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Hope Springs Eternal


A woman's fiancee disappears without a trace after walking out the back door of their cabin. For the next 40 years, she waits for his return.



Air Dates

  • First Run - August 8, 1977
  • Repeat - December 20, 1977





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8 Responses to Episode 0692

I'd never heard this one before---it was very pleasant to discover. I thought the show was really good. It had love, mystery, and the supernatural. The idea of living separate but parallel lives was an interesting concept---sad in the end, but very interesting and an appropriate metaphor for the emotional tenor of the couple's relationship. A very subtle and compelling radio play, in my humble opinion.

Crissie P.

This was a pretty good episode. When listening to CBS Radio Mystery Theater, I tend to find myself thinking I would have done something different than what one of the characters would have done. I did not find that being the case in this episode. Like Reuben, I wouldn't have told Mrs. Pennington that I found the diary either. I found several characters in this play that I could relate to. I relate to Mr. Hodge in the fact that I, too, like to study history and am fascinated by folklore. I can relate to the local constable's view of Mr. Pennington being a man unsure of his surroundings and unsure if he could be happy in that location because when I moved to Alaska a couple of years ago having never been here in my life, I wondered if I had done the right thing. I can relate to Mrs. Pennington in that, as unpatriotic as it sounds, I don't care too much about war either as I have my own problems. The time travel angle was interesting in that it seems Mr. Pennington did nothing to make sure Mrs. Pennington would know he was all right. He could have done a "Back To The Future" thing by sending a letter to be delivered 250 years in the future or placing an object where Mrs. Pennington would find it later, like in the movie "Frequency". Overall this was a very good episode that gave me a lot to think about. As corny as it may sound, when I was done listening to it, I just walked over to my wife and kissed her on the forehead for no reason leaving her with a questioning look on her face.


What an interesting show. What a novel concept--time travel that just happens without a machine or boat or car! I enjoyed this episode a great deal. I found myself doing what I do at the end of a lot of episodes--I question "What if?" What if the man (ARG, I forgot all of the character names!) who went back in time had gone back to the beach? What if the wife had gone to the beach? What happened to the time traveler? Did he get a job? Where is he buried? So many questions. That is the mark of a good story I think--what happens next? As a side note, as I was listening, my husband turned to me and said "I hope you don't mind. I am listening for the sound, not the content. It is soothing." He was doing something completely different, but was just calmed by the music and voices. To each his own, right?

P. Alice

I really liked the build-up in this one but I was a bit disappointed with the third act. Even though E.G. says in the epilog that as long as there is hope, who's to say there isn't a happy ending, but I was hoping (eternally, I guess) for some sort of physical reunion. If Scotty could beam up the Mister, why not the Missus? :twisted: I dunno. Maybe if I wrote it, the old man would get there with the diary and find that Mrs. P had disappeared mysteriously some years ago; and there was no record of the phone calls that he'd been getting every afternoon; that the old man (Ruben) had only imagined that she was calling him every day because he still loved her himself; and then the folklorist would find a diary in a loose floorboard and discover that Mrs. P had been beamed back into time, and was actually Ruben's great-great grandmother ... or that Ruben had actually been a German spy and knew all along that Mr. P had been accidentally transported through time by an errant ray from an experimental weapon used by U-boats... ops: Sorry, I got carried away. From a romantic perspective, this was very nice. I thought it was well set up, but sort of weakened at the end. I guess I just like the plays more when the twist is in Act III instead of Act II.


Newlyweds of 2 weeks are honeymooning in a seaside old mansion by the sea. Husband has doubts whether his love is real and eternal - 2 weeks after his wedding. The weather doesn't help by being full of thunder and lightning. Wife says, Well two more days and we can return to the city of Boston. Husband says, it was supposed to be a surprise but I bought this mansion without telling you. We are here forever. (Nice way for newlyweds to share their finances together.) Wife says, well I suppose I can get used to it because I love you. Husband now has doubt whether the wife has to get used to the house, or get used to his marriage. Decides taking a walk on the beach in the thunderstorm with his wife will kindle romance. SPOILER ALERT following. Somehow there is a time machine door on the dune and husband walks into it and travels 250 years into the past. Their love now is really parted - or is it? Wife is devastated at first but then feels his spirit is always there and watching her. She finds comfort in the poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, How do I Love Thee (Sonnet 43). Paraphrased; I love you to the breadth and depth and height of my soul ... and I will love you even better after death. This episode ends by the servant finding a diary from 250 years ago and it proves the husband finds his love of his wife because he moved from the beach house to Boston on the same November day, 250 years earlier that the wife moved back to Boston. It seems their love is entwined even though 250 years separates them. The end.


I rate this episode ★★★★☆ for GOOD. I would’ve rated this 5 stars for EXCELLENT if only Percy Granger wrote a better ending. This love story was going so well; with its character development, romantic dialogue, important clues on the Time Periods, and the mystery kept on building up in every scene. But then, just when we get our hopes high enough for a happy finale, it never came! No time travel scene, no zealous dialogue on love, not even a romantic reunion. Even though the Title is good, another way to title this mystery story would be “The Victim Of A Time Warp.” In our Host’s Prologue, E.G. Marshall begins with the topic of love, including quoting Theseus from William Shakespeare’s A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM (Act 5, Scene 1). In ACT-1, the story takes place at a New England fishing village, but he also quoted Lysander from the same play (Act 1, Scene 1). In ACT-2, he discussed on doubts and fears, but to rely on blind faith. Also, quoting a Spanish Proverb: “There’s a little of the mad man and a little of the lover in each of us.” In ACT-3, quoting a poet: “There is nothing possible or impossible, but desire makes it so.” As the story finished, E.G. Marshall questioned if this was a cruel trick of faith or a fulfillment? In his Epilogue, his final thoughts on Hope & Time Travel. His narrations, including quotes & proverbs, were helpful and marvelous. Sound effects of the phone ringing, doors, ocean waves on the beach, howling wind, seagulls, thunder, footsteps, rain storm, crickets, birds chirping, and tea cups clinking were very supportive. The music too with its melodramatic and mystifying tunes. And finally, our cast: Court Benson (as Reuben Thompson), Anne Williams (as Alice Pennington), Robert Maxwell (as Alistair Hodge and Captain Renard), and Russell Horton (as Edgar Pennington and Constable Jonathan Barnes). Both Robert Maxwell and Russell Horton were awesome in their multiple roles. Court Benson is terrific as always. And Anne Williams was fantastic. Even the way she said, “What?!” at the 18:05 mark sounded like she was into her role, like she couldn’t believe what she just heard. Her performance in this was wonderful as her roles in #0494-CHILD OF FATE and #0834-GIRL TALK. Everything, except the ending in this episode, was outstanding. Check this episode out if you’re searching for mystery stories involving love and/or time travel. Until next time…pleasant dreams. =0)


I liked this one up until the ending. I agree with Russell it was a big let down. I was, during the entire story waiting for the punch line and was suspecting that the main character was somhow the man who had disappeared many years prior. But alas no such luck we are left wanting... check it out!


Edgar went to that big U boat in the black hole.

Scooter D & the end of the kush

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