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Posts Tagged ‘linda sorenson’

Nightfall #38: “All-Nighter”

Don FrancksWe close the first season with another of the creepiest episodes of the series: Graham Pomeroy's "All-Nighter".

When it comes to serial-killers, NIGHTFALL's have some of the weirdest MOs. In "Dark Side of the Mind", it was Carl recording responses from his victims before killing them, then playing back the appropriate responses when needed to assuage worried friends and relatives. In this one, a cleanliness-obsessed murderer is compelled to wash and dry his victims in the large-capacity machines at all-night laundromats.

Elva Mai Hoover plays Cheryl, a worker at one of these laundromats who first encounters evidence of the murders, and Le Femme Nikita's Don Francks (photo left) plays Officer Charlie Burns, the local beat patrolman who takes on the investigation.

This episode is also a classic example of producer Bill Howell's fascination with using synth-rock production music in his soundtracks. It's one of the things that establishes NIGHTFALL's unique style.


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All-Nighter

Air Date: 6/5/1981
Writer(s): Graham Pomeroy
Production Location: CBC Toronto
Producer: Bill Howell
Featuring: Elva Mai Hoover, Don Francks, Linda Sorenson, Ruth Springford, Budd Knapp
Commercial Synopsis: A 24-hour laundromat is the scene of a series of psychotic murders.


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

Nightfall #22: “Deadly Developments”

Gordon ThomsonAh, another one of my favorite episodes! It joins the ranks of several other episodes about "cursed objects" and was the first to be written by a woman.

John Stocker and Gordon Thomson (photo left) – starring together on NIGHTFALL for the first time since "How Did You Get My Name?" (#8) – respectively play professional photographer André Phillipe and his assistant, Steve Balfourt, who are preparing a photo shoot for the cover of an upcoming horror novel. During the session, André decides to try out his newly-acquired Von Hensdorf, an extremely rare camera made in pre-war Germany, known for the stark quality of its photos. Very quickly, the shoot turns into a terrifying experience for the three women sent by the modeling agency, who are overwhelmed by the sense of a malevolent presence in the studio. The next day, two police officers arrive at the studio and begin asking questions about three separate incidents that occurred the afternoon before. At roughly the same time, André realizes, that the Von Hensdorf photos were being developed…

The playwright on this episode is something of a mystery. Arlene Ezrin is one of the few writers I haven't been able to track down or to account for as deceased. The only Arlene Ezrin I can find any reference to on-line is the wife of Canadian music producer Bob Ezrin (known for his work with such talents as Alice Cooper, Kiss and Pink Floyd), but so little is to be found about her as to be non-existent. They did, however, live in Toronto, so it's quite possible this is the same person.

Historical Note: The original CBC Radio broadcast of this episode (as well as the version you are listening to here) has an opening scene in Paul Gemmel's pawn shop, in which André purchases the Von Hensdorf camera. However, the oft-circulated copy of this episode is from its run on NPR Playhouse  in 1981, which did not include the scene. Correspondence between the producer of NPR Playhouse and Bill Howell indicates that, due to time constraints, episodes had to be limited to 29 minutes or less in length, so it is likely that Bill Howell excised the scene from the version he sent to NPR to keep it under time. This is only a theory, though, and has not been confirmed.


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Deadly Developments

Air Date: 11/28/8
Writer(s): Arlene Ezrin
Production Location: CBC Toronto
Producer: Bill Howell
Featuring: John Stocker, Gordon Thomson, Budd Knapp, Sandy Webster, Linda Sorenson, Elva Mai Hoover, Nicky Guadagni, Colin Fox, Arch McDonnell
Commercial Synopsis: The discovery of a mysterious old German camera starts a bizarre series of events in this contemporary story focusing on the world of fashion photography.


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

Nightfall #19: “The Devil’s Backbone”

Silver Donald CameronIt makes sense that pretty much every NIGHTFALL episode that takes place in or around Halifax, Nova Scotia has to do with the sea, and for those who find the sea a bit frightening, this story won't help at all.

"The Devil's Backbone" – one of the earliest episodes I can remember listening to – was penned by prolific and highly-respected Canadian author Silver Donald Cameron (photo left). Mr. Cameron was one of my earliest contacts. A very pleasant person, he was quite happy to indulge my questions and I was quite happy to listen to his answers. I have an e-mail interview with him from 2003 that I hope to write up for the full-length entry on this episode. Cameron has written much about the Maritimes, the sea and environmental issues. One of his most prestigious plays was The Sisters, written for CBC Playhouse, with music by the late Stan Rogers.

Paul Mills – this was the third of the three plays he produced for the series – had an interesting story about the post-production on this episode. It seems that he and sound effects artist Bill Robinson created all the underwater effects using a barrel of water, a couple of vuvuzelas and some condoms. As I recall (I have a recorded phone interview with Paul that I need to transcribe), sports horns (not exactly vuvuzelas, I gather, but the principle is the same) were recorded underwater to produce the cries of the monster, as well as to provide bubble effects for the scuba divers. The condoms, as I understand it, were used to protect the microphones while submerged, as well as providing a resonating surface for the horns. I am so looking forward to having an excuse to reproducer this effect myself some day.

The cast features four now-recurring NIGHTFALL actors: Neil Dainard, Neil Munro, Linda Sorenson and Hugh Webster.


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The Devil's Backbone

Air Date: 11/7/80
Writer(s): Silver Donald Cameron
Production Location: CBC Toronto
Producer: Paul Mills
Featuring: Neil Munro, Linda Sorenson, Neil Dainard, Hugh Webster
Commercial Synopsis: Beneath the fog and the gray-blue waves lies a field of gold ingots-guarded by something huge, dark and deadly. A few people are willing to risk it.  (DHPA)


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

Nightfall #15: “Special Services”

Linda SorensonHere we have another story about the perils of health care, but this time it's about the dangers of private clinics. Private clinics that cater to very wealthy, very important clients. And when one of these needs an organ transplant, the donor could be anyone of us. Whether we're willing or not.

Featuring Linda Sorenson (photo left) as Diane Katten and Colin Fox as Dr. Cornell.

This is the first episode not produced by Bill Howell, but is the first of three to be produced by Paul Mills. These days Paul runs a small recording studio out of his home in an eastern suburb of Toronto.

One of the interesting points in this episode, for me, is the casual way in which the staff of the clinic go about their jobs. Their computer tells them who is a match for their important client. That person is lured to the clinic, in some cases by involving them in an accident, and the requisite organ(s) taken from them. Without their consent. After all, these clients are far more important!

The music is also one of my favorites. The piece that trails off at the end of the play is quite often used to great effect in the series. I would love to get my hands on the stock music albums they used on this show, but I can't imagine there's any way to find out what they were. I have never heard these cues used anywhere else.


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Special Services

Air Date: 10/10/80
Writer(s): Martin Kinch
Production Location: CBC Toronto
Producer: Paul Mills
Featuring: Linda Sorenson, Budd Knapp, Colin Fox, Marian Waldman, Gordon Thomson, Grant Roll
Commercial Synopsis: The premise is an elite hospital which provides organ transplants for its wealthy and powerful patients, and its donors aren't always the willing kind.  (NPR)


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

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