Quiet Please

After that great episode of Escape, here’s Quiet Please

“Nothing Behind the Door”¬†Episode #1¬†Aired: 1947-06-08

Discuss this episode There’s a little house on stilts at the top of Mt. Wilson, protected by a barbed wire fence. There’s a sign on the fence that reads “the public is forbidden to pass beyond this fence under severe penalty.” It doesn’t state exactly what the severe penalty is, or who or what will administer it.

Three men visit the astronomical observatory next to the house. They plan to rob a bank, and decide that because of the warning and the fence protecting the apparently empty house, it’d be the perfect place to hide the money. When they ask what’s in the house they’re told there’s nothing in it. They find out for themselves how true that is.

Like many Quiet, Please episodes, “Nothing Behind the Door” merges the realistic with the supernatural. As a pilot episode for the series, it provides a good preview of the unique style and goals of Cooper and Chappell. A later episode titled “The Other Side of the Stars” refers back to the house on Mt. Wilson and completes some of the thoughts of this episode.

“There are scores of places in this universe where there’s nothing — far places, near places.” – the astronomer VanDyke


Escape – Beau Geste

Escape’s “Beau Geste” was adapted from the classic adventure novel of the same name by Percival Christopher Wren, which was first published in 1924. Beau Geste is a long and complicated novel to shorten for a half hour radio program and Escape’s adaptation reflects that difficulty. Beau Gestehas been adapted for the screen several times and has also been parodied in many ways. The full text of the novel is available online at Google Books.

Beau-Geste-Posters The opening scene of the Escape’s version is essentially the same as it is in the the 1926 silent film starring Ronald Colman and the 1939 remake starring Gary Cooper. A squadron of French Legionnaires arrives at isolated Fort Zinderneuf in the Saharan desert. At first there is no response from inside the lonely fort, but then, suddenly, shots are fired! When the squadron comes closer, they find that the soldiers who appear to be protecting the fort…are dead. When they send a man over the wall of the fort…he doesn’t come back. Finally, the commandant and his sergeant climb the wall and search the eerie fort themselves. Inside, they find two more dead bodies. One is a young man, and the other was the commandant of the fort. They also find a signed confession by Beau Geste stating that he was the one who stole the famous sapphire known as the “Blue Water”. Before they can make sense of what they have found, they discover that someone has set the fort ablaze.

What is the mystery of Fort Zinderneuf?

“Beau Geste” was adapted for radio by Les Crutchfield and produced/directed by Norman MacDonnell. Featured in the cast were Berry Kroeger, Wilms Herbert, Jay Novello, Ben Wright, Ramsay Hill, Lillian Buyeff’, and Peggy Webber. This episode aired on June 6, 1948.