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Eric, Elspeth (Actor)
(1906 - 1993)
Elspeth Eric is known for playing gun molls on many old time radio programs in the 40s-50s
Date Episode Title Plot
1974-01-18 0013 Ring of Roses (A) A trip to the country to visit a friend turns nightmarish as a couple comes across a small girl being whipped by a man. It's...
1974-01-24 0019 Deadly Honeymoon A honeymoon turns nightmarish as a woman realises her husband to be culpable of the murders of his previous wives - during...
1974-01-28 0023 Three Women A writer is pressed by his publisher to alter the ending of his book in order to take fuller advantage of the character of...
1981-08-28 1237 Hidden Memory A man obtains a unique ability as a result of his liberation from the ghosts in his past. When he begins remembering things...
1981-11-13 1259 Presence (The) Returning from an ocean trip, a pampered college co-ed discovers an invisible guardian protects him.
1982-02-03 1285 Mysterious Slumber (The) Set in the 18th century, Mary Reynolds awakens from a coma with amnesia and exhibits a total reinvention of character, much...
1982-04-05 1311 Widow Wonderland A professional bounder preys on grief-stricken widows as they visit their husband's graves. He promptly seduces them, and...
1982-04-26 1320 Hanging Sheriff (The) A softhearted sheriff has difficulty imposing the death sentence. When his meddlesome wife forces his hand, he is compelled...
1982-05-24 1332 Your Desires, My Guilt A middle class couple learns that they have somehow obtained an ability that allows them to manifest whatever they desire....
1982-06-23 1342 Matching Chairs Cursed chairs haunt a pair of brothers. Their sibling rivalry comes to a head when one evening, while relaxing in the wing...
1982-09-09 1368 Riddle (The) At an estate sale, a married couple purchases an old camera and a bunch of yellowed missives. They soon discover that the...
1982-10-08 1379 Pale Horse (The) When he is unexpectedly sent on a brief visit into the after-life, a dying man learns the secret surrounding the disease...
1982-12-02 1398 Last Plan (The) A pair of young quarrelsome and paranoid neighbors enlists the aid of an eccentric old woman to act as mediator. She hires a...

8 Responses to Eric, Elspeth


I'm about to start skipping Elspeth Eric episodes. Episode #294, "The Climbing Boy", broke me. Take a plodding period piece. Add self-righteous indignation. Stir in a meaningless psychosis. Add a dash of contrived loss. Simmer with a pointless spectral appearance, and garnish with a Disney-esque ending. I'm not saying that she isn't talented. But the episodes just are no fun to listen to. I had to listen to an episode of "X-Minus One", to stop my ears from ossifying. I've been diligent in my logging, and listening, and am 1/2 of the way through 1975. But if I skip all of Elspeth Eric's episodes from about #300 to the end, will I really miss anything? Are there some really great commercials that I might miss? Or is it possible to develop a taste for joyless audio psychodrama? I like what she tries to do, but there are more misses than hits. I won't try to convince you to like her, but I will say I would rather listen to an Elspith Eric metaphysical non-starter than one of Sam Dann's crime stories. He wrote them in the '70's but they sound like the '40's and now in the 21st century they sound more out of date than ever. I agree that some of Eric's stories are pretty stagnant though. It's like she wants to be a new age Ibsen or Strindberg or something. They usually feature a couple of people sitting on the beach or in an old house sounding sad and tired, constantly pausing and giving cryptic one word replies to each other. I always imagine them looking at the ground or off into the distance. I like the peaceful quality that her tales have and the sad music that they always play in the background. Yes, I think that's it: I just like the sad music.

There has been much discussion in the past on her strange writing style and I can never understand what so often causes her to go off in these weird directions. Of all things, though, would you guys believe that she was the writer of "A Horror Story", episode 929 from December 12, 1978, one of the most revered of all RMT tales? During the latter part of '08, I took a bit of a break from listening to RMT. However, at the beginning of this year, New Year's Day to be precise, I promised myself I'd listen to one RMT story per night starting with the first episode. I doing good...sometimes listening to 2 stories per night. However, there is one story in particular which happened to be written by Elspeth Eric titled, Three Women, episode #23 that I remember mainly because of certain events that took place in this tale which made little sense. Synopsis: A man writes a book. A publisher wants him to change the end of a book to more fully exploit the heroine. The writer is afraid because he fears his character is indeed alive. For those RMT listeners who may have already heard this tale, I'd love to go into specific details as to why I thought this story was loopy. It (the story) had good potential but was inexpertly written.

You're right about these episodes written by Elspeth Eric.. some of them are quite enjoyable and deeply psychological, like the one about the Red Frisbee. However I just listened to "The Deadly Hour" and I confess that I simply do not understand the ending. A Very Old Man Three Women The Deadly Hour The Phantom Lullaby The Secret Doctrine Mind Over Matthew The Black Room Death is So Trivial The Stuff of Dreams The Man Must Die ...and that's just a sampling of Elspeth Eric scripts from the first 250 episodes. Are folks really saying they don't like any of those? These have been some of my favorite episodes. The more I listen to the show, the more I look forward to E.G. announcing her name in the beginning. You know you're getting something unique, just like you know you're getting some classic crime-drama writing from Sam Dann.

I don't mind her themes, and respect her efforts to explore deeper realms of human psychology. However, I find her storylines to be insipid and full of loose ends. For example, in "The Magus" there were hints of an ongoing gathering of witches/occult practitioners which never took place. Chekhov said that if you introduce a gun in act one, the audience is going to expect it to be fired before the play is over. Eric’s stories are full of unfired guns. Her most irritating characteristic is her tendency to have characters endlessly repeat conversations. A will have a conversation with B in Act One and then B will repeat the entire conversation, word for word, to C later in the story. Sometimes this will happen multiple times within a single story. You really could skip the entire first act of her stories without missing a beat. I do get a kick out of the fact that she almost always includes animals in her stories even if only in a minor way. One of her stories – I don’t remember which one offhand –even contains a reference to a “crazed woodchuck” – definitely not a phrase you encounter very often in stories of any kind.

I love good suspense and horror radio shows. But I must say Elspeth Eric wrote some of my fave CBSRMTs ; Help Somebody, Sand Castle, Red Frisbee, Answer Me. Man Who Walked Away are not like any American radio shows that I'd ever heard before. They touch on feelings that had not been tried before 1970s, and I'm glad that CBSRMT did them.

I personally like the muted tone, the heavy-handed psychoanalysis, and the "intimate" conversation. I can see how it's not to everybody's taste. Eric seemed to be fascinated by psychology and psychoanalysis, and viewing controversial subjects through the light of same as a playwright. "Sapphire" was profile of child abuse with a main character in some ways more sinister than any of his "To catch a predator" contemporaries. "The Phantom Lullaby" (I think that was the title of her play) was a profile of the after-effects of abortion (a brave thing to take on back in 1970s New York City, let alone today). And neither of these two plays frame their subjects that pleasantly). And one of the most incredible (though it wasn't the best in terms of listening pleasure) RMT plays I've ever heard was her obscure "No way out" with Earl Hammond taking a tour through numerology - I've NEVER heard any play or show, RMT or otherwise, skewer a non-Christian cult like this one.

I cannot say enough good things about Ms Eric. I find her stories to be entertaining, bizarre, off kilter, and haunting. She is an exceptional writer. As far as an actress, her voice is a joy. She plays all characters so very well. I think The Last Plan was pure genius. Her writing and acting in the play were both outstanding performances. Her characters in her plays are so strong and memorable. The way she describes the settings stick with you forever. She is so vivid in her descriptions. I would have liked to have met her. It is too late. What a shame. Ms Eric, I am a huge fan of yours, always will be, and admire your work and talent. If there is an afterlife, I WILL, repeat WILL meet you.

Gotta agree with RJMGreen. I've fast become a fan of EE's work...both as an actress, and especially as a writer. She seems to always bring a warped, twisted quirky little angle to many of her stories—and with a much clearer, consistent "macabre-ness" (if that's even a word, but hopefully you know what I mean) and with a greater frequency than many of the other prolific RMT writers IMHO. I haven't heard all her works yet, but so far I've found "A Horror Story" and "Deadly Hour" kept me wanting to hear more without any impatience or let down by story's end. And "The Last Plan" was just plain off the wall (and I mean that in a good way). EE's very bizarre, quirky take on her own character's personification in this story truly intrigued me. And the cat's addition? Just plain strange, but all in all adding to the story's creepiness. An underrated talent, to be sure.

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