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Must Hope Perish


A senator who is running for president believes that the country's leading dissident is trying to get his point across through poetry despite never having been formally introduced.



Air Dates

  • First Run - February 20, 1975
  • Repeat - May 10, 1975





65     29

15 Responses to Episode 0226

Senator Marvin Hail Prentice (MHP) thinks he’s being communicated with, by the mysterious writer V.K. Krestin (a nom de plume). Is it ESP, thought, mind control, psychic communication??? Or rather perhaps mere coincidence leading to an unlikely love story between a senator and an underground political writer from The Republic of Doriage. Starring: Hugh Marlowe, Marion Seldes, Ian Martin, Evie Juster, and Robert Dryden. Written by Sam Dann. Note: Must Hope Perish (MHP) Good cast... OK story... good sound quality... hosted by H. Brown.


E. G. Marshall was the host.


A US Senator sparks his career when he takes a philosophical stance on trade negotiations with a small nation ruled by a tyrannical dictator. He is more altruistic and really does stand n principle despite his handler's recommendations to guard against the ruin of his political career. he believes he is being contacted covertly by a poet from the tiny nation who is being persecuted in her country for writing subversive poetry. The poet it arrested by her government and forced to contact the Senator in an effort to change his position on the trade negotiations. This episode rates


Pretty salty storyline with a few L's We need more poets today


This was a pretty good story considering the slight supernatural element (psychic communication). I appreciated the story saying the senator should follow party lines on things as that's (unfortunately) how many votes go these days. It would be nice if elected officials actually voted on things based on their constituents wishes rather than party lines (or even along their own morality lines if it's that type of issue and they state it as such), but that's a Utopia we'll never see on earth.


I rate this episode ★★★★★ for EXCELLENT. I really enjoyed this mystery story by Sam Dann. Here we have a political drama about a U.S. Senator receiving secret messages in poems written by a mysterious poet, they fall in love, controversy erupts, vengeance is played out, and love stays with one of them in the end. It’s not a political thriller, but it is a suspenseful tale where romance comes into play in the game of politics. The episode’s title is appealing. Other ways to title this would be “The Code Of Poetry” or “A Romantic Revolutionary” or “Seeking, Searching, Hoping.” In our Host’s Prologue, E.G. Marshall begins creatively by saying, “Welcome aboard on a train…a train of thoughts.” In ACT-1, we meet our main character: a Senator dealing with the Peoples Republic of Doriaj. After the first conflict, our Host points out that business should always come first. In ACT-2, the Senator does think that the poetic messages are written specifically for him. After meeting his mysterious poet and falls in love with her and plans to give up everything for her, our Host points out that Men have given up the world all for love. Question is, what happened to them afterwards? In ACT-3, it is clear that the Senator & the Underground Poet are attractive to each other. In the finale, the antagonist is dead, so is the poet (SPOILER ALERT), but the Senator lives on. In his Epilogue, E.G. Marshall contemplates on the meaning of “Must Hope Perish,” especially when silent voices are calling for help. Narrations such as these are captivating for those that want to understand poetry deeper. Sound effects of TV set, telephones, tableware clinking, piano playing at the restaurant, doors, the writing, paper crumbling, footsteps, unlocking metal gates, romantic music in the background, birds chirping, gun shots, and body thud were super supportive! Music tunes that they used were dramatic, suspenseful, and intensifying! Finally, our cast: Hugh Marlowe (as U.S. Senator Marvin Hale Prentiss), Marian Seldes (as Valerie Katherine Krestin), Ian Martin (as Pop and Major Turner), Evie Juster (As Dolly and Hera Colossal), and Robert Dryden (as Celeste and Dr. Starik). Big props to Ian Martin, Evie Juster, and Robert Dryden on their roles. But major props to Marian Seldes & Hugh Marlowe. These 2, playing characters from opposite lifestyles and built chemistry, worked well together. It’s a shame that Hugh Marlowe didn’t do a lot of episodes for CBSRMT. He did this one and #0398-FIREBALL. Tune in to this mystery tale if you are down for a political drama involving poetry and romance. Until next time…pleasant dreams.


When I was a youngster, I used to listen to Mystery Theater in my bedroom on a clock radio. I had 2 twin beds in my room. My mother would come in, help me with my homework, then she would sprawl out on the other bed, and we would listen to the show. Today, as I type this, my mother lives with me. They turned her cable tv off, because she is going with another service. I do not watch television anymore. She is bored. I asked her if she wanted me to play Mystery Theater. She did. I chose Stephanie's Room. She is on her bed in her room, I am in my room, our doors are open, and she is listening with me; just like she did 40 years ago!!! The clock radio has upgraded to a computer. The cassette tapes have upgraded to websites. However, it still feels exactly the same!


Love it!


I used to listen to the show, every Sunday night on a transistor radio. It had an "earphone" jack, the same rca plugs they use today, but strangely, in the 1970s, it was far more common to have a singular plug speaker, just for one ear. Now I listen to CBSRMT online on my phone as I go to sleep. Though I have been tempted to plug in some headphones, listening to my tiny (and tinny) phone speaker is eerily similar to the ear plug experience I enjoyed as a kid.


When I can catch it online I especially love hanging around after the show to listen to the news reports that came on afterwards. Such nostalgia.


I listen to it every night as I go to sleep just like in the 70’s. I totally relate to your nostalgia!


I listened with my mom too. I said I have something I want you to listen to. As soon as those first notes came in her face lit up, "mystery theater!" she shouted. It was pretty cool. BTW...she's 95.


I used to listen on a transistor radio with an earpiece, late at night, in bed. Today, I listen with earbuds on my smartphone late at night, in bed. I'm a kid all over again.


My dad turned me on to RMT when I was a kid, too. When you mentioned the clock radio... man, that took me back in time. Although we don’t listen to it together we do talk about it from time to time.


40 years ago because I pretty much listened by myself in my room. However, I have introduced my wife to these shows. She is significantly younger than I am and did not grow up with them. So our favorite time for listening to them is when we are making long drives at night. We put the shows on our radio in the car and listen together and enjoy them


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