CBSRMT Episode Information Next Episode


Three Women


A writer is pressed by his publisher to alter the ending of his book in order to take fuller advantage of the character of his heroine. The writer hesitates with the premonition that the character crafted by him might actually be alive



Air Dates

  • First Run - January 28, 1974
  • Repeat - January 7, 1979





222     54

11 Responses to Episode 0023

Not the ending I predicted: I thought that after the new pages were published, the character would become a real woman. Not a bad episode. Kind of Twilight Zone-y. Drama; questioned supernatural elements.


Really weird story about a married guy who writes a novel in which the main character, a woman named Clarissa, dies at the end. A man offering to publish the book says he'll do it only under the condition that the writer re-do the final 10 pages and let her live. But the writer refuses, because he's hopelessly in love with the character and believes the only way to stop her from ruining his marriage is to kill her. Clarissa, however, agrees with the publisher. Yep, this figment of imagination can talk, at least in the writer's head, anyway. On one level, this story is so stupid and silly. But on another, it's enjoyable mystery/fantasy, as long as you suspend all logic. I fall to the latter, and put it in the top three I've listened to so far.


The trope about characters in a story coming to life is something that I've seen in other horror fiction--and in plays such as Pirandello's "Six Characters in Search of an Author." It was impossible trying to decide if the fictional character here was merely a figment of the imagination or real--obviously, she outlives the writer. And, she murders him, but it is mostly out of desperation and fear for her own life. I don't think that the writer intended for her to be a sympathetic character, but I did have a modicum of sympathy for her. And the jealousy of the author when the idea of the ghost writer falling in love with Clarissa and her having his baby is priceless!


I love Ms. Eric's writing style and she portrays her characters well. I imagine Clarissa was as beautiful as Ms. Eric. I would be truly disappointed if her disposition towards love was as self-centered as Clarissa's. Merely gazing into eyes of Ms. Eric, I could imagine the deep seated feelings in that compassionate gentleman wtiter's soul. Loosing his ideal woman with blinders on, he was blind-sided by her own character flaw, not loving anyone other than herself. Clarissa and some other man having his baby, engulfed him so, it kept him from the joy of raising his own flesh and blood. There would have been no success in a sequel, after all. The essence of Clarissa would have killed her off the pages preventing motherhood of any paper child at all.


Interesting ghost story, as it seems to me. More interesting was that the ghost got killed off at the end, almost accelerated by her own "hand".


The main character - the writer - was excellent. He sounded tormented. The whole cast really did a good job especially since the script was rather repetitive. Also the ghost scream at the end was a fantastic touch. This not the type of story I would pick, nevertheless I enjoyed it. Full complement of news and adverts help! I need a 5.5% interest savings account!


"Lie if you like, but don't believe your own lies."


An interesting story, not quite a ghost story or is it? Was Stephen's accident really an accident or a means for Clarissa to live? Not a bad storyline and enjoyable.


I rate this episode ★★★★☆ for GOOD. Here’s what I enjoyed the most in this. The cast: Ruth Ford (as Loretta Lake), George Petrie (as Steven Lake), Elspeth Eric (as Loretta’s Mother), Joan Loring (as Clarissa), and Roger DeKoven (as Albert Higgins). I’d give props to George Petrie for playing the creative writer and his obsession with love, both for his wife and his fictional character that was at the border between living and dying. And major props to Joan Loring with her tender and delicate voice that would make anyone fall in love with Clarissa. I adore her performance, just as much as I adored her role in #0053-CREATURE FROM THE SWAMP. There was a lot dramatic music in this, but very effective with a dose of supernatural tunes added. Sound effects of howling wind, doors, typewriter, sliding of the trap door, poking a Franklin stove, footsteps, dialing rotary phone, tableware clinking, pages, and fire crackling were helpful in this. Now there are 2 reasons why I rate this 4 out of 5. First up, our Host. E.G. Marshall brings up the topic of writers and books. The purpose of reading a book and what is it to write a book. In ACT-1, introduce our main character: a writer named Steven Lake that wants his character dead even though he loves her. In ACT-2, he quoted an unknown American Writer about novelists and what they are. Question is, who really said that? After the main character goes in circles deciding whether or not to do an evil act of killing off his character from a book, E.G. Marshall asks what is evil. In ACT-3, our Host expresses compassion about the novelist who is poor, alone with his thoughts, and his only companion is a typewriter. After the finale, there are 2 possible morals to this story. In my opinion, the moral would be, is to not let your imagination run wild. Or in this particular case, don’t let your imaginary characters seduce you. In his Epilogue, jumping from one topic to another. From youth, to fame, to money, to health, to love, and to imagination. I figured there would be a Resolution to this tale, such as knowing the book got published, the creative writer’s remaining family got financially secured, and Clarissa would live a life of her own. Now comes the 2nd reason: the Script. Elspeth Eric wrote a fascinating story where a creative writer is stuck in a love triangle. He’s loved by his pregnant wife Loretta Lake and by his fictional character Clarissa. What I find mysterious about this tale, are the missing details about Clarissa. If she’s the most attractive and most important character in the writer’s book, what is she like? What does her physical appearance look like? More importantly, what is the book about anyway? There were no details on what Steven Lake was writing about, nor any description on how Clarissa came to be. If only there was a 4th Act in this episode and Elspeth Eric would have more info about Clarissa, perhaps even meet Loretta Lake face-to-face and explain how much she loves Steven Lake. The title of this episode is OK, but a better title would be “A Writer’s Block” or “The Last Ten Pages Of Clarissa.” All in all, it’s an entertaining episode, especially if you enjoy mystery stories about writers become infatuated by characters they create. Until next time…pleasant dreams.


I was just as happy to see our neurotic protagonist killed off as much as any idiot screaming girl in classic horror flicks! Good gawd how annoying!😂

Jim K.

This started out okay, but grew quite tedious. Another that was way too thin a premise to sustain an hour's worth of drama. Could have worked in 15-20 minutes, but not a full (nearly) hour. It's tough when the writer of EG's closing narration can't actually come up with a moral. (Although I do salute Chekhov's stove.)


Leave a comment