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Two Plus Two Equals Death


A young architect is pulled into the maddening rush of the circus when he falls for an enchanting dancer. His troubles begin when he learns his lover has an equally beautiful but heartless identical twin sister. Can he have one without the other?



Air Dates

  • First Run - April 29, 1976
  • Repeat - September 1, 1976





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8 Responses to Episode 0478

A young architect inherits a circus and soon falls in love with a performer. She has an evil twin who haunts him.

Karen Dialino

"Darling, let's stop this pretending... what more is there to say... here's to your eyes and my final demise... oh, Simone, it's you..." from the song "Simone", sung by Boz Scaggs circa 1980 E.G. Marshall asks in his own inimitable way "What is reality"? Adequate enough question for this episode, which takes place as he calls it "in a third rate circus" in Europe 100 years ago. Peter is an architect who (along with his mother) was deserted by his circus performer father years a young boy he trained for a performer's job there. He's arriving just as graveside services for his father are concluding. The younger man seems ill at ease with the circus and seems to want to collect some money his father promised him. The ringmaster/manager of the circus (well played by an accented Robert Dryden) says the money's there in a few days. (Is it?) But he needs an ending act in the father's place to keep the show going. So Peter the architect becomes (for an intended limited time) "Peter the mechanical man"...the first "two" in this title. He finds himself falling in love with a ballerina named "Francesca" who is warm and kind to him, and assists him in his act. At times, though, he'll see her and attempting to be cordial, is coldly rebuffed. He learns the "cold one" is "Simone", Francesca's twin sister who's also one of the circus ballerinas. (Hey, Pete, you should have gotten a clue when you never saw the two of them together, but, then, we wouldn't have had as much of a story.) Then again, E.G. talks in one of his interludes of how Francesca and Simone's mother used to get different answers from them while playing as little girls, so what is reality, anyway? The sisters are the second "two" in the equation. Again, interesting episode...I'm just not much into carnivals and circuses and the like... :?

Gregory Hupp

Excellent review, Gregory!  You provide a great service with your reviews! Great detail! WTG! Thanks! You make it easy to find something new to listen to!

John from Atlantis

A young architect attends the funeral of his estranged father who had spent his life as a circus side show. The young man, having lived out his youth in the circus is anxious to take his inheritance and return home to set up practice. The ring master though asks him to take his father's place for a few months while draws out his father's investment through box office receipts. He is paired with the beautiful assistant his father had and occasionally runs into her identical, but evil twin.


Creepy and weird - I can't believe that Elspeth Eric didn't write it. How such a gifted actor as William Redfield got stuck in a bunch of lousy episodes is beyond. The most shameful of all is the one with the baby elephant. Holy moly.... But he shines in so many of them and gives his all even in the worst of them. RIP William Redfield.


I actually enjoyed this strange moody episode. William Redfield was a superb Voice actor on Radio!


I've only read one of Alfred Bester's books, but this was much different from that one. This wasn't too bad of a story, but it did take me a bit to figure out what was really going on. I sometimes think I'm married to this same woman...


Great commentary on mental illness, especially for the 70s. Mental illness was mostly swept under the rug then, but is getting a lot of notice now, 50 years later. Enjoyed the episode.


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