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Title

Life Blood

Plot

In this tale of revenge and deception, an embittered scientist creates a life-like robot whose sole purpose is to destroy the life of his old rival.

Episode

1096

Air Dates

  • First Run - June 23, 1980
  • Repeat - October 14, 1980

Actors

Writer

Listen

Rating

60
52     8


61 Responses to Episode 1096

(This takes the premise in the previously-reviewed "The men with the magic fingers" episode a bit further.) JOHN BEAL...that's the actor's name I couldn't remember, the guy who sounds like a kindly uncle in "The ruby lamp" and "Time and again". For those of you who recall the latter (one of the RMT's absolute finest, which I'm fixin' to listen to again here at work), Beal embodied the ability to be simultaneously kindly and devious in that episode, and he duplicates the effort here. He plays a brilliant and apparently wealthy scientist/inventor here. A young, handsome doctor friend of his has fallen in love with Beal's stunningly gorgeous niece, Amelia. The doctor tells the scientist he wants to marry Amelia, but Beal's character says (paraphrasing Elvis) "nix, nix." He says she's a robot, designed to be irresistible to men. When the doctor calls his bluff, Beal's character proves it by sticking a pin deep into Amelia's arm. She says it didn't hurt at all. The doctor says she could have been hypnotized. Beal's character says that could be but points to her unstained arm and asks, "If she's human, where's the blood?" Cue the RMT spooky music. Remember the title "Life Blood"...it plays a role here (as blood also played a crucial role in "Time and again"). Beal's character takes care of that particular detail about his creation in the future. He also tells the doctor of the scheme he's hatched..to get "Amelia" to lure a former scientific associate (who unethically did some damage to the inventor on a former project of some sort) to break off his engagement to another woman and marry her, whereupon at some grand moment Beal's character can expose the new bride as a robot and shame the former associate (played by Ralph Bell). The Elizabeth-Montgomery-in-her-younger-days-voiced Marion Seldes plays Amelia in a very good casting job. This original episode aired immediately before "You're going to like Rodney". Both were darkly memorable pieces of writing, even though there's a strange, hard-to-explain twist at the end of this one. Reply With Quote

Darryl B.

A lot of (Rod Serling's original) "Twilight Zone" fans like the CBS RMT, the TWZ's "Lil' sis" in many ways. (Not the least of which, being in the CBS stable, they used much the same wonderful background music.) Some TWZ episodes made it to the CBS RMT, like Ambrose Bierce's "Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" and "The self-improvement of Salvatore Ross" (renamed "A bargain in blood" for the RMT). This particular episode is fascinating in that it was all but directly influenced by the memorable original-season Twilight Zone episode "The lonely"...yet it's told completely in REVERSE. A different setting (modern America for "Life Blood" vs. a prison asteroid on "The Lonely"), different people (Apparent Nobel-level physicists and physicians vs. a convicted murderer), the "plot twist" Darryl B. speaks of (won't give it away, but there was no such problem in "The lonely", and in fact, a different ending ostensibly resulted because of it) and most importantly, the timing of the surprise (in "The lonely" the protagonist, played by the enjoyable, late Jack Warden, learns his "lady's" secret immediately...in "Life Blood", the secret is the story). Troubling subplot: on first hearing the character of the wonderful John Beal, he sounds like a kind, loving uncle, but when you carefully listen to what he apparently has told his "niece", it seems all but evident that he's abusive. Not sexually, but emotionally. And as Gordon Gould's character in the play all but says: he created a lifelike, beautiful female android just for THIS?!?!

KJW

Ladies and gentlemen, We've talked before about the inspiration for certain episodes, and also the similarities between The Twilight Zone and the RMT, both being in the CBS stable. I'm certain that this particular episode was inspired by what some have written is one of the better episodes of TWZ, penned by Rod Serling himself, called "The lonely". It's told, however, as though the way events unfolded and the circumstances in which they occured were reversed, with an RMT twist at the end, of course. The woman above in the TWZ episode was named "Alicia" (the actress was Jean Marsh, pictured with the fine character actor Jack Warden as he was readying to hit her with a shovel), while the woman Marian Seldes plays in this RMT episode is named "Amelia". Maybe you'll think I've got ElspethEricitis (though this episode was penned by Henry Schlesser) but...this show was the second most haunting one to me after "Star Sapphire". At least no children were harmed in this episode - then again, it depends on the definition of "children". It's one I found myself wanting to listen to again to pick up script details, and I also think some of Ms. Seldes' most powerful lines are when she doesn't say a word...

Hammond

I have not listened to the episode yet, but will do so post-haste. I only write this in advance because I was so amazed and delighted to see the photo of Jean Marsh. I had no idea she'd done American TV shows so early on, especially a classic like Twilight Zone. I remember her fondly, of course, as Rose the maid on "Upstairs, Downstairs." (I believe she wrote and produced at least some of that series, if not all of it.) She also played the evil Queen Bavmorda to perfection in Ron Howard's fantasy film "Willow" many years later. Both Jean and Marion Seldes are very similar types of actress and two of my favorites. I'm anxious to hear this episode!

Elliot

Well, I listened to the RMT episode, then I read the Twilight Zone script. I have to say that, although they both involve female robots, the two stories are as different as day and night. The Lonely is a truly beautiful, sad, and compelling humanist tale that broke my heart. (I must admit to being choked up just reading it.) Its themes are concerned with loneliness, kindness, love, and, ultimately, loss. Life Blood, on the other hand, is about revenge, retribution, and deciet. I felt it to be very hollow, empty. In The Lonely, the robot technology serves to make a person's life better, more bearable, less lonely----Alicia becomes more than a mere machine, so her loss at the end of the story is truly cathartic. In Life Blood the robot is designed solely to ruin a person and never becomes anything more than an object. I much prefer the former. I would have given Life Blood a 2, but I'm so happy to have been introduced to The Lonely (a Twilight Zone I've never seen before) that I'm giving it a 3 instead. Thanks, Tex, for the extra effort you went to, providing the Twilight Zone info and link. I'm grateful for having been introduced to such a fine story, even if it didn't turn out to be the show episode.

Brian Pontillas

This was a very enjoyable episode. I enjoy sci-fi a lot, but this one nicely brought the whole "robot" theme away from computers and space ships and put it nicely into everyday life. It was nice to accept her role as a robot without all the runaround of how she looked, acted, etc. But I did have a question and a couple of comments on the episode as it relates to the genre of "robots": First off, does anyone know if the voice of Gerald, the friend, is played by Ed Flanders? He's perhaps my favorite actor and the voice is astonishingly similar to his, so it wouldn't surprise me. Second, this is not the most original concept. It immediately reminded me of a Star Trek episode called, Requiem For Methuselah (Feb 14, 1969) written by Jerome Bixby, in which the gang is on a mission to find an antidote from a man named Flint. They arrive at his planet and meet his daughter, who eventually, Kirk begins to fall for. Of course, we find out later that she is indeed Flint's "creation" and this causes a caustic struggle between Kirk and Flint over the girl's affections. Star Trek: The Next Generation's character of Data is likely inspired by this kind of story as well. Also, Isaac Asimov's book called I, ROBOT (1950) laid the foundation from which sci-fi writer's used as a guide in creating stories about robots. He introduced the famous, THREE FAMOUS LAWS OF ROBOTS: 1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm; 2. A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law; 3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the first two Laws. It seems that the writer of LIFE BLOOD may or may not have been aware of these "laws." I did wonder why she didn't defend herself against the fatal attack at the end... hmmm... (Further discussion on this topic might be better suited in the "Off the Air" room) Anyhow, thanks for another wonderful episode!! I give it a 4.3 overall. best wishes,

Roland Abot

"Only by pride cometh contention." - Proverbs 13:10 "Come on and be my party doll...come on and be my party doll..." - "Party doll", performed by Buddy Holly The "Gerald" character was played by Gordon Gould. (Not to be confused with the man of the same name who apparently invented the LASER.) Gould was often a "second banana" character who was with the RMT from its first year (I heard him as a doctor in "Wave of terror" from 1974) to its last (he was co-lead character with Norman Rose in the very sullen "Sand Castles" (by Elspeth Eric) in 1982). In a similar role like this one, he played the recalcitrant scientist who helped Nat Polen find a deadly, flawed invisibility formula in the RMT's "I thought I saw a shadow." As for the "I, robot" rules, that's fascinating. The only problem was, Amelia was essentially an extension of her "uncle", Dr. Arthur Moore, who was playing by HIS own rule rather than Asimov's, and that rule was: "You (Amelia) will do what I want, when I want it, and HOW I want it." He was a very prideful man. Steve, I think we're alike in how we see things...I said that this and "Star Sapphire" haunted me the most of all the RMT episodes, and they both did leave somewhat a bitter taste in my mouth (and you've pretty much agreed with me on the latter point). With "Sapphire" the reason was obvious: the hints, in whatever form, of child abuse, and to a lesser extent of a husband who was ready to kill his wife. (Both sins were intertwined.) With "Life Blood" (which my then 11-year-old daughter tipped me off to) I had to listen to this a few times to get a clearer picture of why I was bothered. Respectfully said, in my reply above I said "Life Blood" was inspired by the TWZ "The Lonely" but was essentially reversed. (When you get to watch it you'll see what I mean. I can still remember Jack Warden's character, a convicted murderer, imploring his friend: "It was self defense"...and I believed him. And this was a tremendous TWZ episode. You felt for both Warden's and Jean Marsh's characters. In the end, the only sympathetic character in "Life Blood" seems to be Gordon Gould's Gerald, but... - Note how Amelia, in one dinner outing with Ralph Bell's character, almost breaks down into tears (effectively almost humanizing her) when he says one particular thing. Note how he in turn almost breaks into laughter. Who is the emotionless, robotic one there? Up to that point, he seemed to show about as much emotion as her, and it was telling that his happiest moments were when she seemed to be the most hurt. - Note how Dr. Arthur Moore (in conjunction with thoughts above) says Amelia's purpose is "to please men" (Precisely what "The Lonely's" "Alicia" was apparently created to do). Note how even when she's not doing something good, (as near story's end) she's STILL trying to please any man who asks her. - I also got to thinking back of the times how, when I was young, filled with hormones, unmarried and quite foolish, I would have LOVED to have hooked up with Amelia. - Note, last of all, how quiet Amelia is in her final moments on the show. Then I realized...that's exactly how quiet she was when Dr. Moore was showing Dr. Gerald the very thing which gave this RMT show its title. (BTW, here are shots (no pun intended) of "Alicia's" final moments in "The Lonely", where as I recall she was as quiet as "Amelia"): I personally don't think in our lifetimes (or ever) we'll ever have an Alicia, or an Amelia. I think women, and humans, are just too complex of God's creations to be duplicated. But even though I can't put it into words, yet, Steve, I think at the bottom of this what really got me was summarized by Gerald, when he was trying to calm Ralph Bell's character after the latter man was exploding into violent rage. "Don't get mad at her, she's just a robot." It was like when one sees someone about to fly into similar rage at a child or (no similar value intended) a pet when they've accidentally spilled something, wet on something, or whatever. You know the child or animal just made an innocent mistake but they're about to face some overly harsh wrath because of it. Then again...she did indeed start "dating other men", according to Gerald. More directly, Amelia seemed virtuous, but I tend to think, according to the script, that she did indeed end up spending some time alone with Bell's lecherous character at his friend's apartment after he gave her the ring she wanted. (And either she gave in to him only up to a point before their marriage, or she was one SERIOUSLY lifelike woman. Hmmmm...) Sorry for the long response, Steve. I think the "rage" paragraph above is really what ended up haunting me on this. That, and the fact that (according to this) there was so much promise in the creation of Amelia, but her creator just wasted it on his own prideful ambitions. She was, in the end, still just a pawn caught up between two prideful men, one lecherous and one vengeful. And while she did some things that weren't good, one wonders whether she had any more capability to judge and choose right and wrong that the machines we're typing on to post messages on this forum. BTW, John Beal was cool...

Fritzie

Alrighty. I've been away for awhile, stressed and busy with he demands of life. I've missed listening to OTR and CBSRMT quite a bit and have prescribed for myself a weekly dose of the Show of the Week to help out. I anticipated the selection since last night, worked today and eagerly found the choosen show. Upon listening I was immediately reminded of a Star Trek episode, "Requiem for Methuselah" which has a love struck Kirk fighting over a complex, multitalented, kind, intellegent and beautiful woman, who unfortunetly turns out to be a robot. (Come now, who could blame him!) Well, the similarities soon end here. Our woman, Amelia, in " Life Blood", subtly and not so mechanically played by Marian Seldes is more programable than Kirk's Rayna. Rayna, aside from the spare parts, was too human. Amelia is pure input! Thus, her programming reflects the mind, and more importantly the heart of her creator, Arthur Moore ( John Beale). What is programmed is carried out, and Moore wishes to avenge his ego against an offending fellow scientist who happens to also be a womanizer, Harry Burton played by the almost always wonderful Ralph Bell. In fact, Moore is so obsessed that he creates this robot for the sole purpose of hurting Burton. The analogy of the story surfaces when we discover that Moore has placed 10 yr worth of his own blood into Amelia to make her all the more real and consequently ruins himself. Thus, his hate and obsession for revenge robbed him of life....much like hypertension and heart disease might with those that continue to carry similar grudges against elements in life. :?: It's about ruination as a result of intentions that are destructive and self serving. As regards the acting, I find episodes with John Beal and Ralph Bell nearly consistantly good, because they are that good. When I hear Ralph, I feel like I'm with a friend :!: I had not ever listened to a show made so late in the series either, and was pleased to find that good episodes exist here too.

Robemar

Wow! Though I don't want to read the comments until I listen to the program, looks like we have a lot of discussion going. Great job!

Willmon Ryan

For the record, according to the CBSRMT Guide, the character is Jarrell Thornton.

Luella Cooper

Note how Amelia, in one dinner outing with Ralph Bell's character, almost breaks down into tears (effectively almost humanizing her) when he says one particular thing. Note how he in turn almost breaks into laughter. Who is the emotionless, robotic one there? Up to that point, he seemed to show about as much emotion as her, and it was telling that his happiest moments were when she seemed to be the most hurt. It is an interesting thought. She must have learned and developed feelings at some level. Or it is an inconsistancy with the story? Still, I think she is less human the the Ralph Bell character...being a scum bag is an exclusively human quality. Don't know too many lower life forms that manipulate others for ego satisfaction. The scene gives vulnerability to Amelia and provides us with more reason to despise the greasy Harry Burton.

Nadine

I must absolutely agree with you that Amelia was a pawn created to satisfy the doctor's pride. She actually didn't do anything wrong, as she was only doing as she was programmed to do. Maybe it's just that I feel that Alicia was perhaps a better programmed robot than Amelia. Alicia actually seemed to gain a certain humanity by the end of the story, whereas Amelia never had that chance due to the vengeful circumstances surrounding her creation. That is sad and disturbing. There are all sorts of stories, ranging from "Pinnocchio" to Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" to Osamu Tezuka's "Astro Boy", to "2001, A Space Odyssey," that examine humankind's responsibility toward the creations it brings into this world. With the exception of Pinnocchio, the other three artificial intelligences listed above are initially cast out by their creators as abominations. But all of them must learn to survive in this world, despite being cast out. (Well, except for HAL in 2001, who becomes meglomaniacal and must be shut down.) Robots serve many roles in literature, one of the most important being that of a mirror held up to humanity. In fact, I would go so far as to say that the journey of the robot in fiction is a compelling metaphor for the ethical, moral, and spiritual struggles we all must tackle in life--they are looking to their creator for answers, answers that are not necessarily forthcoming. The various ways they cope often reflect the various ways we cope. The robot is a more palateable way for us to view our own human weaknesses impartially. It is also a warning that we must bear all responsibility for the creations we bring into this world, so we should think carefully before we act. Well, I've gotten a little stream-of-consciousness here, so I'll wrap it up. I guess I'm just trying to say that Amelia never becomes more than what she was created for, largely because she was created for the wrong reasons. She is a sad pawn created by a selfish "god", if you will----whereas Alicia does become "real" because of love. And that is an encouraging and beautiful message for us all.

Vice G.

First, let me post the conversation I referred to where Amelia seemed to nearly break down in tears. It takes place just as Harry is giving her a box containing an engagement ring: HARRY WILKERSON: "Open the box...well, do you like it?" AMELIA: "It's very nice." HARRY WILKERSON: "'Very nice'?" That's an engagement ring. I'm asking you to marry me." AMELIA:"I...realize." HARRY WILKERSON:"That's all you have to say? 'I realize'? I'll bet I'd get more reaction from a robot..." AMELIA:(obviously shaken)"Don't you ever say a thing like that! Never! That's disgusting!" HARRY WILKERSON:"Well, well, well, well, well...a reaction at last. You...you ARE exquisite." AMELIA: "Promise me you'll never use that word again." HARRY WILKERSON: "Ah, what's wrong with 'exquisite'?" AMELIA: (still distraught) "It's nothing to joke about...you KNOW the word I mean." HARRY WILKERSON: (Chuckling with amusement) "Ha ha ha...I can think of a LOT of words some ladies might object to but 'exquisite'... AMELIA: (pleading) "HARRY!" HARRY WILKERSON: (calms himself but still chuckling)j"All right, all right...ha ha ha...it will never pass my lips again." Then, (with Azimov's robot rules in mind vs. her creator's intentions)...this quote from Dr. Arthur Moore, at around the 38:03 mark of the program: DR. MOORE: "She was designed to be irresistable, and also controllable...only...by me. She was created to please men...and she has."

J. Praeter

both "Amelia" and Star Sapphire's poor orphan girl Edna O'Reilly were pawns. (The latter possibly sexually, but more definitely as a means to kill an unwanted wife.) But here's where it's hit me...they were both abused. "Life Blood", like "Star Sapphire", is a tale of abuse. More specifically, they were subject to abuse from a father figure. Think of it. Moore, Amelia's creator, admits that she's designed to be controlled by him, and she has indeed brought men pleasure...most importantly, to HIM, by helping him exact vengeance on an old nemesis. However, that exchange with the ring is even more telling about his character. I'm ill at ease to use the term "self-loathing" because that phrase itself has been misused. However, here it's clear...Amelia HATES the thought, concept or however she "understood" it, of a "robot". Therefore, she apparently must have been disgusted, and probably filled with hatred of herself. And WHO was the only person that could have given her that programming? Her "uncle", who was essentially her "father". (Just as Fred Gwynne promised he might become to "Star Sapphire's" orphan girl.) (BTW, when you watch "The lonely" you'll see again how I said it's the reverse of "Life Blood"..."Alicia" came with a set of instructions, and she'd freely talk with her new owner about herself as a robot and the range of things she could feel. Also, it's interesting that both "Life Blood" and "Star Sapphire" came out in the same 1980 season.) Poor Amelia...she was caught between two men who would abuse her in one way or another, and was given just enough programming that she could apparently feel "hurt" at the thought of being a robot. Both she and "Sapphire's" orphan were indeed no more than instruments to achieve a goal. Wow...even for an essentially 45-minute play these RMT scripts were deep. They were some true gems.

Rodney

Very well thought out, Texas. In fact, your comments seem to reinforce the theme presented in that episode of Star Trek I'd mentioned as well... the struggle for control by men who want her for their own lust/control/needs. Very interesting thread!

Lyle S.

Yes, I agree----thematically Star Sapphire and Life Blood are the same. They both involve an abusive "father/daughter" relationship. Guess that's why I find them distasteful. Despite the ugliness of the situation, I'm glad that at the end of S.S. the orphan girl ends up with a mother and the "father" is out of the picture. Come to think of it, the nutty professor gets his in the end of L.B. too. Still such sad and wasteful situations though. They leave me a bit cold, and with a bad taste in my mouth.

Grant G.

"Come on and be my party doll...come on and be my party doll..." - "Party doll", performed by Buddy Holly Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't that Buddy Knox that did "Party Doll"? I used to sing the song in a college band way too long ago and that sticks in my mind. And now back to the real discussion.

Wally Myers

This one did closely resemble a Twilight Zone episode. I gave it a 4. I, too, enjoy the sci-fi element and thought that Burnett incorporated it nicely without being gratuitous. I wish it had been cast a little different. I've never much cared for Gordon Gould's voice. Nice pick!

Jeremy Bushong

It was an interesting and believable enough to be scary (as far as the thought of someone actually being able to do it). I need to relisten to the last act, though. I found myself waking up at the end and probably missed a few minutes of the story.

Jake

Okay, I definitely missed a lot of the last act including the end! It was rather disturbing and violent at the end there. I guess the "mad scientist" "had it coming" when he died while the robot was being destroyed.

Gregory Hupp

We've got a thread about the CBS RMT playwrights elsewhere...it's interesting to note that this episode's author Murray Burnett apparently wrote (and was handsomely compensated) the play which became the basis for "Casablanca." I listened to the show again this week to try and find the "stimuli" he put in the script which Marian Seldes' character responded to. It was interesting that she took the lead on a conversation pretty much only when the subject was about "Nita Raven" and Harry Wilkerson's breaking off the engagement to her. Otherwise, she seemed to be programmed to respond in 10 word sentences or less. Her favorite phrase seemed to be "very nice". (I think Dr. Moore said it once, too.) As I said, this was a fascinating one to relisten to. (BTW, - I think she was supposed to be lifelike...that's what fooled Jerrall. Now, I got the feeling that she spent some time (right after he gave her "Nita's" engagement ring) with the wolfish Dr. Wilkerson at his "friend's apartment", and whatever they did...well, apparently (as I said earlier) either she set some premarital limits or she was quite a replica of an actual woman. BTW, I don't think the rules of marriage as they're being debated today would apply to this episode. This wasn't a question of whether a man could marry a robot he fell in love with (as the fellow on the TWZ episode was pretty much ready to do) but of a man marrying a woman that he didn't know was a robot. Dr. Moore was quite aware of the eventual consequences...he told Jerrall that the latter "wouldn't want to marry her."

Mr. Moore

BTW, I don't think the rules of marriage as they're being debated today would apply to this episode. This wasn't a question of whether a man could Well, like I said, I probably suffer from the emperor's new clothes syndrome and was reading too much into it. But it is strange how my mind flitted around a number of political/social issues while listening to this episode. Apart from the superior "The Assassination," (my favorite CBSRMT of all times), very few of the shows I've listened to so far have had this effect. Anyway, you've brought me back down to earth...

Elen

No problem...thanks for the "heads up" on that program. Actually (though this really should be for another thread) I think the RMT was ahead of its time on some issues. It was unfettered by political correctness of later decades. (Case in point: "The Twilight Zone" ran another episode: "The howling man", about some monks who'd imprisoned Satan and how a guest they took in overnight accidentally let him out. If you'll go to that page and scroll all the way to the bottom you'll see a cane-looking object (they called it "The staff of truth") locking the door. You'll also see the actor John Carradine, but I digress... The staff was what held Satan in. I read in a very good book on every TWZ episode that the director or someone had originally written for there to be a cross on the door, but that it was replaced by the "staff of truth" because someone was afraid other religions might be offended. And this was in the year [i:b704734432]1960[/i:b704734432]. Fast forward 21 years to the RMT's "The Raft", which aired in 1981. I counted no less than [i:b704734432]four[/i:b704734432] scripture references quoted in that episode, three by E.G. himself, including one directly mentioning Jesus' admonition to Peter "What doth it profit a man to gain the world but lose his soul?" If, in fact, I had a dollar for every time I've heard a biblical reference on the RMT, I believe I'd honestly have a couple hundred dollars in my pocket.) With that in mind, it was fascinating some of the subjects the RMT (with E.G. at the helm) tackled: - Islamic terrorism ("The terrorist") - Presidential candidates fathering out-of-wedlock children ("Guilty secret") - Homosexuality and licentious living ("Picture of Dorian Gray") - Abortion ("The phantom lullaby", "Wave of terror", even though the latter had some not-so-good elements as well) - Child abuse (The aforementioned "Star sapphire") - Celebrity misadventures (not a strong enough term) of the day ("The primrose path" appeared to be based on the Patty Hearst kidnapping/conversion) The writers seemed to look at these and other subjects through a totally different lens than so many of today's scriptwriters do...and they ended up looking at some issues more objectively. IMO, that's part of what made this so memorable.

Reslie

"The Primrose Path['s]" overt resemblence to the Patty Hearst situation is unmistakable. Talking about political correctness, Some of the things women say or are said about women would just be slammed today. One episode, I don't remember the title, a man and a woman go through some sort of of ordeal. At the end, the guy says "Good thing you thought to bring the lighter." She replies, in her most feminine voice, "Well, I'm ready to let you do all my thinking for me from now on."

Lyndon B.

Ladies and Gents: I was reminded in reading this of my reaction to a very fine CBSRMT episode, "Under Grave Suspicion", where Ralph Bell and Patricia Wheel have a "modern" relationship. It ends in betrayal and the rage carried in the dialog is, I think, unique to my experience with otr thus far. The role of the woman here is modern and liberated, where pretty much everything goes because she (and he?) are unprepared for a relationship that involves "commitment no matter what". Life does what it does, and this couple falls apart, but the wonderful insight of the show is the consequence of treating a spouse cheaply.........this one needs to be put up for a show of the week.

L. Bell

Heck, in "Life Blood" alone there were some lines that I just wouldn't expect todays scriptwriters to include: (Not verbatim, but pretty close as I've listened to this more than once now) (At a restaurant) HARRY WILKERSON: "Who is 'Amelia'? What is she? Where did she come from?" AMELIA: "I'm just a woman, Harry. Just a simple, predictable woman. We're in a time when such a line would be interpreted by many as an insult to femininity. (On a subnote, with "Amelia's" earlier reaction to the word "robot", one almost wonders how confused she was programmed to be on this subject.) I loved the voice of Marian Seldes. All the regular RMT female performers seemed to have the ability to have both a feminine voice and a tough feminine voice. Even when she was in the latter category, (as in a very interesting show I'm listening to now "The search for Myra", where she plays a housewife who was apparently married only for her money) she could always sound so vulnerable. In movies or the small screen that might not be as noticeable, but in radio it worked so well for her, IMO, as an actress. I just listened to "The Primrose path"...not a bad show. tremendous comparison! I remember "Under grave suspicion". It's funny you should mention that show, because I thought Ralph Bell in "Life Blood" basically played a reprise of that role...both in "Blood" and "Grave Suspicion" he was a well-educated "modern" who didn't care that much for the sanctity of marriage (remember, he said in "Life Blood" that he made a similar vow to his then-wife to be Nita Raven that they "wouldn't stop living" (a.k.a. sleeping around) in the same way that in "under grave suspicion" he and his wife agreed to have an "open" marriage.) In both shows, he comes to the realization that he wants one woman, and comes unhinged and then kills her. I'd thought of the similarities between these two shows before but had forgotten about it before you jarred my memory on this thread...

Lance

Ok, I see there have been several posts regarding this program and it's very tempting to read before I write. I'll just have to write quickly so I can enjoy the discussion. I enjoyed this program even though it felt dated to me. In fact, part of the reason it was fun to listen to was the fact that it was so campy. As a general comment, I find that the programs that were most 'cutting edge' for their time are the programs that really don't hold up very well. Anyway, back to the play at hand. Again, I liked the program but the story was certainly strange and it's hard to imagine that someone would go to such lengths to exact revenge. Further, I really didn't understand the purpose for the author tying the creator's blood (and life) to that of the robot. I'm hoping there are some comments to clarify this for me.

Jatt

good question. Ever heard the saying: "Harboring bitterness is like drinking rat poison and expecting the rat to die?" I think summed it up best about the "blood" part you wondered about. (BTW, I did too, but scriptwriter Murray Burnett in fact had his "good guy" asking the same thing, then being promised by Dr. Moore that he'd tell him some day if he helped him with his scheme.) Dr. Moore was consumed by bitterness, which happens to so many if not all of us from time to time yet is an equally dangerous occurence for each of us. So often, when we harbor the bitterness which compels us to seek revenge of some sort all we do is hurt our own life. That happened here, to the extreme. I'd not thought of it 'til he said it, but U_N_T pretty much summarized this plot...Dr. Moore put so much of himself into seeking revenge that when it happened, it deeply and permanently affected not only his adversary (who went through extreme humiliation in breaking off his engagement) but also Dr. Moore himself.

Aljohn

Folks, Your comments are terrific. I missed so much about this program and I definitely have to listen again now that I've read your comments. I feel a bit guilty for not seeing some of the darker elements of this program but I guess this is exactly why I enjoy the show of the week. Your comments have completely changed my perspective and I think Kurt (Texas) deserves a great deal of credit for 1) selecting a terrific program for discussion purposes and 2) for leading us in a terrific dialogue. Great job everyone!

Jack Cassidy

I rate this episode ★★★★☆ for GOOD. I will say that this story, written by Murray Burnett, was enjoyable because it combined Drama & Science Fiction together. However, all 4 of his characters seemed “empty” inside. Arthur Moore, who created the female robot, was empty because he felt like his career hasn’t been fulfilled, so he comes up a devious plan of revenge on his rivalry: Harry Wilkerson. As for Harry Wilkerson, he was empty because he didn’t have much love in his heart to be committed to any woman, not even to Nita Raven. And then there’s Jarrell Thornton who was empty because he never felt infatuated over a woman before, but for an android. As for Amelia Burke, the android, she was empty because she was programmed not to feel pain, both physical & emotional. It’s a gripping storyline with 4 lonely characters. Another thing that’s puzzling; Arthur Moore told his best friend, Jarrell Thornton, that it took him 10 years to create the robotic Amelia. It they’re best friends, how did he keep a robot a secret for a decade? Also, since Jarrell Thornton was obsessed with the android that looked like, talked like, and acted like a real woman, why didn’t he just ask his best friend to make a female android for him? I know that I’m thinking outside of the box on this, but it is a fascinating tale that needs exploring. Another way to title this episode would be “Amelia: The Ravishing Automaton.” In our Host’s Prologue, E.G. Marshall’s topic is Science, along with emotions. In ACT-1, a short history of men that visualized the “perfect” woman, implying our mystery story is about that. Afterwards, relating this plot point to a quote from Shakespeare’s AS YOU LIKE IT. In ACT-2, seeing the robotic Amelia as a Femme Fatale. As the plot thickens, out Host quotes a line from Rudyard Kipling’s poem "The Female of the Species." In ACT-3, after the tragic finale with a failed plan (SPOILER ALERT), E.G. Marshall could see this either as a fairy tale, a horror story, or as a warning. In my opinion, I'd call it a cautionary tale. Arthur Moore should’ve just made the female robot for himself and be happy with that type of female companionship for many years. In the Epilogue, E.G. Marshall concludes that Harry Wilkerson wasn’t prosecuted for killing a robot, but there’s a loophole that Arthur Moore’s blood was inside Amelia’s robotic body. That being said, there’s was no Resolution for the remaining character: Jarrell Thornton. Good narrations, but just like the storyline, it needs more exploring. Sound effects of footsteps, doors, background music at the fancy restaurant, doorbells, howling wind, telephone, romantic music, opening the ring box, church organ tunes, and the struggle with the knife were exceptional. The dramatic tunes they used were exquisite, particularly the last one at the end of ACT-2 where complications arise. Now onto our terrific cast: John Beal (as Arthur Moore), Marian Seldes (as Amelia Burke), Ralph Bell (as Harry Wilkerson), and Gordon Gould (as Jarrell Thornton). Even though the characters they played were unfulfilled from within, these 4 performers made them believable. Gordon Gould playing the caring friend, Ralph Bell playing the antagonist, John Beal playing the eager professor with a plan, and Marian Seldes playing the alluring robot. Anyone who is a fan of any of these 4 would enjoy this episode. BONUS: this episode has commercials from Unitarian Universalist Church, Otero Savings, and the Recovery Center. Also, the sneak preview you hear is a scene from #1066-YOU’RE GOING TO LIKE RODNEY. Until next time…pleasant dreams. =0)

Russell

I loved watching Care 54 Where Are You! On Nick @ Nite in the 80s. He was quoted as saying: "Voice work is the kindest thing that can happen to an old actor." (Though wasn't he a judge in "My cousin Vinny", long after the last RMT episode - think it was Mr. Gwynne's final role before he passed.)

Chris

Her thoughtful, often psychological themes can be profoundly moving for me.(I recognize that she is not everyone’s “cup of tea”. I have heard other listeners complain that it is not the standard fare of radio mystery theater. So be it..) “The Train Stops” is an exemplar. It explores the difficulty of a single father, a physician, raising a daughter who’s mother died in childbirth. It weaves into the story an empathetic station master, and the 5:16 train. (It doesn’t hurt that I have a deep nostalgia for when the USA had decent passenger service.) It is a poignant, if frustrating love story of the daughter. I often imagine that Elspeth Eric, one of my favorite authors of radio dramas, is often revealing some of her inner personal thoughts and struggles. My heart is still struggling with the themes presented.

David

I agree.. Her episodes remind me of some of the best Twilight Zones, very intelligent and thought provoking..

Ed

With appearances in over 70 films and television programs, Felicia Farr became well known as a staple of westerns, including the movies, Jubal, the Last Wagon and 3:10 to Yuma, and the television shows, Wagon Train and Bonanza. Incidentally, she was married to the well known actor Jack Lemmon from 1962 until his death in 2001.

Charlie

Lon Clark appeared in two Broadway productions and a small handful of films and television programs but it was radio that constituted the majority of his acting career. He appeared on dozens of different radio programs over a 30 year period included Lights Out and the Mysterious Traveler but he is best remembered for his portrayal of Nick Carter, Master Detective on the Mutual Network from 1943 through 1955.

Charlie

Len Cariou has appeared in 19 Broadway productions and is best remembered for his performances in Sweeney Todd. He has appeared in over 100 films and television shows and is currently seen in Blue Bloods, in which he has appeared in over 200 episodes.

Charlie

Just about to turn the age of 65. Seems like just yesterday that I was in my 20's and started my collection of the series on cassettes from our local radio station. It was new at the time. I listened to the show for hours. I then uploaded the whole series onto my laptop and now they are on my phone and tablet for portability. I especially listen to them in the evening. I can't get over how the series stands up to the test of time. I can listen to each show repeatedly. I also enjoy old radio shows that my parents used to listen to

Joyce

This show, more than any other, had a lot of shows about the occult and ESP. But, remembering the 70s, those were big themes. Those shows feel dated to me, but I still enjoy them all

Ruth

Joe Silver was best known for his deep, rich baritone voice, which was highly sought after for narration, voice over and radio work. He had a 40+ year career on radio, stage and screen with regular performances in numerous Broadway productions and appearances in over 80 films and television shows, including his work on the daytime soap operas, The Edge of Night and Ryan's Hope.

Charlie

James McCallion had a 40+ year career as an actor in radio. He had a number of appearances on Broadway and had over 100 appearances in film and television. In radio, he appeared in dozens of radio shows including the Cavalcade of America, the Mysterious Traveler, Broadway is My Beat and Yours Truly Johnny Dollar. His television appearances include Alfred Hitchcock presents, the Twilight Zone, the Outer Limits, the Invaders and Night Gallery. His film appearances include PT 109, Coogan's Bluff and the Alfred Hitchcock classic, North by Northwest.

Charlie

Tonight’s episode was “Ninety Lives” starring Fred Gwynne. He plays a short order cook in a greasy Spoon diner and ironically, his character’s name is...Muldoon. I didn’t notice any character in it named Tooty.

Ted

I loved watching Care 54 Where Are You! On Nick @ Nite in the 80s

Chris

I think Fred Gwynne was in 82 episodes. He was quoted as saying: "Voice work is the kindest thing that can happen to an old actor." (Though wasn't he a judge in "My cousin Vinny", long after the last RMT episode - think it was Mr. Gwynne's final role before he passed.)

Greg

Richard Mulligan had a 40+ year acting career, appearing in a number of Broadway productions and over 100 appearances in film and television. He is best remembered for his work in the TV sitcoms, Soap and Empty Nest. He also did voice acting work in a number of animated films and TV shows including Hey Arnold! and the Angry Beavers. His awards include 2 Emmys and a Golden Globe.

Charlie

I always liked him. I had no idea he was in some episodes!

Greg

One funny dude. I so loved him on SOAP when he would snap his fingers and wave his arms and pretend like he was invisible. My mom loved him too. She damn near peed her pants every time he did that.

Claud

Todd Davis had a 30+ year acting career and is best remembered for his work on the daytime soap operas, One Life to Live and General Hospital.

Charlie

Mary Orr wrote a number of published stories and plays, including the short story, The Wisdom of Eve which was the basis for the Academy Award winning film All About Eve. She acted in a dozen Broadway productions and produced plays with her husband, director-playwright Reginald Denham. She is remembered for her television appearances in Lights Out, Suspense and Alfred Hitchcock Presents.

Charlie

I rate this episode ★★★★☆ for GOOD. Another strange, yet fascinating tale by Ian Martin. In 1972, he wrote episode #0022-TIME AND AGAIN that involved a clock that needed blood. In this story, it’s a plant that needs blood. This was entertaining, but it felt like it was cut short because it all had to be wrapped up in a 1-hour episode. It would’ve been nice if there was a 4th Act so we get to know more about the vampire plant or hear the women in this story do their narrations on how they felt about their situations. This story would be great for a low-budget horror movie. The title is an eye-catcher. Another way to title this would be “Blood Red Blossoms” or “Night Of The Blood Seeker.” In our Host’s Prologue, E.G. Marshall begins with the classic expression of the Worm that turned. Meaning, this is a story about a meek character that gets pushed too far and eventually retaliates. In ACT-1, meet our main character Hubbart “Hubby” Quint: A Mama’s Boy. In ACT-2, his mother is out of the picture and he is free to be with the woman he loves, but he’s puzzled if his girlfriend’s mysterious plant was involved. Also, what do we know about his lover and was this part of her plan? In ACT-3, E.G. Marshall’s train of thought on plants that are named differently. In the end, where everything goes “up in smoke,” our Host knows that we think this story’s unbelievable. In his Epilogue, a satisfying Resolution, followed by the Latin phrase: “De mortise nil nice bonum” (Of the dead, say nothing but good). The sound effects of body tuckered in bed, typewriter, phone ringing, lamp switch, piano music in the background, ferry whistle, slow ballroom music, doorbell, coffee pouring, car engine, cups clinking, footsteps, tires screech, keys, doors, and massive explosion were supportive. Great selection of dramatic tunes, but too much of it being played in the final Act. More importantly, our cast: Robert Dryden (as Hubbart Quint), Joan Shay (as Birdie Quint and Ms. Bradley), Teri Keane (as Dolores Masterson), and Ian Martin (as Dr. Ezekiel Harwich and Mr. Bell). These 4 worked tremendously. I adored Teri Keane’s performance because she sounded kind-hearted and then sly to those that her character loved, whether human or plant. And Robert Dryden was excellent in his leading role. Anyone that’s interested in vampire tales, even if the vampires have no speaking roles, you should check this episode out and of course #0022-TIME AND AGAIN. Other vampire stories I recommend are #0301-NIGHTMARE’S NEST and #0081-SUNSET TO SUNRISE. Until next time…pleasant dreams. =0)

Russell

LOVED this progam, and yes, it did remind me of another Ian Martin joint, the excellent "Time and again", with John Beal in the role Robert Dryden does here. What made this episode was the music bed (if you can call it that) that I remember being used only in one other RMT episode: "The long, long sleep". I don't know how to rightfully describe this piece (used often when the plant is "doing its thing") except it seems like ghoulish little cries and echoes over a semi-percussive sound bed that evokes unseen tendrils reaching out and touching whatever they can find. When we had our gift store in Georgia (early 2000s) one work day in spring (after having discovered that episodes of the RMT were downloadable on platforms like Napster) I downloaded this show to one of our work computers and was playing it around 8:00 AM on a very sunny, pleasant morning. As of yet I was the only one in the office. When that music bed started my skin started crawling uncontrollably. I'll never forget that feeling.

Kurt

I rate this episode ★★★★☆ for GOOD. Nancy Moore’s story was predictable, but still enjoyable. Predictable because the hand of a killer, transplanted to another person, was going to create havoc again. Enjoyable because it’s interesting to see where this story is going to go and figure out how to solve the problem of a cursed hand. The episode’s title is suitable, but a better way to title this would be “The Hand Of Murder” or a funny pun like, “You Are Under A Wrist.” In our Host’s Prologue, E.G. Marshall focused on tales beyond logic, especially the supernatural. In ACT-1, the story is set at a University Hospital where a madman has killed 5 blonde nurses and one of our main characters tells the story. After suspicions occur, our Host does question if the antagonist still exists in a hand? In ACT-2, the killer’s hate spreads through the doctor’s body and the victim of this story must take drastic actions. In ACT-3, questioning more on the supernatural. More importantly, in the end, it all worked out. In his Epilogue, E.G. Marshall’s optimism on microsurgery techniques that could lead to future miracles. Our Host did a wonderful job in his narrations. The sound effects of doors, siren alarm whistle, footsteps, key lock, gun shots, bandage snips, car engine running, tires screech, the slap on the face, boat horn, and delicate music playing in the background at the dining room scene were helpful in this story. As for the music, good choice selection of dramatic tunes and suspenseful tunes, however, there was too much of it in the 3rd Act. The romantic track in the final scene was a nice touch, though. And finally, our cast: Russell Horton (as Dr. Daniel Crane and Jed Grant), Diana Kirkwood (as Nurse Laurel Blair and Zarina), and Mandel Kramer (as Dr. Stewart Courtney and the Waiter). Each of them got to play 2 roles in this and they worked perfectly together. I would say that this is a decent episode to check out. Also, if anyone is looking for more mystery episodes involving Hands, I recommend Ep. #0080-THE HAND (based on the story by Guy de Maupassant). Until next time…pleasant dreams. =0)

Russell

I rate this episode ★★★★★ for EXCELLENT. What’s great about this story, written by Ralph Goodman, is that it keeps you guessing if it’s supernatural or not. Even the ending was a big surprise. This kind of mystery would’ve been perfect if it was shown on THE NIGHT GALLERY. The episode’s title fits for this story. Another way to title this would be “Entering The 3rd Floor” or “The Locket.” In our Host’s Prologue, E.G. Marshall’s topic focuses on psychiatrists and a brief history of it in 1793. In ACT-1, meet our main character at the main location: Briarwood Sanitarium. As the story progresses with a mysterious voice, our Host questions to see if it’s making nightly visits to one particular patient. In ACT-2, an important reference to “The Malleus Maleficarum” (a.k.a. “The Hammer Of Withes”) that described the extermination of witches and demons. After a few turn of events in the story, including the murder of a patient, the doctor is convinced that his patient is not a murderer. In ACT-3, comparing the madness in this story with the madness from “Alice In Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll. After the burning finale, our Host explained what happened from the Police Report. Truly, a surprising clue that no one saw coming. In his Epilogue, E.G. Marshall finishes it off by questioning on Sanity and a quote by Carl Menger on his definition of “patient.” Excellent narrations from beginning to end. Sound effects of the thunderstorm, door latch, tableware clinking, tape recorder, door knocks, file folders, bell toll, footsteps, low howling wind, newspaper clippings, phone ringing, key lock, locket, car engine running, tires screech, police and fire sirens, and massive fire were helpful for this story. A lot of dramatic tunes were played in this tale and they worked well. Now onto our cast: Paul Hecht (as Doctor Paul Thurman), Marian Seldes (as Nurse Margaret Palmer), Joan Lovejoy (as Agatha Milford), and Ian Martin (as Detective Charles Connelly). Both of the actors were terrific. And both of the actresses were awesome! Joan Lovejoy, alone, was amazing in her role for playing a lonely patient and playing the mysterious voice that keeps that patient company. It’s one of Joan Lovejoy’s best performances on CBSRMT. Tune in to this if you enjoy mystery stories inside Sanitariums. SPECIAL BONUS: This episode has commercials/announcements of CBS Radio News, Greyhound services, Barbara Hale on the music from “The Bicentennial Album,” music from KIXI radio in Seattle, Budweiser, Wet Ones Hand Wipes, Mother Teresa on the Catholic Relief Services, Coffee Rich Creamer, US Dept. of Labor, Pat Summerall on True Value Hardware, the Mental Health Association, the 1976 Buick Century, the Leukemia Association, Aperitif Wine, Tunaverse, Howard Da Silva as Ben Franklin on Eyes, and Insurance Companies in phone books. Until next time…pleasant dreams.

Russell

I rate this episode ★★★★☆ for GOOD. Sam Dann wrote an intriguing mystery involving revenge and superstition. However, it felt cliché: a main character ignores the rules from the natives and her comrades, so she ends up being cursed to eat raw meat. Cliché to be some kind of She-wolf in horror films. It would be awesome if the Beast Goddess came to life and came across the woman for wearing one of her possessions and have a terrific battle in the final act-Mortal Vs. Goddess. The title is catchy, but another way to title this tale would be “The Agitated Curse” or “Raw Meat.” In our Host’s Prologue, E.G. Marshall mentions the names of certain women that created catastrophic things, which leads to our main character: Milly. In ACT-1, question to see if there’s a difference between man and beast and does the beast still exist within us? In ACT-2, after many conflicts in the jungle, our Host points out that knowledge abdicates in the face of the unknown terror of the jungle. In ACT-3, comparing this situation with a line from William Shakespeare’s HAMLET (from Act 1, Scene 5). After the happy ending, our Host reminds us that it’s best to have another course of action in reserve. And was Milly cured by superstition or medicine? In his Epilogue, E.G. Marshall states that the sign of the beast can happen at anytime and it appears much too often in today’s world. That maybe true, however, he forgot to mention a Resolution in this story. The happy ending was the Climax, but nothing to follow afterwards. Did Milly leave the jungle right away? Did her husband and her uncle continue to look for more artifacts? Did the natives continue to worship the Beast Goddess? A mystery we may never solve. Anyway, the cast in this was decent: Lois Smith (as Milly), Paul McGrath (as Larry and Dr. Bert Jorgenson), Tom Keene (as Kevin), and Dan Ocko (as Aymara). The actors played their parts well. Our leading actress was good, but I think she over did it when she hollered out her lines of raw meat. And if Lois Smith’s character was craving for meat, perhaps she could’ve growled and snarled to make it sound like she was becoming a beast. But Lois Smith did get better overtime in her roles in #0041-BLIZZARD OF TERROR and #0201-THE MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH. But my favorite parts in this episode, were the sound effects and the music. Sounds of the helicopter hovering, jungle noises, footsteps on the ground, gun shots, silverware clinking, tribal music, archaeological tools scraping, sizzling meat, and jungle leaves ruffling were super helpful and supportive. And the music had great suspenseful tracks that fit for a jungle story. Tune in to this one if you enjoy mysteries on jungles and curses. SPECIAL BONUS: This episode has commercials/announcements of CBS Radio News, Sine-Off tablets, the Heroin Addiction Hotline, letters to KIXI AM/FM in Seattle, Budweiser, Kellogg’s Special K cereal, the American Heart Association, and the song of “I’ll Be There.” Until next time…pleasant dreams.

Russell

I rate this episode ★★★★★ for EXCELLENT. This is, hands down, one the greatest Revenge stories in the CBSRMT series! Percy Granger’s Western tale had pure drama, clever tactics of retaliation, and it keeps you guessing on who the 3rd and Final person is that wronged our main character. The discovery is an eye-opener, but very compelling to understand why. The episode’s 1-word title is satisfactory. Other ways to title this would be “Hardness Of The Heart” or “The 3rd Victim” or even “The Oriental Principle.” In our Host’s Prologue, E.G. Marshall’s topic is about secrets to be kept when it comes to money. In ACT-1, the story takes place in Denver in the 1880’s and we get to meet the 1st antagonist. Once he’s gone at the end of the Act, E.G. Marshall mentions a part in the Bible where it’s compared to this event. In ACT-2, questioning on crime and punishment as we meet our 2nd antagonist. More importantly, save the best for last on who is the 3rd person. In ACT-3, note that the the best laid plans of men can go astray. After the realization of who the 3rd person was, our Host reminds us that life’s most precious possessions aren't materialism. It was love, trust, and salvation. In his Epilogue, E.G. Marshall leaves with a pondering thought on why a man acts against his better judgment? The answer is a mystery. Great detailed narrations, such as these, shouldn’t be forgotten. Sound effects of background noise at the Saloon, doors, doorbell dings, footsteps, howling wind, dog barking, birds cawing, playing cards, patrons murmuring, paper receipt, animal howling, paper money, gun shots, drinking glasses, and body thuds were very supportive in this. As for the music, great list of dramatic tracks. Not too suspenseful, not too old western-like, just perfect tunes that were fitting for a tale on revenge. Now for the grand finale, our outstanding cast: Gordon Heath (as Ben Thompson), Robert Dryden (as Jade Wanamaker and Herbert Beall), Leon Janney (as The Sheriff and Maxie), Bryna Raeburn (as Cabin Mary and Esther Wanamaker), and Gilbert Mack (as Clem McFarland). Leon Janney, Bryan Raeburn, and Gilbert Mack were great in their supporting roles. But Robert Dryden, playing 2 villains, was fantastic. As for Gordon Heath, he stole the show! His performance in this was dynamic as his performance in #0921-THE GREY SLAPPER. I highly recommend this episode to all that enjoy tales about revenge, especially when it takes place in the Old West. SPECIAL NOTE: If you listen to the next episode’s preview, it’s a scene from #0676-BOOMERANG. Until next time…pleasant dreams.

Russell

I rate this episode ★★★★☆ for GOOD. The variety of characters that James Agate, Jr. created were unique and splendid. The story, however, was slow and it got more interesting in the second half. The plot itself was eye-catching, felt like it was going to be a “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” tale. And when the leading lady in this story got her revenge on her husband, there’s no shocking twist at the end. Nor a mind-blowing surprise where someone ends up dead. It would make more sense if the character, Henrietta, narrated the story on how she got her revenge, since the title is catchy. Another way to title this episode would be “Plot, Plan, And Punish.” In our Host’s Prologue, E.G. Marshall’s topic is about Revenge. In ACT-1, we’ll meet 2 of our main characters; one successful lady and the other is a man who's a born loser. In ACT-2, after noticing the dilemmas of love and money, the question remains: how far Henrietta will put up with her husband? In ACT-3, E.G. Marshall quotes a Shakespeare line from Silvius from AS YOU LIKE IT about stupidity within love. In the end, our antagonist gets caught. In his Epilogue, E.G. Marshall finishes it off with 2 quotes from William Congreve that relate to the heroine and the villain. His narrations were good. All that was missing was the Resolution. We know that the Climax is that our main antagonist will be punished, but what happens to our leading lady? Does she get an annulment? Does she get her money back? Do the other characters get married? Is there a promotion for them? Does our leading lady find someone knew to marry? So many questions and we may never know what the outcome will be for the remaining characters. Sound effects of the roulette table, casino players murmuring, doors, bouquet of flowers, telephones, typewriter, seagulls, ice cubes, fog horn, crystal glasses clinking and breaking, the slap (at the 30-minute 30-second mark), footsteps, and the background noise at the airport, were great. What’s even greater, was the variety of music. A variety of tunes that were sentimental, chilling, delicate, suspenseful, and even adding tracks from THE TWILIGHT ZONE series were terrific. And finally, our cast: Patricia Elliott (as Henrietta Tufts), Joyce Gordon (as Jill Kramer), Robert Kaliban (as Fritz and Tom Hayward), and Mandel Kramer (as Sergio Varese and Carl Eaton). SPECIAL NOTE: Himan Brown was the voice of the Cruise Ship P.A. system and the voice of Captain Connolly. Both Mandel Kramer and Robert Kaliban did wonderful on their roles. As for Patricia Elliott and Joyce Gordon, these 2 were amazing for playing characters that were classy, sharp-witted, and proficient in their line of work. A decent Drama-Mystery. ANOTHER SPECIAL NOTE: If you listen to the next episode’s preview, it’s a scene from #1245-THE JUDGE’S HOUSE. Until next time…pleasant dreams.

Russell

I rate this episode ★★★★☆ for GOOD. James Agate, Jr. wrote intriguing adaptions for CBSRMT, such as #0958-SHADOWS FROM THE GRAVE from Wilkie Collins and #1107-THE MYSTERIOUS HANGING OF SQUIRE HUGGINS from Nathaniel Hawthorne. But this story, from T.L. Neuger, is a mystery of its own. Hardly any information on who T.L. Neuger was or when this story was originally published. All that we know, is that “Romany” is the Gypsy language. As for the crime solver in this tale, Detective Dwight Mason was OK, but not as momentous like Professor Augustus S.F.X. Van Dusen, Hercule Poirot, or Sherlock Holmes. A suitable whodunnit story, but another way to title this would be “The Hunch” or even “Enmity Of The Gypsy.” In our Host’s Prologue, E.G. Marshall’s topic is about Gypsies and how they live by their own code. In ACT-1, enmity comes into play and people can solve crimes without being a professional detective. In ACT-2, quoting a Roman Dramatist on how a fortune can make men do evil acts. Later, questions come about on who’s the real culprit. In ACT-3, learn more about Gypsies on their ethical code. After the case has been solved, E.G. Marshall quotes the Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes on Gypsies. In his Epilogue, it ends on the topic of Revenge. From Gypsies, to Enmity, to quotations, to revenge, our Host’s narrations were very informative. Sound effects of boat horns, howling wind, doors, doorbells, traffic city noise, car engines, telephones, elevator lift humming, body thud, beeps at the Hospital, background noise at the Airport, footsteps, pushing the skylight, and gypsy dance music were accommodating. Dramatic music tunes played in all 3 Acts were supportive to the story’s tone. Now for our wonderful cast: Court Benson (as Detective Dwight Mason), Earl Hammond (as William Harrow, Luis Ortega, and Jose Silva/Raoul), and Bryna Raeburn (as Madame Magda and Beatrice Harrow). SPECIAL NOTE: Himan Brown played the role of Dr. Grace. Bryna Reburn, playing the talkative Gypsy, was splendid. Earl Hammond pulled it off with his multiple roles. And Court Benson played a decent detective. Great cast, terrific sounds, informative narrations, but the story needed a good punch; a bigger drive to captivate the CBSRMT listeners. Other than that, it’s a good Drama-Mystery. Until next time…pleasant dreams.

Russell

I rate this episode ★★★★☆ for GOOD. G. Frederick Lewis’ adaptation of Guy de Maupassant’s 1883 short story of “A Piece Of String” was simple to follow. A Drama-Mystery where the main character was accused of a crime that he did not commit and died in the end with a damaged heart. However, this episode took place in the 20th Century. And Guy de Maupassant’s original story took place in the 19th Century of Goderville, France. But the ironic twist was in the story, though. Episode’s title is good, but another way to title it would be “Too Honest To Be A Criminal” or “The Art Of Retaliation.” In our Host’s Prologue, E.G. Marshall starts right off with mentioning Guy De Maupassant’s name. In ACT-1, story begins with 2 characters: Peter and Harry at San Francisco’s Embarcadero Pier 24. After listening to his back story of a missing possession, it’s a battle between guiltiness and innocence. Inner Voice VS. Outer Truth. In ACT-2, our Host quotes a line from Iago in William Shakespeare’s OTHELLO about robbing someone of their good name. Later, evidence against our main character was overwhelming and disobedience in court could send him behind bars. In ACT-3, pointing out that Anger & Bitterness make an ugly brew. More than that, a quote from Shylock from THE MERCHANT OF VENICE about villainy. In the end, the irony is that our main character died before he got to live. In his Epilogue, E.G. Marshall concludes on how revenge was indeed sweet just for Harry the fisherman. These narrations he gave us were informative and compelling to the story. Sound effects of buoys, boat horns, water waves, howling wind, background noise at the Health Club, footsteps, passkeys, lockers, doors, bell tolls, dialing of rotary phone, murmurs in the court room, gavel bang, store bell ring, and newspaper pages were significant and critical to this story. A variety of dramatic music tracks were played as they helped during the storyline. And finally, our cast: Mandel Kramer (as Peter), Lloyd Battista (as Bill Roberts and Oscar), Robert Dryden (as Harry and Leo Mantell), and William Griffis (as Charlie Clairborne and Milton’s Nephew). SPECIAL NOTE: Himan Brown played the role of Milton: The Pawn Broker. The actors were tremendous on their parts, particularly William Griffis for playing a villain that everyone would love to hate and Mandel Kramer who is terrific for playing characters that act clever and anxious throughout the episodes. I do recommend this episode for everyone to check out. And check out the original story by Guy de Maupassant. SPECIAL BONUS: The episode features a commercial of Golden State Warrior Rick Barry talking about Cancer Chemotherapy. Until next time…pleasant dreams.

Russell

I rate this episode ★★★★☆ for GOOD. “Amusing” would be the word to describe Sam Dann’s mystery story featuring Samuel Clemens a.k.a. Mark Twain. This is the kind of story that would be suitable for a TWILIGHT ZONE episode with funny elements of the writer’s block process. As much as I wanted to rate this 5 stars for EXCELLENT, the story was kind of far-fetched. A writer being obsessed with his character ’s life is one thing. But seeing his character come to reality and being obsessed with his creator on how he wants to live, is another. Also, the title doesn’t make sense since the characters in this story actually wrote it with just a typewriter, instead of handwritten on paper. The title should be called “Be Good To Everyone You Write.” In our Host’s Prologue, E.G. Marshall begins with a philosophical point that life is a journey. In ACT-1, understand what writers talk about. Once our main character meets the fictional character that refuses to die, our Host quotes a line from HAMLET (Act 1, Scene 5) that matches this dilemma. In ACT-2, quoting Joyce Kilmer. As the story progresses with a different approach, further developments will come shortly. In ACT-3, the difference between an architect and a writer when they create their art on paper. After the finale, our Host talks about Limbo and how many are in it. In his Epilogue, E.G. Marshall questions if the writer’s characters rise up to overwhelm them. But also, understand that some writers have difficulties when controlling their fancies. The narrations that he gave us were philosophical and unforgettable. The sound effects of the sheet of paper, typewriter, phone ringing, chair leg scraping, background music at the saloon, doors, crickets, footsteps, Ragtime music, dancers murmuring, short applause, gun shots, body thud, and character crowd murmuring were all splendid. The dramatic music was a nice touch. Not suspenseful, nor frightening. But a variety of good tunes that fit the characters’ emotions. Now onto our cast: Norman Rose (as Samuel Clemens a.k.a. Mark Twain), Robert Dryden (as Dudley Everett and Harry Barnes), Evie Juster (as Martha Loomis and Martha’s Mother), and Kristoffer Tabori (as Tom Ditson and The Prosecutor). SPECIAL NOTE: Himan Brown plays the role of Martha’s Uncle. Our cast was great, particularly Norman Rose and Robert Dryden. My favorite part of Norman Rose’s performance was in the 3rd Act when he amplifies the word, “Reprieve” with a different tone. It was eccentric, yet funny. This episode is enjoyable and worth listening to. Until next time…pleasant dreams.

Russell

I rate this episode ★★★☆☆ for AVERAGE. I’ll review what I enjoyed the most first and then finish off what I disliked. First, I enjoyed the cast: Kevin McCarthy (as William Gillette/Sherlock Holmes), Jada Rowland (as Pamela Watson), Russell Horton (as Jim Watson), and Carol Teitel (as the Tour Guide and Mrs. Hudson). Carol Teitel was terrific in her 2 roles. Jada Rowland is my favorite actress in the CBSRMT series and having her partner up with Russell Horton again, like many episodes before, was delightful. And Kevin McCarthy was entertaining, just like his performance as Sherlock Holmes in previous episodes before this one. Next up, music and sound effects. Dozens of dramatic tunes were used, but no suspenseful or chilling tracks were used to match the feel of being trapped in a castle. Sound effects of car engine running, tires screech, footsteps, tourists murmuring, sliding doors, cat meowing, howling wind, gong, lamp breaking, doors, cane hitting clothing, gun shot, tapping of the phone, drawing the curtains, carriage rolling up, pouring of drinking glasses, and doorbell were very supportive in this tale. Next is our Host and his narrations. E.G. Marshall’s Prologue focused on castles and our story takes place at a castle in New England. In ACT-1, meet Jim & Pamela Watson where one of them is a Sherlock Holmes buff. In ACT-2, knowing so little about William Gillette’s career and we get a sense that some actors like him can go too far to create an illusion of reality. In ACT-3, after the strange turn of events, our Host’s only explanation to the Climax is to mention a quote from a playwright about the 6th sense of the Imagination. In his Epilogue, he recommends CBSRMT listeners to take a tour of the Gillette Castle itself in Connecticut. Good recommendation, but no Resolution explained on what happened to our characters afterwards. And so, it comes down to the final segment: the Script. Elizabeth Pennell has written decent drama mysteries and even did the adaptations of #0605-JANE EYRE and #0643-WUTHERING HEIGHTS. But this story was Fair. So-so, I should say. I was expecting it to be a haunting mystery about a haunted castle with the Sherlock Holmes references. But instead, this story’s turn of events created massive questions to think about. Like, how did the Jim & Pamela Watson hear about this castle? Was Mrs. Hudson going through nightmare problems? Was William Gillette really dead? Was he putting on a show for his guest just so he can play Sherlock Holmes for fun? Did these 2 tourists actually travel back in time? Was the castle actually haunted? Was it really a nightmare? Was anything resolved after Jim & Pamela Watson escaped from the castle? There are so many fill-in-the-blanks in this, the episode’s title should be changed and call it “A Bad Case Of The Jitters” or “Elementary, My Dear Guests.” Tune in to this, if you like. There are better castle stories in the CBSRMT vault. SPECIAL BONUS: This episode has commercials of AMEX travelers checks, Bob Armstrong’s Diamond Center, “The Ritual” novel, CBS-News, First Federal of Gary, Radio Advertising Bureau, Jewel’s Discount Grocery Store, CBS-Sports News in Chicago, CBS-News on Election 1980, Susan Anton for Serta Sleeper Mattresses, and Smokey Bear Program. Until next time…pleasant dreams.

Russ

I rate this episode ★★★★★ for EXCELLENT. I'd think that Robert Barr would have been pleased of the adaptation of this by James Agate, Jr. It has intricate clues, it has peculiar motives, and it has a surprising twist in the end. And above all, it has a great detective in this: Eugène Valmont. Robert Barr’s character ranks up with Jacques Futrelle’s Professor Augustus S.F.X. Van Dusen and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes. Another way to title this story would be “A Case Of Interest” or even “The Parisian Detective.” In our Host’s Prologue, E.G. Marshall starts it off by comparing one of the characters as a “Scrooge.” In ACT-1, the bloodline of the James Dudley Hills on their fortunes. As the plot thickens, we realize that not all clues were divulged in the first Act alone. In ACT-2, questions pop up. More importantly, they see the evidence clearly, but not recognize it. In ACT-3, quoting Sir Francis Bacon about suspicions and our main detective plays a waiting game. In the end, after discovering where the loot was hiding all along and discovering who else was related to the family, we learned a private post-mortem joke that money would bring out the worst in those with the least character. In his Epilogue, E.G. Marshall finishes it off with the comparison of the Midas myth - great wealth does not equal great happiness. Outstanding narrations. Sound effects of bells, footsteps, background noise at the police station, phone receiving line, seals, patrons murmuring, paper note, newspapers, doors, dog wincing, phone ringing, paper bills, intercom buzzer, emergency sirens, pulling off wallpaper were terrific. As for the music, great selection of dramatic tunes that moved the story forward. And let us not forget our amazing cast: Norman Rose (as Eugène Valmont), Russell Horton (as James Dudley Hill III and Inspector Graves), and Robert Dryden (as James Dudley Hill, Jr. and Elijah Browning). These 3 worked well together. Norman Rose, performing with a French accent, was very entertaining. This is one mystery story that CBSRMT fans should not pass up on. Until next time…pleasant dreams.

Russ

I rate this episode ★★★★☆ for GOOD. I admire Murray Burnett’s work, particularly his adaptions of the Sherlock Holmes stories. But the story originally from Edith Wharton was better. The novelist’s ghost story had a Narrator without a name. In Murray Burnett’s version, we got a fashion designer that’s interested in the castle while the other male characters act persuasive and vulnerable. I was more interested in the mystery of the dogs and hope that they would play a bigger part to this tale. Other ways to title this would be “Dogs Of Kerfol” or “Strange Vendetta.” In our Host’s Prologue, that I had to find on other OTR websites, E.G. Marshall’s topic is about castles with ghosts. In ACT-1, meet our main character who’s interested in buying a castle. After digging into the story within the story, our Host points out the lifestyle differences of adultery from 2 different time periods. Our main character must’ve seen dogs or ghost dogs. After too many conflicts about pets getting killed in this story, E.G. Marshall mentions ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). Was E.G. Marshall trying to advertise this non-profit organization into the episode? In ACT-3, he understands the reaction that our main character felt when reading the history book. When the story was over, E.G. Marshall stated that when he talked about this story to a psychiatrist and what was his take on this? Was E.G. Marshall talking about his personal life on this? Or was this something that Murray Burnett wrote for him? What’s even weirder, is the Epilogue. E.G. Marshall tells the world’s shortest horror story ever. It’s a classic, but it’s irrelevant to this particular story. E.G. Marshall wasn’t off topic with his narrations, but he could’ve saved the ASPCA mentioning, the psychiatrist moment, and the shortest horror story for other episodes. The music was OK, but the tunes for the chilling moments kept on repeating in every Act. Sound effects of birds chirping, bell ring, iron gate squeaking, footsteps, car tires screech, jewelry case, door knocking, howling wind, violin music, and unbolting the door were good. And of course, the sounds of dogs barking were helpful. And finally, our cast: Mercedes McCambridge (as Paula Randall and Anne de Cornault), William Redfield (as Herve de Lanrivain and Andre de Lanrivain), Ian Martin (as Baron Yves de Cornault), and Guy Sorel (as the Judge and the Gypsy). I like this choice of cast members. In fact, this was my favorite part of the episode. All of the actors were great. But it was Mercedes McCambridge, our leading lady, who was superb. Her performance in this reminds me of her performance in Ep. #0318-CARMILLA where she played 2 roles: The Narrator and the Woman who dealt with death. Fans of her would enjoy this episode. Check this one out, but also check out Edith Wharton’s original ghost story. Until next time…pleasant dreams.

Russ


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