Escape – The Young Man with Cream Tarts

Escape’s “The Young Man with Cream Tarts” was adapted from the famous short story by Robert Louis Stevenson. First published in 1878, the story was one of a trilogy of fictional adventures about Prince Florizel of Bohemia and his companion, Major Geraldine. Together the three stories are titled The Suicide Club, although this story is often referred to by that title alone.

Set in Victorian London, Prince Florizel and Major Geraldine are dining at an oyster bar when they encounter an odd young man desperately giving away cream tarts. Seeking adventure, the prince and the major invite the young man to dinner but without revealing their true identities. The young man agrees to join them, and that evening, he explains his unusual behaviour and his present circumstances. The prince and the major lead the young man to believe that their circumstances are similar and that they have little hope for the future. So, the young man confides in them about “death’s private door.”

“The Young Man with Cream Tarts” was adapted for Escape by William N. Robson, who also produced and directed. Paul Frees played Prince Florizel and William Johnstone played Major Geraldine. Barton Yarborough played the young man. This episode aired on November 12, 1947.