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Nov 14, 2017

MINDWEBS

Introducing the new OTR Plot Spot YouTube channel: featuring newly-restored Mindwebs episodes and as much of the associated music as I can identify. The audio quality is lossy, but is still better than anything else available online. (If you want lossless audio, visit Darkman's Official Mindwebs Archive page where he will be posting them shortly after they air on WMSE.)

"The Fog Horn" playlist is online and runs almost 2 hours. I could use some help with this project. If you identify music featured in an episode that I have missed or haven't been able to identify, please let me know and I'll update the playlist accordingly.



Nov 11, 2016

Added (2) new shows to the Listening Booth:

"The Crystaline Man" - Macabre (1979)

An expedition to the Arctic uncovers the body of a man in an artificial cave under a glacier. The body appears to be made of solid crystal. The adventurers transport the body back to the museum... where it proceeds to thaw. Story by: William Verdier. Adolescent dialogue, questionable science, stiff performances, and melodramatic acting are par for this series. Nevertheless, I found myself intrigued and interested right up to the (unexpected) ending. If your expectations are not too high, you might enjoy this episode. [5/10] --- zM.

"Shiddah and Kuziba" - The Black Mass (1937)

Shiddah and her little boy, Kuziba, live safely underground with 9 yards of solid rock protecting them from the light and noise of the surface. They like it dark. They like it quiet. And most of all, they like it where there are no human beings—those evil mixtures of flesh, love, dung, and lust. Shiddah and Kuziba are demons, or, perhaps, spirits, whose lives change when a drill bit from above rips through their sanctuary and they must escape to the surface. Story by: Isaac Bashevis Singer. A tale of human-demon conflict told from the point of view of the demon. Wonderful use of irony. This story is about characterization and viewpoint—what little action there is, is unimportant to the story. Pat Franklyn does a great job as Shiddah (portraying at the same time, disdain for humans and deep-rooted fear of them), but Bauersfeld's depiction of Kuziba is rough. [7/10] --- zM



Nov 10, 2017

Super Sleuth Denny Lien has come through again, and has confirmed the following:

And a final note from Denny: just guesses, but:



Nov 08, 2017

Added (4) new reviews and (2) new plotlines for various BBC, CBS Radio Mystery Theater and Murder at Midnight episodes, courtesy of Jeff Dickson.

BBC
CBS Radio Mystery Theater
Murder at Midnight

Nov 06, 2017

Added (1) new review for a Theatre Five episode, courtesy of Stanley.



Nov 02, 2017

Added (1) new review and (1) new plotline for a Fean on 4 episode, courtesy of Noelle.



Oct 31, 2017

MINDWEBS

I've written before about Darkman's life-long passion for Old Time Radio in general and Mindwebs in particular.

Well, lately he has been working with Michael Hanson—the creative genius behind Mindwebs—and together they are planning to offer a Definitive Mindwebs collection with sound quality which far exceeds anything currently available!

Starting November 18th, episodes will air on Saturday evenings at Midnight over 97.1 WMSE, Milwaukee. After each episode is broadcast it will be posted to the WMSE archive page for download or streaming, and then, after about 2 weeks Darkman will push it up to the Official Mindwebs Archive page at the Internet Archive... in full lossless audio. The program will include all 169 episodes—188 short stories from 135 different authors—and, rumour has it, may include a few newly-recorded episodes!

A full 1/2-hour pilot, with stunning audio quality, aired on 2017-10-29, at 8:00 AM and featured "The Fog Horn" by Ray Bradbury. This was followed by a 25-minute telephone interview with Michael Hanson!

I have updated the Plot Spot to credit all the cast members in the series, and I'm working on crew credits. Also, I will be transcribing a newspaper article about Mr Hanson as well as several interviews. I am especially interested in the music used throughout the series. The music was so well-chosen that it took me a dozen episodes to realize that it was not custom-written for each episode, but was in fact chosen with the same care and enthusiasm as the stories themselves. I recognize Tangerine Dream and Tomita (though it could be Kitaro). I am hoping to document the music used in each episode -- artist, album, track!

With that in mind, I have started analyzing the episodes with audio recognition software. This week I tackled "The Fog Horn" and discovered at least (5) pieces of music:

And finally... a special note from Michael Hanson:

"It is my hope and intention that this project will bring free enjoyment of MINDWEBS to listeners new and old as long as sound exists. My sincere thanks to Darkman for making this possible. And my thanks to the myriad fans who've help make this entire enterprise viable." --- Yours truly, Michael Hanson



Oct 30, 2017

Super Sleuth Denny Lien has come through again! Denny confirms that the original publication date of the Beyond Midnight episode "Yarrow" is 1932.

And one last confirmation re: Beyond Midnight: "Yarrow" is indeed the story "An Eye for an Eye," by Charles Birkin. Confirmed via the reprint in 3rd Pan Book of Horror Stories --- I don't have the original 1932 anthology Shivers, but sources agree that is indeed the first publication.



Oct 29, 2017

A comment from Denny Lien:

Looking at the Beyond Midnight entries for which no copy of the radio play is available, I'd assume that "The Door in the Wall" and "The Speciality of the House" are the stories of that name by H.G. Wells and Stanley Ellin, respectively, and that "The Watches by the Dead" is probably actually "A Watcher by the Dead" by Ambrose Bierce. No obvious way to prove, of course.



Oct 28, 2017

Super Sleuth Denny Lien has come through again! Denny confirms that the original publication date of the Beyond Midnight episode "Little Happenthatch" is 1955.

'The Colin Brooks story is indeed "Mrs. Smiff," original in The Third Ghost Book (1955, though my copy is a later pb reprint). As a point of note, in the printed story the locale is given as "Little Haberthatch," not "Little Happenthatch" -- don't know if the "real" name was changed for the radio version, or if it's a matter of a typo or a hard-to-decipher bit in the adaptation.

'Since Bowen's "The Claimant" also appeared in the The Third Ghost Book, I think we can assume the Beyond Midnight staff had a copy of that anthology in hand.'



Oct 27, 2017

Super Sleuth Denny Lien has come through again! Denny confirms that the original publication date of the Beyond Midnight episode "Under the Hull Tree" is 1925.

'One more for now: I can verify the Katherine Yates' story "Under the Hau Tree" matches the plot and opening for the radio "Under the Hull Tree." And Weird Tales for November 1925 is correct -- verified against my copy of the Girasol replica reprint of that WT issue.'



Oct 26, 2017

Super Sleuth Denny Lien has come through again! Denny confirms that the original publication date of the Beyond Midnight episode "Hobart" is 1955 and "The Jokester" is 1952.

'And I can confirm that the Bowen story "The Claimant" (1955, from The Third Ghost Book) is the source of "Hobart," and that the Robert Arthur story "The Jokester" is the same as the radio show of the same name. And as you have it, the Arthur story first appeared under the pen name Anthony Morton in the March 1952 issue of Mysterious Traveler magazine (reported by Mike Ashley in his Supernatural Index, and confirmed by checking my copy of the MT issue).'



Oct 25, 2017

Super Sleuth Denny Lien has come through again! Denny confirms that the original publication date of the Beyond Midnight episode "The Fifty-Six Gs" is 1956.

'And I can confirm that the Bloch story "Water's Edge" is indeed the source of "56 Gs" (and date original publication date of 1956 appears to be correct, since a couple of sources including the IFSDB list it as from the Sept 1956 Mike Shayne's Mystery Magazine.).'



Oct 24, 2017

Super Sleuth Denny Lien has come through again! Denny confirms that the original publication date of the Beyond Midnight episode "The Dream" is 1967.

"Well, I've got the recent three-volume Basil Copper collected stories set on the floor behind my chair as I type (in one of my 'read soon now, I hope' piles), and so without getting out of said chair I can quickly confirm that you are right about 'The Dream'... 'Possibly based on the Basil Copper short story "The Janissaries of Emilion" first published in The Eighth Pan Book of Horror Stories, 1967.'

Yes, that is indeed the story, and the copyright info agress that its first appearance was in 1967 in that PAN volume.



Oct 23, 2017

Added (4) new reviews and (2) new plotlines for various CBS Radio Mystery Theater and BBC episodes, courtesy of Jeff Dickson.

CBS Radio Mystery Theater
BBC

Oct 20, 2017

Added (1) new review for a Nightfall episode, courtesy of Raymond.



Oct 18, 2017

Listener Denny Lien has come through again! Denny confirms that the original publication date for the Black Mass episode "Nightmare" is 1959.

"This was first published in England in The [First] Pan Book of Horror in 1959. Most of the contents of the anthology were reprints (and are credited as such with previous publication info and copyright info etc. in my copy), but this one was apparently an original. (Mike Ashley's Supernatural Index also has it as an original in that 1959 anthology.)

"Incidentally, The [First] Pan Book of Horror also contained reprints of 'The Squaw' and of 'Flies', so I suspect the radio people had a copy of it (there was a US as well as a UK edition). Stoker's 'The Squaw' of course has been reprinted several times, but 'Flies' had apparently appeared before only in two scarce UK hardback anthologies ed. C.C. Thompson: Grim Death in 1932 (where it was an original) and the reprint Not at Night Omnibus in 1937. After the Pan reprint, it also appeared in a common 1969 US pb, 11 Great Horror Stories, ed. Betty Owen, from Scholastic.

Anyway, 1959 is the date for the print version of Wykes' 'Nightmare'. " --- Denny Lien



Oct 16, 2017

Added (11) new CD covers created by Tom Tucker. These, and others, can be found on the CD Artwork page. Thanks Tom!



Oct 15, 2016

Added (3) new shows to the Listening Booth:

"Apple" - Mindwebs (1979)

In a time when miners tunnel into giant apples to collect the creamy, ripe flesh, others seek to keep the miners safe by destroying the moths that hide within. Story by John Baxter. "Amazing descriptive imagery. I keep washing my hands to rid myself of the sticky-sweet juice stuck between my fingers and under my nails; I tread lightly to avoid sinking to my knees in a brown bog of decaying apple pulp. Yech. Concludes with some nice fighting-moth action. [8/10]" --- zM

"Saint Louis Blues" - Columbia Workshop (1937)

During a broadcast of W. C. Handy's classic blues, simultaneous dramatic vignettes are heard consecutively. Story by Irving Reis. "This ingenious, oft-broadcast Irving Reis play isn't exactly supernatural, but the repetition of the title tune (in an arrangement that borrows the clarinet opening of Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue") has an eerie, hypnotic quality which, combined with the script's various efforts at dark irony, might make it of interest to those who visit the Plot Spot." --- Anonymous

"The Silver Sky" - BBC (1980) ** By Request **

Two time travellers from separate worlds are drawn to the same location—a beach on a strange unknown planet with no way back home and stalked by deadly predators. Story by Tanith Lee. Multiple story threads come together in this complicated tale of betrayal and love... bitterness and hope... and of lost pasts and receding futures. This story is involved and can be very confusing (several characters with similar voices talking at the same time... sound effects drowning out voices... dialogue in foreign languages...), so it's really not suitable for listening while driving. Listen at home where you can rewind and replay as needed. This story presents a view of time travel I have not heard before. That novelty bumped up my rating one notch. Solid acting. Engaging story. Good sound effects and music. [9/10] --- zM



Oct 13, 2017

Listener Denny Lien has a copy of the June 1961 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, and has confirmed that the Black Mass episode "Atrophy" is based on the John Anthony West short story "George".



Oct 11, 2017

Added (12) new CD covers created by Tom Tucker. These, and others, can be found on the CD Artwork page. Thanks Tom!



Oct 09, 2017

Added (3) new reviews and (3) new plotlines for various SF 68 episodes, courtesy of zM.



Oct 06, 2017

Added (10) new CD covers created by Tom Tucker. These, and others, can be found on the CD Artwork page. Thanks Tom!



Oct 04, 2017

Added (12) new reviews and (11) new plotlines for various Lux Radio Theatre, Romance, Dark Fantasy, Lights Out, and Mollé Mystery Theatre episodes, courtesy of Anonymous.

Lux Radio Theatre, The
Romance
Dark Fantasy
Lights Out
Mollé Mystery Theatre

Jul 10, 2017

Added (7) new reviews and (3) new plotlines for various Hermit's Cave, Seeing Ear Theatre, Fear on Four, Spine Chillers, and Appointment with Fear episodes, courtesy of Nicolle.

Hermit's Cave, The
Seeing Ear Theatre
Fear on Four
Spine Chillers
Appointment with Fear

Jun 24, 2017

Added (2) new shows to the Listening Booth:

"The Man Who Knew How" - Suspense (1944)

Mr. Pender is on a passenger train and strikes up a conversation with a stranger. He offers the man a mystery novel to read, but the stranger promptly turns him down, stating that mysteries aren't accurate to life as the murderers get caught. He instead is only interested in murderers who don't get caught and proceeds to describe ways a person can die and have it appear to be from natural causes. After this meeting, Mr. Pender begins to hear about a string of deaths that have occurred in the exact same fashion as the stranger described! Furthermore, when Mr. Pender begins to investigate, he starts seeing the stranger in places where these deaths have just happened! Is he behind these deaths? Story by Dorothy L. Sayers.

"Safe in the Arms of Jesus" - Nightfall (1983)

A couple become concerned when their young son's religious leanings take on a warped, fanatical bent. Story by Martin Kinch.



Jun 03, 2017

Added (2) new shows to the Listening Booth:

"Solaris" - BBC (2007)

Psychologist Kris Kelvin is dispatched to a remote research station studying Solaris—a planet dominated by an ocean of living plasma—to investigate the death of a scientist and the mental disintegration of the entire research team. Despite their total isolation, they seem to have been plagued by 'visitors'. Story by Stanislaw Lem.

"Another World" - Arch Oboler's Plays (1939)

On a cold, dismal, dreary night... in a death-row cell of a southern penitentiary... a young woman kneels beside her prison cot, weeping, speaking softly to the memory of her mother, and explaining that it all started when she first heard that evil voice within her head. Story by Arch Oboler.



May 26, 2017

Added (1) new review for a CBS Radio Mystery Theater episode, courtesy of zM.



May 24, 2017

Added (3) new reviews and (3) new plotlines for various SF 68 episodes, courtesy of zM.



May 22, 2017

Added (3) new plotlines and (1) new review for various Space Patrol episodes, courtesy of zM.



May 20, 2017

Yet another tip-of-the-hat to alert listener/reader/research editor, Noelle, who offered the following corrections to the Famous Authors on Radio page. Thanks Noelle!



May 18, 2017

Added (1) new review for a Hall of Fantasy episode, courtesy of Silent Hill Radio.



May 16, 2017

Added (1) new review for a Dimension X episode, courtesy of Michael F.



May 14, 2017

Yet another tip-of-the-hat to alert listener/reader/research editor, Noelle, who offered the following corrections and comments to the Seeing Ear Theatre page: (Thanks, Noelle!):



May 12, 2017

Added (3) new reviews for various Seeing Ear Theatre episodes, courtesy of Noelle.



May 10, 2017

Added (11) new CD covers created by Nick. These, and others, can be found on the CD Artwork page. Thanks Nick!



May 05, 2017

Added (11) new CD covers created by Nick. These, and others, can be found on the CD Artwork page. Thanks Nick!



May 01, 2017

Added (9) new CD covers created by Nick. These, and others, can be found on the CD Artwork page. Thanks Nick!



Apr 08, 2017

Added (9) new CD covers created by Nick. These, and others, can be found on the CD Artwork page. Thanks Nick!



Mar 25, 2017

Added (3) new reviews and (3) new plotlines for various SF 68 episodes, courtesy of zM.



Mar 17, 2017

Another work-related deadline met. With luck, I'll be working normal hours for a while and I'll be updating this site regularly. Fingers crossed!



Jan 03, 2017

Added (10) new CD covers created by Nick. These, and others, can be found on the CD Artwork page. Thanks Nick!



Jan 01, 2017

Another year... with new hopes and new dreams.

My health is better than it has been in a long time, and I hope to be posting regularly in the coming months.

Time will tell.

Cheers.