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.