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Posts Tagged ‘david calderisi’

Nightfall #37: “Breaking Point”

Jayne EastwoodThe last of Max Ferguson's scripts for the series and an extremely creepy one. I didn't see the twist ending coming at all.

Also the first of four appearances by actress Jayne Eastwood (photo left).

 

 


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Breaking Point

Air Date: 5/1/81
Writer(s): Max Ferguson
Production Location: CBC Toronto
Producer: Bill Howell
Featuring: Jayne Eastwood, John Stocker, Ken James, David Hendlin, Frank Perry, David Calderisi
Commercial Synopsis: A little murder at the circus…and it's the best trick in the show.


If you like what you hear, please contact the CBC Shop and encourage them to release the series!

Nightfall #36: “The Fatal Eggs”

Mikhail Bulgakov

One of the best adaptations of the series. Features a number of NIGHTTFALL regulars in the cast.

 

 

 

 


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The Fatal Eggs

Air Date: 4/17/81
Writer(s): Arthur Samuels (adapted from the 1925 novel by Mikhail Bulgakov)
Production Location: CBC Toronto
Producer: Bill Howell
Featuring: Douglas Campbell, Neil Dainard, David Calderisi, Nonnie Griffin, Marian Waldman, John Stocker, Arch McDonnell, Jon Granik
Commercial Synopsis: Satire and horror blend in this incredible tale of a research scientist who discovers that a mysterious red ray can accelerate organic growth, and his secret process falls into the hands of ambitious bureaucrats.


If you like what you hear, please contact the CBC Shop and encourage them to release the series!

Nightfall #29: “They Bite”

David CalderisiThe fifth and final NIGHTFALL script by the late Len Peterson, this week's entry is an adaptation of the 1943 Anthony Boucher short story, "They Bite".

Peterson's ability to adapt a story has always impressed me. There's creating a true-to-the-original script like "The Stone Ship", or taking a story with little or no detail, such as "The Tell-tale Heart", and weaving times and settings and characters into it until it feels like it came from Poe's own hand. And then there's "They Bite", where Peterson made a number of changes to the details of the story and even to some of the motivations of the characters, yet the essential framework and key aspects are mostly still intact.

The story — moved to the current day — revolves around the character of Hugh Blair (played by Robert Haley), a former Vietnam war hero with an interest in paleontology who went a little nuts and had to be sent home to recover. The story is narrated in places by Blair's Army Air Corp tail-gunner, Corey, from Vietnam (excellently portrayed by NIGHTFALL veteran John Stocker), who invites Blair to visit him in "nowhere Nevada" to see the unusual collections of fossil remains out in the desert. What he finds, though, are more than just the remains of some stegosaur. He also finds his former Army commander, Colonel Morgan (David Calderisi, photo left). The man who drove Blair until he cracked.

Blair also finds something else. Something that lives and feeds in the desert, but is only ever seen out of the corner of the eye. Something that shouldn't be alive today, but is.

Also appearing in this episode are Ken James as Set 'em Up Sid and Mavor Moore as Old Jake. (Moore will play an even more important role in NIGHTFALL history as the writer of "The Book of Hell", one of the most popular episodes of the show, which is coming up in a couple of months!)

NOTE: This recording came from the episode's first run on NPR Playhouse in February of 1981.


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They Bite

Air Date: 1/16/81
Writer(s): Len Peterson (adapted from the short story by Anthony Boucher)
Production Location: CBC Toronto
Producer: Bill Howell
Featuring: John Stocker, Robert Haley, David Calderisi, Ken James, Mavor Moore
Commercial Synopsis: "Something moved, something little and thin and brown as the earth. Too large for a rabbit, much too small for a man." Paleontologist and Vietnam veteran Hugh Blair is pitted against predatory desert shadows.


If you like what you hear, please contact the CBC Shop and encourage them to release the series!

Nightfall #24: “Where Do We Go From Here?”

Max Ferguson (1954)This episode holds a very special place in my heart: it was the first episode of NIGHTFALL I ever heard.

Back in 2002, I was starting to develop ideas for a horror anthology series to be produced by what would eventually become The Post-Meridian Radio Players. I was looking at examples of past shows and an on-line friend asked me if I'd ever heard of NIGHTFALL. I hadn't. So he sent me an mp3 of this episode and, at the end of 30 minutes, a nearly decade-long obsession was born.

Prior to starting my research on NIGHTFALL, I had no idea who Max Ferguson (photo left) was. All I knew was that he had written three of the creepiest episodes of the series (the other two being "Dark Side of the Mind" and "Breaking Point"). On-line searches began to turn up all sorts of information on him, but not as a writer. Apparently Max was one of the most famous (if not the most famous) radio personalities in all of Canadian history. His radio career spanned 52 years – all of it with the CBC. His repertoire consisted of dozens of character voices, the most famous of which was the old ranch hand, Rawhide. He hosted a number of shows over the years, always managing to find new satirical uses for his vocal cast.  (A page with links to a number of his hilarious sketches from the CBC Archives can be found here.)

During a 2004 phone interview, I learned how he had landed the job of writing for NIGHTFALL

Max apparently retired from CBC several times, but somehow always managed to come back. In 1980, during one of these retirement periods, CBC Head of Radio Drama, Susan Rubes, suggested he try his hand at writing. And that's how we got "Where Do We Go From Here?". (Max told me that wasn't the original title. Apparently Bill Howell had changed it. He believed his original title had been "Perchance to Dream".)

The story is narrated from the real-time point-of-view of the main character, Neville Edwards (voiced by Neil Munro, in one of his best NIGHTFALL performances), who has just been in a terrible rollover accident, though he is still very much alive. However, to the witnesses on the scene; to the ambulance attendants; to the doctors and nurses at the hospital; even to his co-workers, Neville Edwards is dead. Throughout all this, he remains in a controlled panic. He firmly believes someone will realize the truth and then he'll be saved. It's only when he's laying on the mortician's slab that his veneer truly begins to crack.

How does it turn out? Is he saved at the eleventh hour by a mortician's observant eye? You'll have to listen to find out!

(This episode is sometimes mistakenly referred to as "Living Corpse". It is believed this came about due to the circulation of recordings made from the 1983/84 CBC Enterprises audio cassette release, which lacked the Luther Kranst/Henry Ramer intro and close. This theory has not been corroborated by any official source, however.)


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Where Do We Go From Here?

Air Date: 12/12/1980
Writer(s): Max Ferguson
Production Location: CBC Toronto
Producer: Bill Howell
Featuring: Neil Munro, Colin Fox , Michael Wincott, Arch McDonnell, Grant Roll, David Calderisi, Mary Pirie, John Stocker, Corinne Langston, Gordon Thomson
Commercial Synopsis: We learn more than we wanted to know about morticians and their scruples after a not-quite fatal car crash.


If you like what you hear, please contact the CBC Shop and encourage them to release the series!

Nightfall #23: “Where Does the News Come From?”

August SchellenbergThis week's episode asks the very relevant-to-today question: "Who actually controls what news we see and hear?"

August Schellenberg (photo left) — in his second of two NIGHTFALL appearances — stars as foreign news correspondent David Winston, returning from Rome to be offered a national news anchor position, replacing a friend who inexplicably walked off the set one night and into a padded cell. But once he arrives, Winston is confronted by the strange, conspiracy-laden tales of a long-time friend, Stella Parsons (singer/actor Peggy Mahon, in her only NIGHTFALL role).

This episode also marks the first of nine NIGHTFALL appearances by the distinctively-voiced David Calderisi as producer Martin Grant. David is probably better known to CBC Radio Drama fans as the Voice of Introduction for the post-NIGHTFALL series, Vanishing Point.

Also featured are series regulars Frank Perry, Elva Mai Hoover and John Stocker, providing a number of extra voices.

This was the only episode written by actor James D. (Jimmy) Morris ("Welcome to Homerville", "Baby Doll").


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Where Does the News Come From?

Air Date: 12/05/80
Writer(s): James D. Morris
Production Location: CBC Toronto
Producer: Bill Howell
Featuring: August Schellenberg, Peggy Mahon, David Calderisi, John Stocker, Elva Mai Hoover, Frank Perry, Trish Allen
Commercial Synopsis: A foreign correspondent returns home to take the national TV news anchorman's slot, and discovers some mysterious events which somehow never end up on the air.


If you like what you hear, please contact the CBC Shop and encourage them to release the series!

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