Thursday, October 30, 2014

31 Days of Suspense: "August Heat"

Today: my second-favourite episode of Suspense!

Coming from May 31, 1945 we have "August Heat," adapting a short story from W.F. Harvey with star Ronald Colman headlining a very small cast. Colman plays a painter whose most recent picture seems to predict the future, but he can't quite interpret its meaning. Perhaps the local headstone carver could help? You may download it from here.\

Part of what I find so striking about this episode is how "visual" it is. Radio drama has often been called the "Theatre of the Mind" and this episode makes a compelling case for that title. Here, the creative forces seem in complete control of the audio experience, carving faces, images and heatwaves as ably as a stone-cutter with his chisel.

Knowing that W.F. Harvey had also authored "The Beast With Five Fingers" I was excited to delve into his short stories, but ultimately I found his prose uneven - he didn't actually write many truly supernatural stories. Still, the print version of "August Heat" is quite good too.

Tomorrow: "After that I knew I had to do something. I didn't know who this man was or what he wanted of me, I only knew that from now on I mustn't let myself alone on the road for one minute."

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