The CBS Radio Mystery Theater:

At the End of the Passage (10/10/79).

H.B.  Fyfe:

Flamedown (1961).

Escape:

North of Polaris (5/17/53).

The Devil and Mr. O:

Neanderthal (9/24/71).



Segment One:

The CBS Radio Mystery Theater:At the End of the Passage (part 1) (10/10/79).

The CBS Radio Mystery Theater was an ambitious effort by veteran radio producer Himan Brown to revive interest in American radio drama. Every night from 1974 to 1982, host E.G. Marshall (laterTammy Grimes) ushered listeners through a creaking door for 52 Min of “the fear you can hear.” Brown produced nearly 200 new episodes of Mystery Theater every year, using both original scripts and adaptations of classic stories by Edgar Allen PoeMark Twain,Robert Louis Stevenson and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The Mystery Theater brought many veterans from radio’s golden age back before the microphone, including Agnes MooreheadRichard Widmark,Celeste HolmMercedes McCambridge and Howard Da Silva. The show also featured performances from many up-and-coming stage and film actors, including Tony Roberts, John LithgowMorgan FairchildMandy Patinkin and Sarah Jessica Parker.

The CBS Radio Mystery Theater won the George A. Peabody Award in 1974.

After eight years and 1,399 shows, the show ended its run on December 30, 1982. And was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1990.

For today we have a story adapted from a classic 1890 short story by Rudyard Kipling, At the End of the Passage which originally aired on October 10, 1979

Born in Bombay, India and educated in England. Kipling is an often controversial, interpreter of how the British Empire was experienced by its subject people through a collection of novels, short stories and poetry. Perhaps both most famously and infamously, White Man’s Burden.

At the End of the Passage is set in colonial India is about a Brit who is tormented by horrible nightmares and becomes increasingly abusive due to lack of sleep and his involvement with drugs.


Segment Two:

 The CBS Radio Mystery Theater:At the End of  the Passage (part 2) (10/10/79)

Flamedown

Flamedown Is a short story from  Horace Brown Fyfe originally published in the August of 1961 issue of Analog Science Fiction and Fact.

Fyfe wrote in the Golden age of Science fiction before reality had intruded to sometimes spoil imaginings of these writers. His stories dealt mostly with the interaction of humans and aliens on far off worlds in ways that were as creative as they were imaginative. Most of his works have long been out of print and hard to find. Hard but far  from impossible. There is for example the audio presentation by Librivox of his 1966 novel D-99. Here

There is also available from ManyBooks.net  a free e-book of that same title.


Segment Three:

Escape: North of Polaris (5/17/53)

A spin off from Suspense, Escape ran on CBS from 1947 to 1954, and dealt in a wide variety of stories: science fiction, horror, murder. It was good fun for the whole family.

The program displayed a fondness for adventure tales set in the tropics or on the high seas.

As far as I have been able to find out, there were a total of 194 stories.

Many of the episodes were taken from the classics, but not all. Often the writers and producers of Escape  culled material from stories that were not then considered classics but have gained that status since. Not that the radio show had anything to do with that. This distinction was brought about by the excellence of the material itself and the garnishment of time.

Polaris, also known as the North Star is always visible in the night sky and aids navigation.

North of Polaris is an episode of Escape about a group of astronauts who  visit a post-apocalyptic planet.Where a A small surveying crew has to spend 48 hours there, but this is a place where armies of rats have become the masters and humans are the scavengers. Their challenge is to stay alive until their ship comes back to get them.

“North of Polaris” has a lot to say about atomic warfare and the arrogance of mankind. It was written for Escape by Charles Smith and stars William Conrad, Hy Averback, Eddie Firestone, Vivi Janiss, Ralph Moody and Frank Gerstle

Suspense did a similar but shorter episode called “Report from a Dead Planet” in 1960.


Segment Four:

The Devil and Mr. O: Neanderthal (9/24/71)

“The Devil and Mr. O” was a 1970s revival of radio drama. These plays originally saw the light of day on “Lights Out“, the classic late night horror radio program also written and produced for a good part of its run by Arch Oboler who is the Mr. “O” here. Some of the plays have revised titles such as this episode from 1971 in that it is a rebroadcast of Across the Gap which was originally presented on “Lights Out” on November 3, 1942

It’s about a  couple vacationing in the French countryside who after a car accident, are somehow transported back 12,000 years, where they are menaced by a Neanderthal hunter.


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