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The Edge of Death


A farmer can't do anything but watch helplessly as his wife is slowly consumes by an undefined illness. One day he finds a strange case and an even stranger person without a mouth seeking it desperately. He becomes convinced that the case contains a miracle remedy that can save his wife.



Air Dates

  • First Run - February 26, 1974
  • Repeat - May 19, 1974
  • Repeat - March 24, 1979





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29 Responses to Episode 0046

How to deal with crushing overpopulation. And old sci-fi concept, perhaps one of the most famous is the Star Trek episode "The Mark Of Gideon" or, perhaps, the film "Logan's Run." Or, geez, maybe "Soylent Green!" I think this ending falls under what TV Tropes labels as the "Outer Limits Twist:" not especially ironic, but sadly cruel. Science fiction drama, time travel.


I have to give this episode half a peace sign.

Pete Sonneburg Proprietor

Atrociously written and awkwardly acted, this is a really crazy story about a knuckleheaded farmer with a mangled arm and his screaming Mimi wife with a heart condition who cross paths with a "man without a face," or as she refers to him, "Death!" They gain possession of his black bag, which is made of and contains things that don't appear to be from this world, but might be the answer to what ails them. The only thing that kept me going was the sci-fi subject matter, which I like better than some of the recent "foreign intrigue" stuff.


Eh, just alright. The story got more interesting about 3/4 through when the identity of the "man without a face" was revealed. Alas, not Mel Gibson. 3 stars.

Davy Joe

Strange story with sad ending... My only question does MIchael give them those pills if they have no mouths?... hmm... maybe better if we don't know


A woman and her husband see a man without a mouth who has escaped from Clearwood sanitarium. He's dressed all in black and appears to be searching for something - perhaps the medical bag found on their property.


A farmer has been slowed down by a recent serious injury to his arm. His wife is diagnosed with a heart condition. The farmer finds an unusual bag on his property that he can't seem to open and strange things start to happen in their area. The choices they make are sure to affect their future.

Paula Louise

Well developed script that built the tension and desperation nicely. Recommended

Pat Tull-Boggs

A resident of the local insane asylum with some disturbing characteristics escapes. At the same time, a couple find a mysterious black bag in the forest. The bag has no apparent opening but is accidentally opened by the finder. He discovers vials of pills with labels "Cancer", "Heart Disease", etc. What has he found? And how are the two events related? A very cool episode (the voice of Michael sounds remarkably like the voice of the alien in Out of Sight).

Daniel Arciaga

This one really kept me on the edge of my seat. A farmer who it seems has never been sick a day in his life has an accident and injures his arm. He is unable to go about his usual day to day life. He finds a mysterious black bag, finds out his wife has some health problems. I won't spoil the rest. I hope you enjoy this episode as much as I did.

Brian Pontillas

Alex Harper and his wife, Judy, live on a farm where Alex has suffered a recent injury to his arm. He speaks with his doctor and learns that his arm will never been completely healed and worse, that his wife has a serious heart condition. During the tale, Judy becomes audibly upset when she happens upon a man "without a face" who wants to "communicate". After her story is reinforced by other's who have seen the strange looking man, Alex and Judy find a black doctor's bag behind their barn. Eventually, they open the bag and find prescriptions in bottles that are unlike anything they've seen before. The prescriptions are for some of the most hideous diseases known to man. Alex puts some of the appropriate powder on his arm and has a miraculous and complete recovery. Warning: Plot spoiler ahead. The story is excellent. The characters keep us guessing and we learn of several points where the plot is forshadowed. For instance, we learn that the man in black is a "new kind of man" early in the story. Later we learn he is a fururistic reaper. His medicines are actually a prescription for death and I can imagine him without a mouth, as a metaphor for a silent grim reaper, dressed in a black hooded cape. The exterminator is portrayed with a very strange voice that seems a bit contrived but I think it actually helps to give us a futuristic bent. Excellent choice for a show.

Nate Panambers

This story about a farmer who’s arm has recently been injured in a farming accident is a good one. Sometimes, people are willing to try anything to restore their health and this story is a very good example of that. The farmer’s wife tells him one morning of strange lights she had seen the night before and he is not sure he believes her. She leaves to go to the doctor and he finds a black bag that looks like a doctor’s bag but he cannot open it. He learns from the doctor that his arm will never quite be the same and also that his wife has a heart condition. As she returns from the doctor, his wife very excitedly tells him of a man , dressed in black that she had just seen. Apparently he does not have a mouth but was trying to comminicate with her. . The strange man’s existence is verified by authorites about the same time the black bag is accidentally opened. The bag contains vials with pills or powders in them with the names of diseases that that are fatal to humas. The farmer puts some powder on his arm and it is healed. The farmer assumes the vials contain cures. The farmer meets the stranger without a mouth when he comes for the bag and who tries to tell him these vials are not what they seem and that fortunatly he chose to use one that did not harm him. The farmer doesn’t understand him so he knocks the strange man out and gives his wife a pill for heart attack. When the stranger wakes up the farmer tells him that he gave his wife the pill. This is when the farmer learns that the pills are used for exterminating the overpopulated place where the stranger comes from. The farmer is heartbroken that his wife is now dead. I like this show, although some clues to it’s ending are easy to figure out and are quite classic, you still aren’t sure till you hear the ending what will happen. The man in Black and the wife’s reference that she had just seen death and also the stranger mentions that his people have not learned to curve their reproductive powers are some of the clues. If there are people out there, we always think that they are more advance than we are and probably have hope that they will have answers or cures for us. We are so eager to live forever. A very good show that I haven’t heard before. Thanks for picking this one out.

T. Feria

the timing was marvelous for me on this one. Listening to it scratched a mental itch that I've had for 20 years now. When I first heard this on the radio, I was completely surprised by the disturbing twist at the end - this must be why it stuck with me for so long. I can even remember where I was and what I was doing when the stranger revealed the true function of the pills, but I don't remember anything else leading up to that point.

Guillian M.

This one was truly a captivating tale. It is funny how a newbie just mentioned that as one of his favorites. It's the cautionary tale of messing with forces you don't understand and jumping into something before you know all the consequences (like I did owning a boat). It also speaks to the desperation one must feel when they are losing someone they love.

Ricky B.

This story certainly has its' spooky elements. A guy in black and with no mouth for one thing. A "lunatic" on the prowl who is a mutation for another. The use of the music in the first 2 acts is really is suggestive and alluring..... "What the hell is going on here?", that is what it is saying. Something deadly. It is dangerous. It is ominous. We know the dog is a gonner when chasing a guy who leaps over walls and practically flies. Something "far away" is going on. Is this guy an alien? Is he a "freak" of nature? The suggestion with the story in the first two acts, musically and thematically is of a sense of danger. A sense of an outsider. We have a couple with health problems (something to fear and dread in itself.) The third act twists this. The meaning is ultimately clarified. There is a suggestion of another possibilty. There is hope! A cure!!!!!! The cure even works, as our adventurous, if not foolhearty protagonist discovers with his white powder. Forget the warnings of the first two acts! This cure works. "I, in my desperation and mistrust of my doctor friend ( humanity, logic and science) know what is best for my wife. I'll give her this unknown medication!" Horahh Horahh! Damn Fool. The story then reveals itself. The outsider to be feared is ourselves, only represented in a future sense. Man is folly. Nature is supreme. Our future rules out. Inevitable?Nature creates a future man that replaces the present! Man's own future and nature replace the present moment ( it is a given that the past, present and future run together in this story ) for an advantage...the advantage of technology. Surely, this modern, advanced fellow is no physical match. He gets rather easily knocked out! But on a mental and technological plane, watch out. He reigns supreme and will have his way. That is the scary element of the story. His folly in his day is an uncontrolled reproduction to the point that "ony the higher forms exist" in his day. His technology is the tool to seek an answer for his humanity (a prediliction of absolute supremacy). Replace others from another time! That's the solution. The hell with them! With ourselves! The future of man is more folly as well, despite his technology. The drive is overwhelming! If he replaces the present (a past to his future) he devoids his own existance. What price be paid? In both time spans? A wife. A future. His knowledge at the time is sufficient to understand that if he changes the past he changes the present (his future). Like our single minded protagonist, he thinks narrowly and of himself only. Despite our well spoken futuristic friends' verbage, his goal is our destruction. (and his own?). Human nature? Destroy the past, replace the future.The show is scary for it's indirect perception and representation of us. The forces at work are not pretty. Hope it isn't reality. ...9.5.

Jercs Soltes

I liked this show. It has that spooky "beyond this world" undertone that made the series so great, where you know something is going on that isn't just bad, it's supernatural. You just had to know there was something really wrong about the "doctor's" bag Alex finds. And when Michael finally speaks up it is definitely creepy. But the tie-in with the mental hospital kept me guessing ... there seemed to be a deranged lunatic on the loose, but he just kept appearing in different places with no apparent purpose. That slow, winding plot development was a hallmark of the whole series. I like having the original ads - one had Art Linkletter (there's a major figure from my youth) and another admonishes everyone to conserve energy. This was my first Show of the Week and I really enjoyed listening to it.


Well, keep on listening and giving your reviews...its too much fun to pass by.

Dwarde Malcolm

I liked this one. For some reason, when I read about different people seeing the same alien faced man I thought of the movie "Signs"...however, the twist with him instead being an "advanced", futuristic man was a nice one. And Marshall's ending with how the man would ask how his arm was healed was quite poignant. My heart sunk along with the husband's as the future man was telling him what he was going to find at his house after his wife took the "medicine".


Great to have you join the 'SHOW'. Don't be afraid to wade in on the past show's of the week as many of us read the logs faithfully and would welcome your opinions. It's a great way to start listening and enjoying with us. For me, I think I listen more closely and pay attention to details when I'm reviewing for the show.

Denver Delovino

This is an interesting program. I would say that it didn't go quite the direction that I expected. A number of twists and turns to think about kept it interesting. There are good lessons in programs like this but you can't fault people for doing whatever they need to do to stay alive. Hopefully we won't see an increased number of people without mouths running around (although I know a few people that would be better off that way).


The wife had a heart condition that required dietary changes. Her prognosis was favorable. The farmer had that carefully explained to him. His folly killed his wife......She was not about to die until he interveened.

Mitch B.

i guessed the ending early on so wasn't too suprised. i liked the escaped psycho with no mouth part. that was creepy. the farmer was willing to try unknown meds too quickly for me. but some people do that sort of thing .

Ben P.

3 stars... Was a pretty good listen definitely got better towards the second half. Has commercials.


"I don't smoke pot or whatever they call it" -- LOL!!!

Susie Q.

I agree with an earlier comment - if they have no mouth (and they must scream?) how can they take these pills? I have one idea, but I won't mention it. I'm also curious why "Death" would be able to travel through time. I still enjoyed the story, but I think there wasn't enough information to be immersed in the story.


A rural community is terrified when the appearance of a faceless man dressed in black is reported. At least 12 people in the farming area claim to have witnessed this dark-dressed man lurking in the woodlands. They became convinced the figure represents death when a dog confronts it and immediately dies—with no evidence of violence.


Not a bad story line, but not great either. Still, it was worth listening to.

Sam Threadgill

A very good but sad program. A story where man tries to recapture Eden and live forever happily ever after, in the usual Ii want it now human way. When I heard the names on the bottles i thought this could be what it gives you and that is what happens. His wife would probably have been fine if she followed the doctor's orders, but sometimes greed gets in the way and greed is not always about money. Overall I would recommend this story.


This one lives up to the tagline "the fear you can hear". Captivating!


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