be Two-dimensional makes no sense at all. In order for any object to have substance, it has to have THREE dimensions.
While the science behind this episode is possible, and while the characters themselves were interesting, the plot was predictable and the acting was highly variable (at times, perfect and at times, horribly stilted). Also, the interesting ideas were counterbalanced by overdramatic or generic ones that revealed poor plotting. Really, now. Was the bit about the world ending if one bird gets through the time warp back to Eck's home world necessary? Wasn't it enough that a 2-D creature existed? Did we really need the standard "all aliens are dangers to society" police routine? If you're looking for a good TOL episode, you can do better.
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