Beasts: Season 1, Episode 5

What Big Eyes (13 Nov. 1976)

TV Episode  |   |  Horror
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An RSPCA officer is horrified when he discovers a pet shop owner has been conducting experiments on a wolf, searching for proof of lycanthropy.



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Episode complete credited cast:
Patrick Magee ...
Leo Raymount
Madge Ryan ...
Florence Raymount
Bob Curry
Gerald James ...
Joe Nash
Bill Dean ...
Duggie Jebb
Janice Bean ...
Woman Customer
Patricia Mason ...
2nd Woman Customer
David Elmon ...


An RSPCA officer is horrified when he discovers a pet shop owner has been conducting experiments on a wolf, searching for proof of lycanthropy.

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Release Date:

13 November 1976 (UK)  »

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Did You Know?


Madge Ryan plays Patrick Mcgee,s daughter but was in fact three years older than him. See more »


Mcgee,s character is clearly breathing after he dies. See more »

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User Reviews

BEASTS – Episode 5: WHAT BIG EYES (TV) (Donald McWhinnie, 1976) ***
22 October 2008 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

This one's easily the best "Beasts" episode: the plot – involving lycanthropy, and putting forth yet another of Nigel Kneale's controversial theories of evolution – is most intriguing; the whole, then, is transfixed by an unforgettable performance from a typically intense Patrick Magee.

He plays an eccentric and reclusive old scientist (with long scruffy hair and a high-handed attitude to match) who believes that humans evolved from wolves and has been attempting to restore the link in his private laboratory (situated above a pet shop owned by his long-suffering middle-aged daughter, whom he actively resents). His activities arouse the suspicions of a dogged young R.S.P.C.A. man – the latter's initial worries simply concern the safety of the wolves, but he soon realizes that he's bitten off more than he can chew. Magee himself doesn't shy away from expounding on his particular line of work – deliriously 'corroborating' his arguments by frequent references to the Little Red Riding Hood folk-tale (from where the title of the episode itself emanates, incidentally) and in which he states that Grandma wasn't gobbled up as we'd been led to believe but rather she was a werewolf to begin with!

Eventually, Magee succumbs to "acute blood poisoning" (naturally, he was his own guinea pig) during a critical point in his experiments – his last act, compounded by howls in reply to the caged animal's own calls, takes the form of an impromptu speech to an imaginary gathering of fellow (and previously disapproving) colleagues; incidentally, the man from the R.S.P.C.A. is forced to "put down" the wolf, having been injected with the serum as well. The woman's liberating reaction to her father's death results in the decimation of both the shop and the lab – in fact, everything that reminds her of Magee; about to vent her anger on the scientist's shrouded corpse itself, we then get a subliminal facial metamorphosis…

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