CBS Radio Mystery Theater… Aaah, along with the epic Dark Shadows, this was a show that I and my mom would enjoy religiously. The opening intro, deliciously dark and mysterious, featured the sound of an opening door, ancient in its creak, and the foreboding tones of soundtrack music originally featured in the Twilight Zone episode titled “Two” and written by Nathan Van Cleave. Dark, scary music with stories that crept under the skin before establishing permanent residence in one’s cranium. Good family entertainment.
Check out 1:33-2:10. That’s the portion used as the CBS Mystery Theater theme.
The stories on Mystery Theater featured awesome actors and stories that totally sucked the listener in. The host, actor E.G. Marshall, struck the perfect tone. His voice was old-school but creepy at the same time– especially at the end of the each episode where he said “Until next time… pleasant dreams?” It was amazing that my ADD settled down long enough to become immersed in the various plots offered every week. It was appointment radio (yes, such a thing actually existed!) and the precursor to the greatest love of my imagination’s life, and one of my most enduring Muses, The Twilight Zone (prostrate and worship here).
As I write this, I’m listening to a Mystery Theater episode called “Afraid To Live, Afraid To Die.” It starts sounding mad spooky at 23:00. I wonder if a program like this would even survive in the new millennium? I like to think so, because at the end of the day the story rules, and if it’s good, people will want to experience it. I really wish there was a show, or podcast like this!
CBS Radio Mystery Theater Archives – Hear the archived episodes here.