Tagged: Blindness

On the Air

ON THE AIR/ABC/1992 (Augmented Vision)

“Blinky” Watts (Tracy Walter), the apparently blind master sound effects technician who keeps pushing all the wrong buttons on THE LESTER GUY SHOW variety program broadcast from Hollywood, California on the Zoblotnik Broadcasting¬† Corporation (ZBC) Network in 1957.


Actually Blinky’s not blind. He suffers from Bozman Symplex; he see 25.62 times as much as we do. Blinky uses his ability to see more than the average eye to help his friend Mickey (Mel Johnson, Jr.) a visual effects supervisor on the show.

John Doe

JOHN DOE/FOX/2002-2003 (Amnesia / Colorblindness)

John Doe (Dominic Purcell), a mysterious stranger with amnesia who surfaces in Seattle. John has an encyclopedic knowledge on seemingly every known fact, but is colorblind.


His visual condition is apparently psychological because when he sees certain objects or persons, he perceives them in color. Are these objects clues to whom he really is and from whence he came?

The Phoenix Organization, a mysterious international cabal whose silent members use sign language to communicate, believe that John Doe is some sort of a Messiah.

Note: To simulate John’s colorblind condition, objects and persons are seen in grainy black and white when seen through his eyes. Otherwise, the show is filmed in color.



JAG/NBC/CBS/1995-2005 (Night Blindness)

Harmon Rabb, Jr. (David James Elliott), Lt. Commander and pilot in the Navy who was diagnosed with night blindness.


As the program’s opening narration explained:

“Following in his father’s footsteps as a naval aviator Lieutenant Commander Harmon Rad, Jr. suffered a crash while landing his Tomcat on a storm tossed carrier at sea. Diagnosed with night blindness, Harm transferred to the Navy’s Judge Advocate General Corp which investigates, defends and prosecutes the law of the sea. There, with fellow JAG lawyer Major Sarah McKenzie, he now fights in and out of the courtroom with the same daring and tenacity that made him a Top Gun in the air.”

A few years later Harm discovers that his night blindness had been misdiagnosed and with corrective eye surgery he would be able to return to active duty.

Harm undergoes laser surgery to cure his night blindness on episode #81 “Second Sight” (aired April 27, 1999). Then, on episode No. 84 “Yeah Baby” (aired May 18, 1999) Harm, at age 35 and with his eyesight fixed, decides to submit a request to be transferred to a fighter squadron.

But, with some second thought on the matter, Harm decides to stay with JAG. However, when ever the situation arose, Harm willingly took to the air in the service of his country.

Second Sight

SECOND SIGHT/BBC/1999-2001 (Blurred vision, blindness)

DCI Ross Tanner (Clive Owen), a London-based police detective diagnosed with a degenerative condition of the retina which produces blurred vision, starlight flashes, extreme sensitivity to light, intermittent blindness and hallucinations.


Tanner’s Doctor diagnosed his problem as acute zonal outer occult retinopathy (AZOOR), a rare virus that makes his vision come and go as it destroys the victim’s retina.

Tanner’s partner DI Catherine Tully (Claire Skinner) soon becomes his eyes as they investigate criminal cases for the Metropolitan Police Force. Tully sees helping Tanner as a way of getting on the fast track to promotions. So she keeps his secret and helps Tanner get through the cases, aiding him when his sight goes out on occasions.

Initially, Ross did not want to admit anything was wrong with his eyes. He was a fast-rising detective with a promising career and unlike his policeman father who never advanced up the ranks, Ross was determined to make something of himself. And although a rare disease was eroding his vision, he managed to keep the problem hidden to remain head of an elite homicide squad.

Tanner’s awkward attempts to hide the condition distanced him from his colleagues and increasingly put his job at risk. All the while, Ross struggles with his ambition, tries to come to terms with his un-welcomed impairment while fielding a complex relationship with his ex-wife and son and a romantic entanglements with DI Tully and her eventual resignation from the unit which leaves him without an ally.

Unawares of Tanner’s visual difficulties, colleague DI Boyd credited Ross’ frequent stumbles to alcohol.

External Link: SECOND SIGHT trailer @ You Tube