Like the memory of dreams, half-formed images danced at the edges of recollection. It was just a TV show, but for years it haunted me and after a while I began to believe I'd imagined it. I swore up and down that I'd seen a series on Nickelodeon called "The Third Eye". None of my friends remembered this series, not up until high school when my best friend's boyfriend assured me that he, too, remembered "The Third Eye". I remembered it in fragments: underground tunnels filled with slipsliding "mud men", a female mannequin with a broken finger, and some misty pictures of something not unlike Stonehenge.

It turns out that The Third Eye was a miniseries shown on Nickelodeon in 1983. I was all of four years old when the show was on, which explains the dreamlike nature of my memories. I do remember being transfixed by the images, yet not at all frightened. Early exposure to such shows probably helped fuel a lifelong interest in fantasy and science fiction.

The Third Eye featured the following stories, presented in episodic format:

  • Children of the Stones

    A British creation; the tale of a town beset by the effects of an ancient spell, whose power was contained within a rock formation. A father scientist and his young son help to unravel the mystery. I seem to remember a man being squished by one of the stones.

  • Into the Labyrinth

    Another tale from the UK; this time, three friends accidentally release a sorcerer named Rothgo who is seeking a powerful artifact.

  • The Haunting of Cassie Palmer

    This, I believe, is the source of my mannequin memory. It is the story of a girl who is the seventh daughter of a seventh daughter. This particular place in birth order is commonly thought to impart special power to the one such born. (see also "The Dark is Rising".) Cassie has the power to summon an ancient spirit, who must be defeated.

  • Under the Mountain

    From New Zealand comes this tale of a twin boy and girl who assist a benevolent alien in defeating a group of evil, slug-like aliens. These slug-like aliens are most likely the "mud men"; I remember they were goopy and shaped rather like Jabba the Hutt.

A user on a forum revealed by a Google search sums up The Third Eye rather well, I think:

It was a change of pace for kids used to the good cheer and humor of most childrens' programming. Not only were these shows gloomier, they also had a beginning and an end. Perhaps for these very reasons, The Third Eye has almost completely vanished in the years since it left Nickelodeon, surviving only in the memories of kids who loved a good sci-fi/ghost story.

At the risk of sounding stodgy at the ripe old age of 24, I think that Nickelodeon has gone downhill since the days of The Third Eye. Now, Nickelodeon seems to show nary a program that does not have some sort of plastic merchandise associated with it. The Third Eye had no MTV-esque "jumpin' rap sountrack", and its colours were muted rather than neon-bright. Kids are capable of a lot more understanding and appreciation of quality than we give them credit for. It is a shame that much of the good stuff on childrens' television has faded to the ghosts of memories.


References:

http://www.johnsrealmonline.com/classicnick/thirdeye/main.html
http://forum.fok.nl/showtopic.php/260027/1/1000

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