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Fallen Angel


A manic-depressive artist is blessed with an angelic muse that inspires him to greatness. However, he falls into alcoholism in the wake of her absence. When he gets into a fight during one of his episodes, he is confined in a sanatorium and unwittingly discovers that his angel has been replaced by another.



Air Dates

  • First Run - June 9, 1975
  • Repeat - October 5, 1975





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12 Responses to Episode 0288

A writer believes his muse is an angel sent to him directly from God to bless him with talent. when his angel leaves him from time to time, he is prone to binge drinking. During a binge, he gets in a fight and is confined to a mental hospital. While there, he learns that his angel has been replaced.

Ricky Reed

A successful writer turns to the bottle when his muse, or angel, leaves him. His regular bartender looks after him, and his adoring wife panders to his 'genius' and eccentricities. During this particular writing block, he assaults a man and is committed to a sanitarium. Will he find his muse again?

Mr. Bolaton

Sort of an odd story. EG says up front "I'm going to ask a question for which I know there will be no answer," and that sets the tone. Man loses muse, drinks, gets in a fight, gets committed to an asylum, etc. I was shocked at the entry of the word "homosexual" into the CBSRMT lexicon. Jack Grimes plays a character who gets into a fight with the protagonist and who later casually lets drop that he's a homosexual, but that he wasn't coming on to the protagonist, he just wanted to meet him because he admired his writing and wanted to pick up a few tips. Later, after talking to the protagonist, Grimes' character asks him, when he meets "someone like me", to not be afraid. "What's to be afraid of?" the writer wonders. This was 1975. Stonewall was only six years prior, and the first gay Americans had been elected to public office just the year before. To have a gay character show up, appropos of nothing in the story, and give a little tolerance lesson, on a major broadcast network, was pretty surprising, at least to me.

Chuck B

I was born June 3 1975 and this aired the next day. The strange part is that the protagonist of this story is so similar to me. I am currently seeing a psychiatrist for bipolar disorder. When I am manic I feel like a genius and have "revelations". I habe been a writer ever since I was a child and today I started my first attempt at writing a short story. Weird🐝©...

The richsloth

And I abused alcohol for 25 years when I finally quit.

The richsloth

This was an okay listen and reminded me of what I read about Douglas Adams (Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy as probably his best known work). I won't go into detail about him, but for this story I thought it interesting at the end how the doctor may have heard/glimpsed the muse as well. I thought the part about the guy explaining he was a homosexual didn't really do anything for the story and wasn't necessary. Perhaps for the time it was aired it may have had more meaning than now. Ironically when I went to leave a comment my pitiful muse left me as well and I stared at the screen for a while before I wrote this.


Don't know why I struggled to hear this out to the end. Really bleak story with even the protagonist delivering his lines like a wet blanket. My advice is if you are listening to Mystery Theater for the very first time, avoid this episode like the plague, you would never want to listen to another one, which is a shame since there were very good stories just a dozen episodes ago. This week there must have been a shortfall in good stories since they accepted anything available.


A wonderful performance by Ralph Bell! I love how he portrays a mentally ill man and his tone inflections are spot on, especially when he talks about his "angel." One gets the feeling he is truly disturbed, and one is able to feel sorry for him. I thought it was unfair for his so-called friend to desert him just because he wrote some obscene thing. The friend should have stuck by the writer, realizing that he wrote the obscene thing because he was sick, not because he was dirty. Does anyone wonder if perhaps our protagonist was gay and that's why he overreacted when he thought the guy in the bar was hitting on him? Of course, it's all just speculation, but I find myself thinking that perhaps Ralph Bell's character was suppressing being gay, and that was the reason he lashed out at someone else who was gay so violently. (He took it out on the "outer" man, who represented the part of himself he feared.) Also, at the end when the gay guy says to Ralph Bell's character not to be afraid of "people like him," I think we are supposed to do more than just learn something about tolerance. As I say above, I think the listener is supposed to begin to understand just what our protagonist is truly afraid of...(his own hidden homosexuality). Usually Elspeth Eric's writing is just too weird for me, but Ralph Bell's talent made it into a truly compelling drama.


Just a follow up to my last comment...Then when Ralph bell's character quotes what the gay guy said to him, ("What's to be afraid of?") I get the feeling that this is the first step toward the writer starting to accept that he doesn't have to be afraid of that part of himself anymore.


Well, Elspeth has done it again. She lives up to her reputation by delivering one of the worst episodes ever. Don’t waste your time.


I agree with Christine. I don’t recommend this episode at all. I find Ralph Bell to be so compelling, but even he can’t redeem this one. Typical Elspeth. I enjoy some of her stories, but this one never comes together. Slow and plodding.


I find her work fascinating. She mingles, twists, and contorts polar concepts compelling the listener to question and reexamine norms. I would love to know more about her.


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