Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Old-Time Radio Theme Month, Day 3: "A Terrible Night"

Today's program recounts a nightmarish hunting trip in the Northwest Territories: "A Terrible Night," adapted from an 1856 short story by Fitz-James O'Brien for Weird Circle on January 23, 1944.

I wish I knew more about the Weird Circle; most of my education on old-time radio came from John Dunning's On the Air: the encyclopedia of old-time radio and he didn't include an entry for the program. It was evidently syndicated and drew on unfamiliar (uncredited) actors, appearing in stories adapted from literature. Each of the stories had a supernatural bent and came from what was in the public domain. Fitz-James O'Brien's stories turned up on the program several times. However, the adapations often diverged from the original material. In this instance, the original tale was set in New York, not the NWT.

The one failing I have with this otherwise creepy tale is that it runs too long; after the great moment of horror is passed, it carries on for another 3 minutes to explain what happened to the characters afterward, to no great effect. The original tale was much more succinct in its summary.

You can download a copy of this radio show from here.

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