CBS Radio Mystery Theater

Because my 68th birthday was this week, scheduling got a little screwed up. So may birthday wishes from friends and one I expected that is not received threw me off. But then again life is full of surprises and interesting disappointments. Life’s a bitch then … nevermind.

Anyway, all that bullshit aside, here’s Saturday’s post on Friday. Gotta have some Sherlock Holmes. I wish I could write 1/1000th as good as Doyle.

0609 The Hound of the Baskervilles 770301


Escape – A Dream of Armageddon

Escape’s “A Dream of Armageddon” is based on the 1901 short story by H.G. Wells. (The original work is available online at Wikisource.) Escape made a few alterations to the story by skipping the original beginning, by changing the setting from the nineteenth century to the twentieth century, and by changing the nationalities from English to American. Otherwise, they kept the rest of the story intact.

As the episode opens, a man describes a vivid dream in which he finds himself living a completely different life. In his dream, he wakes to a new life in Capri, hundreds of years into the future. He is with a woman he loves, but there is a cloud over their happiness. In order to be together, he had to leave his position as a world leader, and now, without him, world politics seems to be steadily moving towards war.

When the man wakes up in his own time, he is back in his own drab life. Was it really a dream? Days pass and eventually his dream of the future picks up again and turns into a nightmare.

“A Dream of Armageddon” was adapted for radio by Les Crutchfield and was produced and directed by Norman MacDonnell. Featured in the cast were Stacy Harris and Betty Lou Gerson. Also appearing were Charlotte Lawrence, Jack Kruschen, Erik Rolf, and John Dehner. This episode aired on September 5, 1948.

escape 480905 A Dream of Armageddon


Escape – A Diamond as Big as the Ritz from 480829

“The Diamond as Big as the Ritz” is a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald that was first published in The Smart Set magazine (June, 1922) and later in Fitzgerald’s short story collection Tales of the Jazz Age (1922). The text of “The Diamond as Big as the Ritz” is available online at Wikisource and it may help to read it first in order to appreciate Escape’s adaptation of this unusual story.

John Unger, a young man from Hades, Mississippi, is a student at St. Midas School, an exclusive and wealthy boarding school near Boston. He often spends his school vacations at his friend’s homes, so when his school-mate, Percy Washington, invited him to his family’s home “out west” for the summer, John agreed. On the train to Montana, Percy tells him that his father is “by far the richest man in the world” and that he owns “a diamond bigger than the Ritz-Carlton Hotel.”

John assumes Percy is exaggerating, but when he arrives at the remote mountain home of the Washington family, he realizes that it is all true. He also discovers that the family will do anything necessary, no matter how ruthless, to keep their home and the diamond secret.

Escape presented this story three different times.

“A Diamond as Big as the Ritz” was adapted for radio by Les Crutchfield and produced/directed by William N. Robson. Jack Edwards, Jr., Denny Merrill, and Linda Mason appeared. This episode aired on July 21, 1947.

This story was presented again on August 29, 1948. Sam Edwards, Peggy Webber, Dan Merrill, John Dehner, and Don Diamond appeared.

This story was presented a third time on March 27, 1949. Sam Edwards starred. Also appearing were Nina Clowden, Hugh Thomas, John Dehner, and Jack Kruschen.

Esc 470721 Diamond as Big as the Ritz
Esc 480829 Diamond Big As The Ritz
Esc 490327 Diamond Big as the Ritz


Extra bonus Sunday!

Suspense – The Visitor

In “The Visitor,” a young man reappears three years after he was believed to have been murdered by his friend. But is it really him?

This episode was adapted from the 1944 novel The Visitor by American playwright and journalist Carl Randau and his wife, Leanne Zugsmith, a journalist, writer, and activist. Suspense made a few changes, but for the most part, the story presented is the same as the book.

The episode opens at a lunch counter outside of Baltimore, where a man named Burrell has come to talk to the teenager behind the counter. He was given an anonymous tip that the young man was really Bud Owen, and now Burrell discovers that this is true. Bud disappeared three years earlier, and almost everyone in their small hometown of Edgerton believed that he had been murdered. On that fateful day, Bud had gone to Ocean Isle with his friend Joe, but after a quarrel, only Joe had returned. Although no one could prove a crime had been committed, everyone believed Joe was guilty.

Now, Burrell is bringing Bud back home to Edgerton, but will everyone be happy to see him?

“The Visitor” was produced, directed and adapted for radio by William Spier. Eddie Bracken starred as Bud Owen. Also appearing were Kenneth Christy, Hans Conried, Jeannette Nolan, and John McIntire. This episode aired on May 11, 1944.

Suspense presented this story a second time on September 18, 1947 with Donald O’Connor in the role of Bud Owen. Also appearing were Verna Felton and Wally Maher.


s470911 The Twist

Suspense – The Twist

In “The Twist,” a radio comedy writer murders to keep his writing partner from leaving the business.

Michael-oshea As the episode opens, Gus Green explains that twelve years earlier, he drove a cab for a living and spent his time day-dreaming. Then, he met radio gag writer Van Hauser. The tow of them hated each other right away, but Gus convinced Van to give him a chance as a “situation” writer. The two of them were a hit together but separately they bombed.

Gus was determined to stick with Van no matter what. Then, a problem developed. Van announced that he was going to marry a dancer named Julie Phelps. Gus knew that meant Van would leave the business…and then leave him with nothing! So, he came up with a situation that would rid them of Julie…

How did that work out for him? Not well.

“The Twist” was written by Faith Blau and produced/directed by William Spier. Sidney Miller and Michael O’Shea starred. This episode aired on September 11, 1947.