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Escape – The Country of the Blind
In Escape’s “The Country of the Blind,” a mountaineer, lost in the snowy Ecuadorian mountains, finds a valley, cut-off from the rest of civilization and inhabited only by the blind. The radio play was based on the famous short story by H.G. Wells, which was first published in 1904 and then later given a revised ending in 1939. The short story is available online from Wikisource but not the later revised version. Escape’s version has a different ending altogether, as well as a modified introduction, but otherwise their radio play stayed true to the original work.
As the episode opens, a mining engineer named Ibarra tells the tale of an expedition into the Andes Mountains that ended in tragedy when one of the guides, Juan Nunez, slipped and fell over a precipice. Ibarra then explains that he was stunned when, a year afterwards, Nunez suddenly reappeared! When Ibarra asked him where he had been, Nunez told him the incredible story of his journey into a fabled land inhabited only by the blind.
“The Country of the Blind” was adapted for Escape by John Dunkel and produced/directed by William N. Robson. William Conrad played Ibarra and Paul Frees played Nunez. This episode aired on November 26, 1947.
It was presented again on June 20, 1948. Norman MacDonnell produced/directed and Paul Frees again played Nunez. Berry Kroeger played Ibarra.
Escape presented this radio play for the last time on March 20, 1949. Norman MacDonnell produced/directed. Edmund O’Brien starred and Berry Kroeger again played Ibarra.
Years after Escape went off the air, William N. Robson recycled Dunkel’s script, with a few modifications, on Suspense on October 27, 1957. Raymond Burr starred.
The second presentation of “The Country of the Blind” on Suspense was on December 13, 1959. Paul Roberts produced/directed and Bernard Grant played Nunez.
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Suspense – One Way Street
In “One Way Street” Roddy McDowall plays a young man who struggles against his uncle’s bad influence.
Roddy McDowellAs the episode opens, Georgie Williams is returning to his old neighborhood after serving time. He is going to his Uncle Burt’s place, but only because he has nowhere else to go. His own parents were killed in the war, and his crooked Uncle Burt is his only family.
But, when he arrives, Georgie gets a surprise–a new aunt. His uncle has recently married, and he even seems happy to see Georgie, too.
Although he likes his new Aunt Edna, Georgie knows that his uncle has an angle. He wouldn’t marry for love–only for her money.
As it turns out, his new aunt has a heart condition, and his uncle keeps her medicine in the kitchen cupboard..right next to the rat poison.
Will Georgie cash in with his uncle’s latest plan, or will he break away from what he knows is wrong?
“One Way Street” was written by Robert L. Richards and Stan Schlessinger. William Spier produced and directed. Roddy McDowell starred. Also appearing were Raymond Lawrence, Jeannette Nolan, and Wally Maher. This episode aired on January 23, 1947.