Posts Tagged ‘don dickinson’

Nightfall #8: “How Did You Get My Name?”

John Stocker

This is the second outing by the writing team of Don Dickinson and Allan Guttman ("Welcome to Homerville"). It's also the first episode in which John Stocker (photo left) plays a lead role, of which there will be several more. Stocker appeared in more episodes of NIGHTFALL (22) than any other actor and was a favorite of producer Bill Howell throughout several different series.

This episode is one of several without a supernatural or horror element. Instead, it's a tale of psychological suspense. A few decades earlier, and this could easily have been a film by Alfred Hitchcock.


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How Did You Get My Name?

Air Date: 8/22/1980
Writer(s): Don Dickinson & Allan Guttman
Production Location: CBC Toronto
Producer: Bill Howell
Featuring: Gordon Thomson, John Stocker, August Schellenberg, David Hughes, Sandy Webster, Robin McCulloch, Don Mason
Commercial Synopsis: Jim Brent is whiling away his time in a mental hospital in Europe until his old chum, Larry, tracks him down and brings him home to Canada. But when Jim finds out just what Larry has been up to in his absence, he may wish he was back in a straight-jacket.  (TNP)


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

Nightfall #3: “Welcome to Homerville”

Neil DainardArguably the best episode of the entire series, "Welcome to Homerville" was nominated for a 1980 ACTRA Award for best writing. On more than one occasion during my research, I ran into someone who remembered hearing this episode when it originally aired, or during one its runs on NPR Playhouse, and being scared to death by it. The secret is: don't listen to it while driving at night!

"Welcome to Homerville" was the first episode of the series to be recorded (in the studio March 20th & 21st, 1980) and was probably used as a demo for Susan Rubes and the other higher-ups at CBC Radio, though I don't know this for certain.

For the cast, producer Bill Howell turned to some of the actors he worked with frequently, including Neil Dainard (photo left), Elva Mai Hoover and John Stocker, all of whom appeared in Howell's highly-successful sci-fi series, Johnny Chase: Secret Agent of Space, among his other projects. (There's another show that the world is sadly missing out on while the recordings languish in the CBC Archive).

The thing that first set me on edge when I first heard this episode was the flute. Just before the voice's first appearance on the radio, there comes a low flute motif. It's job is to telegraph to the listener that something ominous is about to happen, and oh yeah, it does that very well. But even then, you're just not expecting what comes next. As someone who is not fond of driving at night as it is, this episode just amplified my fear ten times. I'm serious when I say don't listen to it while driving at night. Especially on a lonely stretch of road or highway!

("Welcome to Homerville" was the inspiration for my radio drama troupe's (The Post-Meridian Radio Players) 2010 Halloween play "The Sirens of War", in which the crew of a barge transporting Naval munitions along the Missouri River during WWII is haunted by a voice on their radio.).


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Welcome to Homerville

Air Date: 7/18/1980
Writer(s): Don Dickinson & Allan Guttman
Production Location: CBC Toronto
Producer: Bill Howell
Featuring: Neil Dainard, James D. (Jimmy) Morris, John Stocker, Frank Perry, Robert Christie, Corinne Langston, Marian Waldman, Elva Mai Hoover, Ron Hartman, Arch McDonnell, Budd Knapp, Gordon Thomson, Lynne Deragon
Commercial Synopsis: A trucker, traveling a lonely highway, hears a mysterious female on his radio who says she is waiting for him in Homerville. Unnerved, he tells his CB buddies who warn him not to go there because danger lies ahead. But the seductive voice keeps luring him on.  (NPR)


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

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