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Dec 09, 2012

Added (5) new plot-lines and (4) new reviews for various The Witch's Tale episodes, courtesy of zM.

Dec 07, 2012

Added (5) new plot-lines and (5) new reviews for various Alien Worlds episodes, courtesy of zM.

Dec 05, 2012

Added (5) new plot-lines and (5) new reviews for various The Witch's Tale episodes, courtesy of zM.

Nov 30, 2012

Added (8) new shows to the Listening Booth.

"The Snowman Killing" - Fear on 4 (1988)

A mother becomes increasingly paranoid for the safety of her two sons when they obsess over a snowman in the yard that only they see. Written by J.C.W. Brook. "I laughed when I read this title. I mean, how scary could a snowman be? I'm not laughing now. A stunning performance by Imelda Staunton (as Anne) backed by the eerily repetitious jabbering of Altheas Constanturos (as Alex). I couldn't help feeling cold—so very cold—as I listened. [8/10] --- zM"

"The Black Room" - CBS Radio Mystery Theater (1974)

A psychological tale about solitary confinement. A man is placed in a black room... a sort of 'isolation room' by two other men belonging to an unspecified organisation. They want information, but won't say what type of information they want. How long can the prisoner last before he dies or goes insane? Written by Elspeth Eric. "This one will bore you to tears... or send a shiver up your spine. Most of the tale is told as stream-of-consciousness of the prisoner while, against extremely long odds, he struggles to retain his sanity. A very unusual tale for CBSRMT." [8/10] --- zM

The final episodes of "Claybourne" - parts 91-96 of 96 - Serial

Nov 26, 2012

Added (5) new plot-lines and (5) new reviews for various Alien Worlds episodes, courtesy of zM.

Nov 25, 2012

Added 65 more authors and 352 more stories to the Famous Authors on Radio page, bringing the total to 769 authors and 2,265 stories.

Nov 24, 2012

Added the next (6) episodes of "Claybourne" - parts 85-90 of 96 to the Listening Booth.

Nov 18, 2012

Added 71 more authors and 209 more stories to the Famous Authors on Radio page, bringing the total to 704 authors and 1,913 stories.

Nov 16, 2012

Added (8) new shows to the Listening Booth.

"Never Send to Know" - Quiet, Please (1948)

A run-of-the-mill, underachieving, private investigator is hired by a man, er... a ghost, to find out who murdered him, so that the murderer can be punished. But the ghost doesn't even remember where he was murdered... or when... "A simple and straightforward plot that nevertheless works because of the pacing and the interaction between the detective and the ghost. Edgar Stehli does a great job as the hesitant, yet persistent, amnesiac ghost, as bit by bit the clues to his murder unfold. [8/10] --- zM"

"The Twonky" - Sci-Fi Radio (1990)

An alien technician temporarily 'displaced' to Earth constructs a 'twonky' that looks like a common stereo, much to the dismay of its purchaser, who soon learns the true meaning of the phrase caveat emptor. Story by Henry Kuttner.

"Claybourne" - parts 79-84 of 96 - Serial

Nov 8, 2012

Added the next (6) episodes of "Claybourne" - parts 73-78 of 96 to the Listening Booth.

Nov 1, 2012

Added (8) new shows to the Listening Booth.

"'An Evening's Entertainment" - The Black Mass (1964)

On a dark and stormy night, children gather around a large stone fireplace and listen to Granny tells ghostly tales... tales intended to scare the bejesus out of them and encourage adolescent obedience. Based, more or less, on the Montague Rhodes James story. "Wow. I'm stunned. This story is very different from other M.R. James stories I've heard—"The Ash Tree" [The Black Mass], "Casting the Runes" [Escape]. It starts off as a very good supernatural ghost story and then evolves into a story with some pagan ritual and kinky sexual innuendo, followed by torture and murder. We don't actually witness any of these events, we simply hear the aftermath. Not at all what I was expecting for a story written in 1925! That is partly due, no doubt, to Bauersfeld's interpretation rather than the original. Definitely not a story for the kiddies. Pat Franklyn is brilliant as Granny! [9/10] --- zM"

"Metzengerstein" - Columbia Workshop (1937)

Relatives, clients, and enemies eagerly await the imminent demise of the Baron Metzengerstein, not the least among them his son, who is impatient to take the helm in the family's long history of abuses, heedless of the curse put on the family name through a stolen tapestry hanging on the castle wall. Based on a story by Edgar Allen Poe.

"Claybourne" - parts 67-72 of 96 - Serial

Oct 31, 2012

Added (2) new reviews and for various The Witch's Tale episodes, courtesy of Dr S.

Also, added 16 more authors and 45 more stories to the Famous Authors on Radio page, bringing the total to 633 authors and 1,727 stories.

Oct 25, 2012

Added the next (6) episodes of "Claybourne" - parts 61-66 of 96 to the Listening Booth.

Oct 19, 2012

I have significantly expanded the Famous Authors on Radio page... from 27 authors to 590 authors and from 324 stories to 1,621 stories. Took me about 9 months to research all the stories in my collection! (Well, almost all the stories - I still have the BBC stories to track down). The Famous Authors on Radio page is intended as a resource for people who love to read as well as listen to OTR. As such, I have confined my citations to the authors of original stories that were later adapted for radio. Find an author you like? The link in the author's name will take you to Internet Fiction Speculative Database (or in some cases, Wikipedia) where you can find a publication history of stories written by that same author.

Oct 15, 2012

Added (8) new shows to the Listening Booth.

"'Return Trip" - Suspense (1946)

Four people on a bus leaving a remote insane asylum in the mountains become trapped by an avalanche; but the nightmare is made even worse when they become convinced that one of them is an escaped homicidal psychopath. "A tale of Suspense that is well calculated to raise the hair on the back of your neck. Before the end of this little "Return Trip" I had declared each of the bus occupants as the killer. But there can be only one "Killer Greg". I must warn you that the plot thickens when the bus is covered by a snow avalanche and the suspense grows to overwhelming proportions. A show that is worth a listen but look out for the ending! Ha Ha! --- Don Walker"

"The Talkers" - Theatre Five (1970)

Following a nuclear holocaust, two survivors crawl out from the rubble and reminisce about the old days, until one starts to mutate into a giant bug. "3/4 Stars. A dang peculiar "story." Lights Out meets William Burroughs (or My Dinner With Andre)? Well, much more of the former than the latter, but the stream of consciousness isn't bad. The conversation is interesting, and the mush-mouthed fellow is a fun character. Ambient sound effects in this episode are good and combine to create an suitably strange soundscape. Actually, there isn't much of a story here, but The Talkers is worth listening to. This one's a personal favorite, though I don't rate it exceptional. --- RC"

"Claybourne" - parts 55-60 of 96 - Serial

Oct 08, 2012

Added the next (6) episodes of "Claybourne" - parts 49-54 of 96 to the Listening Booth.

Sep 30, 2012

Added (8) new shows to the Listening Booth.

"'Skeleton Bay" - Inner Sanctum (1946)

A novelist wanting rest and relaxation rents a cabin near the beach at Skeleton Bay... where she witnesses a murder. Story by Emile C. Tepperman. "Several twists and turns. Not at all what I was expecting. I have only listened to a few episodes from the Inner Sanctum, but this is one of the best so far. [8/10] --- zM"

"My Object All Sublime" - Mindwebs (1970)

An evening's musings between friends on time travel takes an unpleasant turn. Story by Poul Anderson. "A slow-moving tale with almost no action. Drinks, cigars, and a late-night rambling discussion are followed by a surprisingly strong ending. The title, by the way, is a reference to song No. 6 in the Gilbert and Sullivan opera The Mikado. [8/10] --- zM"

My object all sublime
I shall achieve in time—
To let the punishment fit the crime—
The punishment fit the crime;
And make each prisoner pent
Unwillingly represent
A source of innocent merriment!
Of innocent merriment!

"Claybourne" - parts 31-36 of 96 - Serial

Sep 23, 2012

Added the next (6) episodes of "Claybourne" - parts 43-48 of 96 to the Listening Booth.

Sep 15, 2012

Added (8) new shows to the Listening Booth.

"'Quest" - SF 68 (1969)

In a future Megalopolis run by machines, a man searches for the meaning of reality. Story by Lee Harding. "Highly original SF social commentary about one man's odyssey for something "real". The best episode in this all to short series. Very well written, acted, and plotted and with a great, but disturbing 'sound the alarm'—hopefully incorrect—very dire prediction in grand ole Sci-Fi tradition. --- Bruce Fisher"

"Nature Study" - The Devil and Mr O. (1970)

While on a scenic tour of a canyon, a group of four becomes enclosed below by a landslide of boulders that claims one of the members' lives. As she passes, she confesses to the murder of her husband and it soon becomes apparent that this "freak accident" might just bring out everyone's darkest secrets. "The recording I listened to was from The Devil and Mr O. series and while not masterly superb it does offer a fairly unique tale of Mother Nature's judgment. Just when it seems to be heading for a 'sentient rock life forms' story, Oboler keeps it grounded in his human characters with just a hint of the supernatural lurking in the background. The final set piece, complete with howling wind, waxy moonlight, smiling corpses, and mad ravings is a nice corker to this episode that kicks it up a notch. --- Jose Cruz"

"Claybourne" - parts 31-36 of 96 - Serial

Sep 10, 2012

Added a link on the Links page to a site that deals with the History of Television. I know, I know, what's television doing on a site devoted to radio? Well the link was very kindly provided by a student, as part of a project her class was working on. And, besides, the history of television is intimately related to the history of radio. So you may enjoy it. Or not. Anyway, if you haven't visited the Links page in a while, take it out for a spin.

Sep 08, 2012

Added the next (6) episodes of "Claybourne" - parts 25-30 of 96 to the Listening Booth.

Sep 03, 2012

Significantly updated the page for Beyond Midnight. Expanded the intro; cross-referenced an old list from Springbok Radio with the titles commonly used in the OTR community; identified alternate titles. Also included the opening lines from each episode in my collection to make it easier for collectors to tell which episode they have.

Aug 31, 2012

Added (8) new shows to the Listening Booth.

"'The Mannequin" - The Witch's Tale (1943)

This version is probably Australian, broadcast sometime around 1943.

"Chocky" - BBC Radio (1967)

A 1-hour BBC production. A couple become concerned over their young son's increasing fixation with 'Chocky', his invisible friend. At first it seems a harmless diversion for him, but then Chocky starts to develop a serious attitude problem...

"Claybourne" - parts 19-24 of 96 - Serial

Aug 23, 2012

Added the next (6) episodes of "Claybourne" - parts 13-18 of 96 to the Listening Booth.

Aug 18, 2012

Added (8) new shows to the Listening Booth.

"'The Fall of the House of Usher" - CBS Radio Mystery Theater (1974)

Edgar Allen Poe's classic tale of a man's descent into madness over a family curse. "Many different versions of this story are floating around. This is not the best, but certainly not the worst.

Includes the top of the hour news dated 1974_03_14... Watergate, Arab oil embargo, Kissinger, Northern Ireland, famine in Ethiopia, G. Gordon Liddy, Soviet Mars landing.

"Three O'Clock" - Sleep No More (1956)

When a man uncovers evidence of his wife's infidelity, he decides to murder her and her lover. Story by William Irish. "Sleep No More is an odd little series of readings by Nelson Olmsted with minimal acting and sound effects, similar to Mindwebs or The Black Mass, but not nearly as good. Not bad, but uninspired. This particular tale is better than most in the series. I'd love to hear what Michael Hanson or Erik Bauersfeld could have done."

"Claybourne" - parts 7-12 of 96 - Serial

Aug 10, 2012

Added the first (6) parts of a 96-part serial to the Listening Booth.

"Welcome to Claybourne, the small, scenic township in the far north of New Zealand's North Island. It's a friendly little town—home to a pub, a general store, a service station and, up on the hill, the southernmost communication satellite station of American communication giant, Koestler Industries. Thompson is an American holidaying in New Zealand after his breakup nearly led to a breakdown. He receives a message from his employers that there's a problem at the station up north, and that since he's there, he should check it out. The problem is 'a problem' doesn't even begin to describe it. Never mind the tapu... the mysterious death rate... rumours of dragons... conspiracy theories about the global military industrial complex... and the old guy with the gun. The town is the future site of Maoriworld—the tourism drawcard that'll put this place on the map (investment enquiries welcomed). Just don't ask too many questions." --- from the Internet Archive

Written by Jim McLarty and William Davis; Music by Victoria Kelly and Joost Langeveld; Produced by Andrew Dubber and Belinda Todd. Winner of "Best Dramatic Production of the Year" in the 1999 at the New Zealand Radio Awards.

Acting in the series is variable, ranging from adequate to very good. Music, sound effects, and audio quality are all excellent. Some of the scenes are "noisy" which makes the Kiwi and Maori accents difficult to understand, but overall the series is quite good.

Most episodes are around 5-6 minutes in length. The total series is 9 hr 20 min. I am listening to this series as I post it, so I don't have much more to add. Hope it turns out to be good! Cheers.

Aug 02, 2012

Added (4) new shows to the Listening Booth.

"'He Who Follows Me" - Hall of Fantasy (1953)

A traveling couple innocently venture into an open mausoleum, and in so doing incur the eternal wrath of its occupant. "An excellent, macabre gem. Shows the great work that came from this series. The Dead Man is creepy, I can just picture him in my mind. A truly Great OTR classic, a must listen for any one who likes creepy tales. --- Luc L'Heureux".

"Star, Bright" - X Minus One (1956)

Children are apparently evolving at an alarming rate; what to do when your six year old daughter demonstrates an IQ of over 400, and starts to experiment with previously unknown physical dimensions? "A subtle, eerie, and very odd little gem. It's probably one of the series' best shows. The acting, script, and overall feel make this one a Science Fiction classic that can't be missed. --- Luc L'Heureux". Story by Mark Clifton.

"Dark Island" - parts 5 & 6 of 6 - Serial

Jul 30, 2012

Significantly updated the page for Space Patrol. I still do not have plotlines for most of the episodes, but for each I have added the narrator's opening comments. These serve to set the general tone of each episode and, in some cases, provide a rough summary. Since this was a serial, not an anthology, I have also added a rough broadcast log. And since many episodes have had their beginning and ending credits stripped, I have added an index to first lines.

Jul 26, 2012

Added the next (2) parts of the 6-part serial "Dark Island" to the Listening Booth [parts 3-4 of 6].

July 19, 2012

Added (5) new shows to the Listening Booth.

"'Genius" - Exploring Tomorrow (1958)

As a sociological study, a group of scientists has seeded a planet with colonists and deprived them of technology and all memory of their stellar origin. The experiment is overly successful when the 'natives' start developing at an alarming rate—fast enough to worry the Galactic Imperial Armed Forces who dispatch an investigator, Grand Marshall Gorham, to determine whether or not this planet of geniuses should be destroyed. Story by Poul Anderson.

"The Search for Life" - The Hermit's Cave (193x)

A lab assistant kills his career-oriented girlfriend so that his mad scientist boss can bring her back to life with a slightly altered personality.

"The Lottery" - NBC Presents: Short Story (1951) - By Request

A disturbing, classic tale, of an annual lottery held in a remote rural community, whose prize is... well, best not dwelt on. Story by Shirley Jackson.

"Dark Island" - parts 1 and 2 of 6 - Serial

A six-part BBC mini-series adapted for radio in 1969 from a television series of the same name. Both the television series and the radio adaptation were by Robert Barr. No copies of the television mini-series are known to exist, but the radio series is in very good condition. A torpedo is unexpectedly found on Benbecula, an island in the Outer Hebrides. Further investigation reveals a spy kit... and some sheet music.

The hauntingly beautiful theme music is an air called "Dr. Mackay's Farewell to Creagorry". It was composed by Iain MacLachlan (1927-1995).

Jul 12, 2012

Added the last (2) episodes of the 15-part serial "A Canticle for Leibowitz" to the Listening Booth [parts 14 and 15]. Next week: the BBC production The Dark Island, 1969.

Jul 06, 2012

Since many people have asked me how to get started writing Reviews and Plotlines, I've included a brief Writer's Guide. Unfortunately, since I don't have a guide to writing guides, I had to make this up as I went along. As a result, this is a work in progress. Please be kind.

Jul 05, 2012

Added (5) new shows to the Listening Booth.

"'The Outer Limit" - Beyond Tomorrow (1950)

A test pilot on an experimental high altitude aircraft with only ten minutes worth of fuel disappears from radar for ten hours, yet returns safely. Of course, it is impossible, as is his story of contact with aliens and the dire warning they have for Mankind. This was a very popular story—other versions appeared on Dimension X, X Minus One, Escape and Suspense. Story by Graham Doar.

"The Vale of Glencoe" - Quiet, Please (1949)

A nice, leisurely, drive along the Coast Highway, north of Santa Barbara, in late winter of 1944 provides an ideal opportunity for Alan (MacDonald) and Iona (Campbell) to discuss their common Scottish heritage. [Poor sound quality with some Scots-Gaelic dialogue—be sure to download the radio script and read along.] "The recording volume is very low and the voices are indecipherable for about 50 seconds near the beginning, but the sound quality picks up after that. A slightly predictable plot—if you know your Scottish history—but a few plot twists characteristic of Wyllis Cooper keep things interesting. It finishes with a strong, memorable, ending. [8/10] --- zM" Story by Wyllis Cooper.

"We Hold These Truths" - Columbia Workshop (1941) - By Request

In honour of the U.S. Bill of Rights. Written by Norman Corwin; broadcast on December 15, 1941. A lot has changed in 70 years, but this is still a great episode.

"Corwin wrapped up the year in extraordinary fashion with one of Radio History's most stirring paeans to American Democracy ever aired—"We Hold These Truths". "We Hold These Truths" was a multimedia celebration of America's Bill of Rights. The broadcast was heard by the largest single audience in Radio History up to that point. Its timing was absolutely exquisite—indeed, almost prescient, given the life-altering developments of the morning of December 7, 1941. The project wasn't developed as a response to the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Indeed it was still under development and being written by Corwin the afternoon that he first heard the news about the attack.

"Starring no less than Jimmy Stewart, Edward G. Robinson, Orson Welles, Edward Arnold, Lionel Barrymore, Walter Brennan, Walter Huston, Marjorie Main, Rudy Vallee and Bob Burns, the score was written by legendary composer Bernard Herrmann. And almost as a footnote to this remarkable production, FDR himself addressed the country during the production. The Star Spangled Banner was performed by the full New York Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by no less than Leopold Stokowski himself. The mind reels to imagine a Radio broadcast with that much prestigious talent during one airing today." --- Digital Deli Too

"I listened to this last night and was suitably impressed. Broadcast on the 150th anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights and a mere 8 days after the attack on Pearl Harbor, this is a stirring, glossy-eyed, patriotic, call-to-arms to encourage people to fight for their rights and support the war against Japan, Germany, and Italy. In one sense, this could be considered war propaganda, but if so, it is extremely well-written war propaganda. James Stewart is masterful in his sense of pacing and emphasis, adding suspense and passion to what might have been a dry historical account. The only major drawback is the speech by Roosevelt which is delivered in a monotonous drone and contrasts sharply with the strong performance by James Stewart. [8/10] --- zM"

"A Canticle for Leibowitz" - (1981) - Parts 12 and 13 of 15 - updated weekly

June 28, 2012

Added (2) new episodes of the 15-part serial "A Canticle for Leibowitz" to the Listening Booth [part 10 and part 11]. This is a new feature of the Listening Booth. Serials will be updated weekly, usually in one-hour installments; but each episode will remain in the Listening Booth for only two weeks. Enjoy!

Jun 21, 2012

Added (5) new shows to the Listening Booth.

"'The Visitor" - Suspense (1944)

A young man is believed to have been murdered by his friend. Three years later, he reappears. Is he an imposter simply trying to claim the inheritance? "Surprisingly, this is a completely coherent and cohesive adaptation of a novel condensed into a scant thirty minutes—even the pacing seems un-rushed. As for the plot, it is delightfully clever—you think you know exactly where it's going but in a delicious surprise ending our expectations are subverted with a twist that actually plays fair yet still manages to be entirely unexpected. This is great storytelling, pure and simple. Highly recommended. [9/10] --- David Schwenker"

"No Grave Can Hold Me" - The Mysterious Traveler (1949)

A magician is sentenced to be executed for murder. Before he dies, he instructs his son-in-law on how he is to be buried so that he can come back and kill the jury, the judge, and the district attorney. "An overall excellent story, marred only by several fluffed lines throughout the episode. --- Harry Leshko"

"And the Moon Be Still As Bright" - Omni Audio Experience (1988) - By Request

A special tribute to Ray Bradbury. This version is extremely rare. A pair of Omni Audio Experience cassette tapes will set you back over $200 on ebay. This is from Volume #1... As though wiping out the Martian race with Earthborn diseases weren't enough, humans demonstrate a hostile contempt for what relics and monuments the Martians left behind - until one man with a conscience and a gun decides to stand up for the dead. Story by Ray Bradbury; part of the Martian Chronicles future history.

"A Canticle for Leibowitz" - (1981) - Parts 8 and 9 of 15 - updated weekly

June 20, 2012

Significantly altered the Links page. Added 30 new links and grouped all the links into categories. Also, added a brief description telling what each linked page is all about.

June 17, 2012

Added (5) new reviews and (5) new plotlines for various The Witch's Tale episodes, courtesy of zM.

June 14, 2012

Added (2) new episodes of the 15-part serial "A Canticle for Leibowitz" to the Listening Booth [part 6 and part 7]. This is a new feature of the Listening Booth. Serials will be updated weekly, usually in one-hour installments; but each episode will remain in the Listening Booth for only two weeks. Enjoy!

June 11, 2012

Added (4) new reviews and (4) new plotlines for various Alien Voices episodes, courtesy of zM. The Alien Voices plot archive is now complete.

Jun 07, 2012

Added (5) new shows to the Listening Booth.

"'Repent Harlequin!' Said the Ticktockman" - Mindwebs (1938)

A future society enslaved to the tyranny of the 'schedule' looks for a saviour in the form of a clownish prankster who refuses to punch the state time-clock. Hugo and Nebula winner, 1965. "You can't help rooting for Harlequin as he strikes back at the omnipotent State. Even though you suspect he will get squashed like a bug, there's a chance he'll survive or even bring down the system, right? The audio quality of the tape I have is muffled, but the performance of Michael Hanson is solid. This is a slow-moving tale, full of irony, which tends to drag a bit throughout the middle, but has a thought-provoking ending. Story by Harlan Ellison. [7/10] --- zM"

"A Razor in Fleet Street" - Cabin B-13 (1974)

Bill Leslie visits London before being posted to a new position with the Diplomatic Service in Portugal. Within 6 hours of disembarking he and his wife, Brenda, are warned by CID Inspector Bradford to stay in their hotel room for the entire week and keep their door locked! 'Flash' Morgan—murderer, bank robber, ripper—is desperate to escape England... and just happens to be exact double of Bill Leslie himself. Story by John Dickson Carr. "A brisk, suspenseful tale with an improbable, but enjoyable twist. [7/10] --- zM"

"The Midnight Horseman" - Macabre (1945) - By Request

An art collector can't resist purchasing a painting of a savage medieval horseman, whom legend holds will return to life through the portrait under the right circumstances. "Keep in mind that Macabre was largely a labour of love created by radio employees who were neither professional actors nor writers. This episode is one of the best, but it is still only mediocre. The sound quality is excellent, but the acting is stiff and the plot is weak. If you are expecting a professional production on par with Suspense, you'll be sadly disappointed, but if you are expect a really good high school production, you'll be satisfied. [6/10] --- zM"

"A Canticle for Leibowitz" - (1981) - Parts 4 and 5 of 15 - updated weekly

May 31, 2012

Added (2) new episodes of the 15-part serial "A Canticle for Leibowitz" to the Listening Booth [part 2 and part 3]. This is a new feature of the Listening Booth. Serials will be updated weekly, usually in one-hour installments; but each episode will remain in the Listening Booth for only two weeks. Enjoy!

May 29, 2012

Added Summaries for (7) audio series, including (5) groups that currently produce cutting-edge audio drama: 19 Nocturne Boulevard, Atlanta Radio Theatre Company, Chatterbox Audio Theater, Claybourne [NZ], Icebox Radio, Great Northern Audio Theatre, and Hollywood Theater of the Ear.

May 28, 2012

Added (4) new reviews and (4) new plotlines for various Alien Voices episodes, courtesy of zM.

May 25, 2012

Added series summaries for With Book and Pipe, The Haunted Hour, and George Edwards Productions. Also added (2) new reviews and (2) new plotlines for episodes of With Book and Pipe and The Haunted Hour, courtesy of zM.

May 24, 2012

Added (4) new shows to the Listening Booth.

"Dracula" - The Mercury Theatre on the Air (1938)

     Classic story by Bram Stoker. The Lord of Vampires moves to England where the neighbours aren't so aware of his true nature. Premiere episode. Good sound quality. "Welles and Co. manage to resist the urge to improve the story which so many filmmakers (particularly Coppola) succumb to. The narrative-dependent nature of radio allows for the journal entry style of the book to carry over. Despite having to cut out huge chunks of story to fit into sixty minutes, it manages to remain coherent. My only beef is that it's not made clear in the script why Harker went to Transylvania in the first place. --- Harry Leshko"
     "Dracula" is provided by kind permission of the folks over at the Digital Deli. The two people who run the deli serve an amazing selection of original research which is provided on their pages free of charge. Take a look around! They stream many shows, but they also ask for a modest donation/fee for the privilege of downloading those shows in mp3 format. (This helps defray a tiny portion of their web-hosting costs.)

"The Secret Life of Bobby Deland" - CBS Radio Mystery Theater (1974)

     A troubled 10-year old orphan, taken in by a childless couple, seems to settle in nicely, but then shows disturbing signs of disobedience, theft, and alienation. The husband believes things are not as they seem and struggles to find out what is really going on.
     "The setup for this story is definitely dated—the husband wants to take a child home from the orphanage for a month 'just to see if it will work out', the social worker plays for him a tape of an interview with the previous custodian of the child—but aside from that, this is a chilling tale. Do you ever really know just what your children are thinking? Especially if they seem unhappy... or disturbed? [8/10] --- zM"

"The Graveyard Rats" - With Book and Pipe (1945) - By Request

     Salem, Massachusetts. Old Masson, the cemetery caretaker, is not a nice man. In fact, he robs graves in his spare time. But lately, the enormous rats which have taken over the cemetery have been stealing the corpses before he has a chance to rob them. Very annoying. Traps, poison, and bullets do not seem to have any effect as the rats seem to be guided by some subterranean intelligence. Old Masson is about to take the fight to the enemy. Story by Henry Kuttner.
     "If claustrophobia is your thing, this one will surround you in freakish delight, press in upon you from all sides, and leave you gasping for breath. If not, then you'll probably think this is a well-produced, slightly-better-than-average tale. I'd love to hear more from this series, but this is the only episode I have been able to find. [7/10] --- zM"

"A Canticle for Leibowitz" - (1981) - Part 1 of 15 - updated weekly

     Episode 1. A nuclear war and its aftermath have destroyed civilization. Leibowitz, an ordained Catholic priest, writes to New Rome with a proposal. New Rome concurs. A monastery shall be built in the desert. Brethren are sent forth to secretly collect any books that have not already been destroyed, bring them back to the monastery and preserve them. These brethren are called Bookleggers. Other brethren are charged with memorizing the books so if the books are destroyed the knowledge contained therein will live on. These brethren are called Memorizers.
     The story opens 600 years after these events. Brother Francis Gerard, on his lenten vocational fast, spies a pilgrim approaching from across the desert. It is an odd meeting. Brother Francis, abiding by the Rule of Silence for the lenten fast, may not speak voluntarily, and the pilgrim at first mistakes him for one of the carnivorous mutants that roam the land. They come to an understanding. The pilgrim helps Brother Francis find just the right sized rock to complete a protective dome he is building, but in moving the rock, Brother Francis discovers a smallish opening leading into the Earth... an opening with stairs.
     "The narrator, Carol Cowan, has a wonderful voice and a great sense of pace. I don't know how this series ends, but this first episode was a joy to listen to. It suggests the unfolding of a truly mythic story with, perhaps, a sense of mystery. I'm looking forward to coming episodes. [8/10] --- zM"

May 19, 2012

Added (3) new reviews and (3) new plotlines for various Black Mass episodes, courtesy of zM. The Black Mass is now completed except for banner art!

May 16, 2012

Added (6) new reviews and (6) new plotlines for various Black Mass episodes, courtesy of zM.

May 12, 2012

Added (6) new reviews and (6) new plotlines for various Black Mass episodes, courtesy of zM.

May 10, 2012

Added (3) new shows to the Listening Booth:

"The Coffin in Studio B" - Lights Out! (1946)

A difficult rehearsal for a murder scene in Lights Out is interrupted by an eccentric old man peddling coffins. Despite the director's misgivings, the broadcast goes well, until... 'Smart, funny exercise in self-parody by Wyllis Cooper that probably inspired similar Oboler plays like "Murder in the Script Department" and "The Author and the Thing." Cooper later reworked the basic idea for his Quiet, Please episode "A Night to Forget." The surviving recording of "Coffin" is a 1946 remake which includes some updated lines, including a brief, snarky reference to Orson Welles. --- Anonymous'

"Witch Week" - BBC (2012)

Created especially for BBC Radio 4 Extra, a dramatization of the novel Witch Week, by Diana Wynne Jones, who wrote about a young wizard at a magical academy 20 years before J.K. Rowling picked the same topic. At Larwood House, a school for witch orphans, witchcraft is utterly forbidden, but there is a rumour going around that there is a witch in class 2Y. Part of the Chrestomanci children's fantasy series. Stars Bill Milner. 'A quickly moving tale written for the Juvenile Fantasy market, but well-produced with solid acting. Excellent sound quality. Starts off with an immediate sense of conflict and suspense, bogs down a little in the middle with some plot developments that seem, well... juvenile, but then finishes with a strong ending. [7/10] --- zM'

"The Flies" - The Black Mass (1964) - By Request

A starving old tramp breaks into an abandoned house to escape a gathering storm. He discovers the house has been lived in fairly recently... in a style 300 years out of date. Worried that he might disturb the inhabitants, he cautiously explores the ground floor... and becomes rather disturbed, himself, at what he finds. 'A gruesome tale that will make your skin crawl—heh, heh, heh. Wonderfully nauseating. The quiet, intermittent buzzing of the flies hit just the right tone—menacing, but not in-your-face... a yet-to-be-realized threat that may, or may not, materialize. Bauersfeld is best when he portrays old men, as he does in this story. Quiet, yet unassumingly insistent... earnestly telling his tale before a skeptical audience. There is a 16 kbps version in circulation that has extremely poor quality, but a much better version can be found (in .mov format) at Erik Bauersfeld's site. [9/10] --- zM'

May 09, 2012

Added (5) new reviews and (5) new plotlines for various Black Mass episodes, courtesy of zM.

May 07, 2012

Added (6) new reviews and (6) new plotlines for various Black Mass episodes, courtesy of zM.

May 06, 2012

Added (5) new reviews and (5) new plotlines for various Black Mass episodes, courtesy of zM.

May 05, 2012

Changed the font and added more Plot Archive buttons so 2000x, Alien Voices, Alien Worlds, Arch Oboler's Plays, The Black Mass, Overview, and The Witch's Tale are now accessible from the Plot Archives menu page. The Other Shows page is now the Series Index page.

May 04, 2012

Added (5) new reviews and (5) new plotlines for various Black Mass episodes, courtesy of zM.

May 03, 2012

Added (19) new reviews and (18) new plotlines for various Suspense episodes (1944, second half), courtesy of David Schwenker.

Apr 27, 2012

Added (5) new reviews and (5) new plotlines for various Black Mass episodes, courtesy of zM.

Apr 26, 2012

Added (2) new shows and (1) song to the Listening Booth:

"Danse Macabre" - Columbia Workshop (1937)

Death Himself, sad and lonely, stalks a kingdom with his violin, looking for someone to dance to his music. "The premise is interesting, the music is great (by Saint-Saëns, of course, via Bernard Herrmann), the drama is slow but okay, and the acting is variable. --- Anonymous"

"The Green Thing" - 2000 Plus (1950)

Patients at a sanitarium complain of sharing the same nightmare of a 'green thing' threatening them in their sleep. But how can they all be having the exact same dream? "One of the best episodes of the series...excellent acting and production...good air of mystery, very suspenseful. Classic 50's sci-fi from start to finish. ~4 stars --- Douglas Hoyer"

"Danse Macabre" - Saint-Saëns, Leopold Stokowski, The Philadelphia Orchestra (1925)

"I've heard many versions of the piece since then, but none I've heard match the essential spookiness of the 1925 Stokowski recording. This is largely due to the unusual recording technique. It was one of the first classical recordings to use electric microphones, but the intrumentation was still set up as orchestras were for acoustic recordings: there was a bass saxophone in place of a double-bass, and—most importantly—a Stroh violin. --- Dinosaur Gardens"

Apr 25, 2012

I've made a couple of changes based on comments and feedback from Jose Cruz and David Schwenker.

1. The Other Series page is now an Index which alphabetically lists every series mentioned on this site, along with a brief Series summary. If I have plotlines or reviews, then the Series Title is a link to the appropriate page.

2. I have added an Overview page which also lists every series mentioned on the site, except instead of listing the series alphabetically, it organizes them into a table grouped by year and genre. Each item in the table is a link which will take you either to the Index page (so you can read a series summary) or to the Plot Archive page (where you can read a summary mixed with plots and reviews).

Apr 24, 2012

Added new pages... work in progress... for 2000x, Alien Voices, Alien Worlds, Black Mass, and The Witch's Tale. If you would like to submit reviews please contact me.

Apr 23, 2012

Added a new page for the combined plotlines and reviews of Arch Oboler's Plays and Everyman's Theater. Modified the Lights Out! page so it contains only the plotlines and reviews for Lights Out!, The Devil and Mr. O, and the LP record Drop Dead! An Exercise in Horror. Cross-referenced both pages to identify stories which appeared in multiple series.

Apr 22, 2012

Added (5) new reviews and (5) new plotlines for various Lights Out! episodes, courtesy of Jose Cruz.

Apr 21, 2012

Updated the Mindwebs page to include some comments from Michael Hanson.

Apr 20, 2012

Mrs. Pattinson's 10th Grade Technology Wizards—a group of students who are busy researching inventors of items we readily use and may take for granted—stumbled upon this website. In a burst of International Cooperation (and in thanks for the insight they've gained from this website and the links contained herein), they would like to share some links that they found extremely interesting!

Invention of Radio - a one-page site about the invention of radio, with links to many other sites.
History of Radio, Television and More - a brief history, with links to many other sites.

Thanks! I've added these to the Links page, too.

Apr 12, 2012

Added (2) new shows to the Listening Booth:

"The Cave of Night" - X Minus One (1956)

An astronaut trapped in orbit inspires a worldwide rescue effort—but does he need it? "Hm. I liked this. The story is told as a series of news clips a producer is compiling for a special broadcast. Some of the clips are interviews. Some are background material. And some are of the astronaut, trapped in his spacecraft with a broken receiver, calling for help and not knowing if anyone on Earth can hear him. It reminded me of those cell phone calls a few years ago of mountaineers trapped in a blizzard on Mt. Everest... calling loved ones as they slowly froze to death. Moving. [7/10] --- zM"

"The Man Who Came Back" - Dark Fantasy (1941)

An angry husband confronts his wife's lover and demands that he never return. The lover is amused. "A mediocre, predictable story... told slightly better than most mediocre, predictable stories. Not sure if this is par for this series or not. Glad there was an organ so I'd know when to be scared. [6/10] --- zM" The series Dark Fantasy was written by Scott Bishop at WKY, Oklahoma City and aired from late 1941 through mid-1942.

Apr 08, 2012

Added (22) new reviews and (20) new plotlines for various Suspense episodes (1944, first half), courtesy of David Schwenker.

Mar 29, 2012

Added (4) new shows to the Listening Booth:

"Nigtfall" - Dimension X (1951)

Classic tale of an alien civilization whose world circles a multiple star system of six suns, and faces worldwide insanity and social collapse when night descends once every several thousand years. "A well-told tale. Both the Dimension X and X Minus One versions are well played, but I like Norman Rose as the narrator in the Dimension X version slightly better. [8/10] --- zM"

"The Haunted Executioner" - The Creaking Door (1964)

A murderer, found guilty by a jury of his peers, is sentenced to death. He, on the other hand, insists he is innocent. The other prisoners believe him. What's odd is that the warder and the executioner also believe him... and perhaps some strange supernatural force. "Poor audio quality detracts slightly from a moderately good story. The acting is sound; the premise is interesting; the ending is a little rushed. [6/10] --- zM"

"The Edge of Death" - Inner Sanctum (1946)

A young collector of blades receives an antique rapier as a wedding gift—a sword alleged to have once belonged to Rasputin, the mad monk of Russia—and is jokingly warned about a prophecy that whoever holds the sword on the coming of the full moon will die a death of violence. "More suspense and better acting than I expected. With a few nice twists. [7/10] --- zM"

"The Wind" - Radio City Playhouse (1949)

Ray Bradbury tale of a man haunted and hunted by a wind that wants to steal his soul. "A pretty silly premise which is told so well that you'll be afraid to go outside in the wind. The Bradbury 13 version of this story has much better music and sound effects, but poorer characterization. The character of Allen (the man persecuted by the wind) is well played in both versions and he is the root of the story, so both versions are worth listening to. But Allen's best friend (Herb) and Herb's wife (Jane) are characterized very differently in the two versions. Jane seems thoroughly unpleasant in the Bradbury 13 version... understanding, but pushed to the edge, in the Radio City version. Herb seems rather condescending in the Bradbury 13 version... but like a good friend in the Radio City version. If characterization is your thing, listen to the Radio City version. If music, sound effects and overall tone are what you look for, you'll be better off with the Bradbury 13 version. Both are well made. [8/10] --- zM"

Feb 19, 2012

Added (6) new shows to the Listening Booth:

"Roller Ball Murder" - Mindwebs (1977)

The murderous sport of Rollerball has become the world's most popular sport—with Johnathan E. it's most popular champion—and although he can survive the blood-soaked brutality of the game, can he survive its corporate exploitation? "A fast-moving story depicting the sport of the future—brutal, callous, and barbaric—designed to satisfy the bloodlust of the spectator class while maximizing the profits of the corporate class. It's a nice premise, but it's hard to imagine a global corporation acting to maximize its short-term profits while destroying the roots that make that profit possible. Yeah, right. [8/10] --- zM"

"The House That Time Forget" - Murder at Midnight (1946)

A couple purchase a beautiful country home only to find that the former owners, who died in a boating mishap decades earlier, are not quite done with it yet.

"Wet Saturday" - Suspense (1943)

Mr. Princey's daughter has just murdered the schoolmaster. A murderess in the family? That won't do. It's up to Mr. Princey to frame someone else for her crime. "A tongue-in-cheek suspense tale that garners its humor from the father's droll, matter-of-fact approach to such extremities as murder and blackmail, treating them as if they were nothing more than mundane nuisances in his day-to-day life. Along with the humorous characterizations, there are plenty of ironic twists and turns to keep you engaged and guessing who's finally going to get the blame. A classic episode, broadcast four times for good reason. I enjoyed the 1943 broadcast with Laughton the most. [9/10]" --- David Schwenker

"A Tiny Drop of Poison" - CBS Radio Mystery Theater (1974)

A politician's past suddenly catches up with her when her husband is assigned to investigate a five-year old murder. "No supernatural or Sci-Fi elements here, just a straightforward murder mystery. Although the theme—politicians struggling with their conscience—seems a little far fetched, the role is nicely played by Tammy Grimes [8/10] --- zM"

"The Marvelous Barastro" - Mystery in the Air (1947)

A small-time carnival magician who reads fortunes, speaks with the dead, and reads the secrets of life, falls in love with and marries a beautiful blind woman. Shortly thereafter, they meet another traveling magician named Rico Sansone who desires Anna as his assistant and is willing to go to extraordinary lengths to get her. With Peter Lorre. "A love story which shows how flattery can disarm suspicion and lead to betrayal. The opening scene involves Barastro hiring a lawyer to defend himself for a murder he is about to commit. The reasons why are detailed in an extended flashback told by Barastro. Solid acting by Lorre, combined with one or two twists, builds suspense in an otherwise straightforward plot. [8/10] --- zM"

"Good Ghost" - Quiet, Please (1948)

Shuster wants Gus' girl, Ada, for his own, so he knocks Gus off. Gus, now a ghost, just wants his Ada to be happy. He doesn't want no revenge, see; he just wants her to be happy. Lots of money. A mink coat, a car, a nice house: anything for his Ada. Even if it means helping his rival rustle up the dough. "An amusing, artfully performed Runyonesque fable with some sprightly jazz piano from Albert Buhrman. Sort of a companion piece for one of Cooper's Lights Out plays (known as "The Haunted Cell"), also about ghosts and Chicago gangsters. --- Anonymous"

Jan 22, 2012

Added (8) new reviews and (14) new plotlines for various Mystery in the Air episodes, courtesy of zM.

Jan 20, 2012

Added (3) new shows to the Listening Booth:

"The Family Nagachi" - Arch Oboler's Plays (1945)

A horror story of a different kind. Ben Nagachi returns from fighting in the European Theater during WWII—Purple Heart, Silver Star, a Division Citation, and a Distinguished Service Cross—to find that his family has spent the last few years in a "relocation camp". "A moving tale of courage, bitterness, acceptance, and forgiveness. [9/10] --- zM"

"Under the Hau Tree" - Beyond Midnight (1969)

A mysterious traveling couple are difficult to trace, as their names are forgotten by everyone they encounter and even disappear from the hotel registry! "While I guessed the ending to this tale about two-thirds through the program, this is still one of the most interesting entries of Beyond Midnight. While most episodes in this South African series are set in England or non-descript locations, this episode goes deeply into the history of a South African family, features local accents, and even makes brief use of the Afrikaans language in one scene. Oddly enough, the immediate setting for all this is a resort in Hawaii! --- Anonymous"

"The Tell-Tale Heart" - Closed on Account of Rabies (1997) - By Request

A reading of the Edgar Allan Poe classic, The Tell-Tale Heart, by Iggy Pop, backed by music and sound effects. This is a track from a two-CD set called "Closed on Account of Rabies". A servant claiming to be absolutely sane, explains that his apparent madness is due simply to the extreme sharpness of his senses which causes him to be nervous... yes, very nervous, but not insane. His senses are so acute that he can hear many things... things in Heaven... and in Hell, but that doesn't mean he's insane, does it? And how could he be telling his story so calmly, so very calmly if he were mad? "Remarkably well played by Iggy Pop. If you enjoy this, bet sure to pick up the complete two-CD set. [9/10] --- zM"

Jan 17, 2012

Added (21) new reviews and (15) new plotlines for various Suspense episodes (1943, second half), courtesy of David Schwenker.

Jan 15, 2012

Added (10) new reviews for various Quiet, Please episodes, courtesy of zM.

Jan 13, 2012

Added (5) new reviews and (4) new plotlines for various Lights Out! episodes, courtesy of Jose Cruz.

Jan 10, 2012

Added (21) new reviews and (15) new plotlines for various Suspense episodes (1943, first half), courtesy of David Schwenker.

Jan 08, 2012

Added (6) new reviews and (8) new plotlines for various Creeps by Night episodes, courtesy of zM.

Jan 06, 2012

Added (2) new shows to the Listening Booth:

"The Final Reckoning" - Creeps by Night (1944)

George Miller was framed for a murder he didn't commit and has waited 20 years for an opportunity to seek vengeance. When he is finally released from the state penitentiary, he seeks out the man who framed him—a gangster named Ace. George has a few things he'd like to ask Gus. With Boris Karloff as George Miller. "A fairly predictable plot with slightly better than average acting. Nevertheless, one of the better productions from among the surviving episodes. Worth listening to. (6/10) --- zM"

"Containment" - BBC Radio 4 Extra (2011)

Mark Gatiss, as The Man in Black, introduces David Lemon's tale of a lost soul offered hope, but with a sinister price attached. Stars Clare Corbett as Helen, Rikki Lawton as Andy, Carl Prekopp as Tom, Katie Angelou as Lucy, and Gabriel Brody as Peter. "Another heartbreaking tale from The Man in Black which sort of sneaks up on you. A stunning performance by Clare Corbett with solid supporting roles by the rest of the cast. (9/10) --- zM"

Jan 03, 2012

Expanded (52) more plotlines for various Quiet, Please episodes to include actors and a snippet from each.

Jan 01, 2012

Added (16) new reviews and (13) new plotlines for various Suspense episodes (1942), courtesy of David Schwenker.