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Markheim: Man or Monster?


Karl Markheim is the ultimate anti-hero as he manipulates and swindles everyone around him to get his ends. He is left out from the will of his rich uncle and decides to torture his wife and her father for money, blithely unaware of the strange figure who witnesses all from behind a mirror.



Air Dates

  • First Run - May 23, 1975
  • Repeat - September 9, 1975
  • Repeat - August 19, 1979





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8 Responses to Episode 0279

Karl MArkheim is the embodiment of evil, manipulating and conning thosearound him. Denied his inheritance from his uncle, he sets out to exploit his wife and father-in-law for their money. All the while, a mysterious figure watches him from behind the mirror.

Bing C.

I recognized the name from the title of the Robert Louis Stevenson story "Markheim". This adaptation, starring Kevin McCarthy, is one of the better I've heard. CBSRMT adaptations of short stories usually add a great deal of business in the form of mediocre soap opera and manage to lose the point of the original. In this case the expansion is quite reasonable and maintains the thrust of the original while providing McCarthy with the opportunity for some wonderful dialog... Karl Markheim is an evil character who sets out to have a grand time while doing the maximum harm to those around him. Behind a facade of decency he works toward his stated intention to commit all seven deadly sins and break all ten commandments... But there is a mysterious figure which keeps appearing to him in mirrors. Very good.

Mr. Enverga

This one opens up in a different fashion than the other CBSRMTs. Remember how at the beginning there would be an audio excerpt from somewhere within the show before E.G. would say: "Our mystery drama..." In this case the excerpt serves to start out the show. Karl Markheim is an evil man, so evil he's pretty much an over-the-top caricature. In this excerpt, he's celebrating the death of his great uncle "The bishop", who stands between him and a fortune he thinks he'll inherit. He vows to break every one of the ten commandments and indulge in every one of the seven deadly sins. He proceeds in this show to do just that, fueled by the anger that his uncle left the bulk of his fortune to his church. He descends into depravity, and whenever he passes a mirror becomes accustomed to the image of Satan behind his shoulder (that only he can see) who constantly and silently taunts him. This one has a somewhat interesting ending, much like "The hands of Mrs. Mallory".

Leonardo Tobias

The son of a wealthy bishop is certain he will inherit his father’s fortune as he goes to the reading of the will. He does not have the same convictions as his father and is anxious to get hold of the money so he can then embark on a personal project: to break every commandment and indulge in all of the deadly sins. When he finds he has been cut out of the will, he is furious and searches for other ways to indulge his evil pursuits.


Suggested by the Robert Louis Stevenson classic.


I found this an interesting tale. I especially liked the end where he asks himself, after all the evil he had done, whether or not to ask for help from the devil. I thought the answer for his character pretty certain.


I enjoyed this because it reminded me of the Everyman plays from the Middle Ages. I am a fan of RLS but have yet to read the story. Usually stories of such characters bother me but the absolute depravity of this character is a very strong element in developing an archetype and it is done extremely well here.


I think I've bypassed this episode twice because I couldn't get into it (or maybe fell asleep near the beginning). I kept picturing a young John DeLancie as Markeim. I felt a little lost in the first 2 acts, but everything tied together well at the end. Probably worth a second listen. The story gets very disturbing at times; the guy goes from angry & bitter to sardonic to sociopath to psychopath. This story may be worth a modern reboot, with Christian Bale as Markheim.


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