Saturday, October 11, 2014

31 Days of Suspense: "Lunch Kit"

There are many episodes of Suspense where the lead character is backed into a tense, stressful situation by knowledge only they possess. It could be the name of the killer - it could be that they themselves are the killer in question. In today's instance, the tension is derived from an impending act of violence - yet, strangely, the person responsible is rather sympathetic.

John Lund is the sympathetic leading man of "Lunch Kit," broadcast on June 9, 1949. Lund's character is the son of a radical anti-atomic energy extremist. To pacify his father, he must carry a bomb into the plant where he works - concealed within his lunch kit. All that remains is for him to trifle his way through an ordinary day of work, then the bomb will take care of itself. However, knowing what he's agreed to do and how soon the bomb will detonate, his nerves fall apart. You can download the episode from archive.org here.

"Lunch Kit" is one of the few episodes which originated on another radio series (a series other than Escape, I should add). As "Death Carries a Lunch Kit," it was first heard as an episode of the Whistler on October 23, 1944. I prefer the Suspense version but if you'd like to compare flavours, you can find it at archive.org here.

Tomorrow: "I saw the knife. He'd fallen on it! It stuck out of the middle of his chest!"

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