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The Last Days of Pompeii (1 of 5) - The City of the Dead


On a ship bound for Pompeii, Marcus saves a blind slave girl named Lydia and falls in love with the lady Orianna. A devout worshipper of the god Isis, the young slave riles up her fellow women to make demands. Meanwhile, lady Orianna's belief in the pagan god falls as she discovers Christianity.



Air Dates

  • First Run - January 7, 1980
  • Repeat - July 21, 1980





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6 Responses to Episode 1045

Thought I'd tackle this 5 part series. What better way to spend part of a weekend than by indulging in an epic! First thing I noticed was the pacing. Certainly was different than other episodes. This episode served primarily to introduce the characters - sets up the individuals that we presumably will be following for the next 4 episodes. I will need to listen to it again to really get hold of the story line. At this point, there's a blind girl befriended by a wealthy young man who saves her from being run over by a cart. He encounters her in different places throughout the episode and ends up purchasing her from the owner of a bar where she is serving as a barmaid. Another part of the story line is this man's desire to find a woman whose face has been haunting him. He discovers her quite by accident after approaching a religious leader and leaving a donation to have his prayers in this regard answered. His friend asks for good shipping conditions for his business but leaves copper rather than gold and is encountering bad luck and misfortune.

Janice Walters

yeah i felt like i watched a movie after listening to them all. I was able to do other things aswell very easy to folow this story.


that was a good one


I remember that one. It was to commemorate the 1900th anniversary of Pompeii's burial by Mount Vesuvius.


The ones that I enjoy hearing over and over again.


I rate this episode ★★★★★ stars for EXCELLENT. Luckily, I got to listen to the full length of this episode (from Prologue to Epilogue) on different Old Time Radio websites. There have been many film & TV adaptations of Edward Bulwer-Lytton's novel on Pompeii, but those adaptations are no match for Gerald Keane's adaptation on CBSRMT. Even though some of the characters' names are different from the 1834 novel, the 1st installment of this saga was easy to follow. The music was stupendous, including the tunes during the main character's narrations. The sound effects of the birds, howling wind, temple bells, horse neighing, chariot, applause, music playing in the tavern, patrons murmuring, loud thunder storm, footsteps echoing underground, rowing of the ships, seagulls, cargo crashed, water flooding, spilled drinks and trays, bell ringing, water fountain, and the earthquake were top-notch marvelous. Makes it sound like we're actually there in Pompeii. In our Host's Prologue, E.G. Marshall introduces us to the 5 part series of Edward Bulwer-Lytton's story about the lost city of Pompeii that was destroyed on August 24th, 79 A.D. In ACT-1, ACT-2 and in ACT-3, he discussed the culture and people's way of life in Pompeii before Mount Vesuvius turned it into a buried city. In his Epilogue, it was plain & simple; E.G. Marshall asking the fans to return for Part 2. Our Host was historic and on point in his narrations. And finally, our terrific cast: Russell Horton (as Marcus Rufus and the Christian Leader), Evie Juster (as Lydia and Oriana), Kristoffer Tabori (as Apaecides and Calvis), and Earl Hammond (as Diomed and Arbaces). SPECIAL BONUS: Himan Brown is in this episode playing the role of the Ruffian. All of them were truly terrific. Each and every one of them were on point on how their characters were supposed to think and feel. Every fan must tune in to this story. ANOTHER SPECIAL BONUS: If you find the full length of this episode from other Old Time Radio websites, this episode has commercials of TV's Knots Landing, Susan Anton for Serta Perfect Sleeper Mattress, the American Lung Association, the novel of "Out" by Pierre Rey, Consumer Reports Magazine, the radio station of WFAA-Forth Worth/Dallas, Taylor's Bookstore, and Public Service Announcements. Until next time…pleasant dreams. =^D


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