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CBSRMT Episode Information
Title:
The Terrorist
Plot:
Taken hostage in her own home by a pair of Muslim terrorists, an elderly authoress, her niece, and her publisher's nephew must outwith the extremists in order to escape with their lives!
Episode:
1027
Air Dates:
First Run - November 5, 1979
Repeat - February 26, 1980
Writer:
Listen:
Rating:
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5 Responses to Episode 1027


As pointed out above, something of a formula plot and somewhat predictable. The Islam connection is probably derived in general from the 1972 Olympics and the bombing that took place there . . . at least prior to the Embassy takeover in the late seventies, the Olympics was the episode most fresh in Western minds . . . aside from airliner hijackings, which seemed to be popular with non-Islamic folks as much as with Islamic ones. Perhaps a third (??) of RMT episodes deal with murderers or want-to-be-murderers and their victims. Since we're talking about 1399 episodes I don't think RMT was picking on any one group or one religion. A killer is a killer, when all is said and done. Oklahoma City should remain as a vivid reminder that terrorists come in many different colors and flavors. Now I'm depressed. Thanks for bumming me out with this downer of a show. My life is ruined. But really, thanks again for the show. A good encode and good food-for-thought.

An enjoyable but fairly routine woman-in-peril episode, I thought. How nice of the man to come to the rescue--and then marry her, as any decent hero must! For me the terrorist connection, though certainly interesting when heard today, is really just window dressing. This story is standard 1950s-style fare--the evil invaders who take over a household was done again and again in that fearful era, from the movies SUDDENLY and THE DESPERATE HOURS to many, many TV dramas including ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS. Ian Martin simply updated it, as Morton Miller indicates, to include more contemporary villains. Not a bad episode at all, and an interesting historical curiosity.

Thanks, guys...the story itself was standard fare but...I'm looking again at E.G.'s comments. I honestly can't remember any show tackling terrorism, even with terrorists used as a mere plot device, like this in the 1970s, 80s and 90s. There HAD to be some, but I watched a lot of TV during that time and can't remember any such program. (I think I remember some shows with Patty Hearst/Symbionese Liberation Army style villains, so that's pretty close.) And I darn sure can't remember any program up to today (especially up to today) that has passed judgment on terrorists like this one through Mr. Marshall's multiple outro comments.

This isn't the RMT's finest episode by any means. It's not THAT scary, though unnerving enough. It is also somewhat formulaic. But, IMO, it shows how prescient the RMT writers were. This program apparently aired on November 5, 1979, the day after militants stormed the U.S. embassy in Tehran and held hostages for about a year, right before Ronald Reagan was inaugurated president. If this was indeed the first air date of the program, the RMT writers either put together this episode in a hurry or were spot on in their timing. On an episode of "Nashville Star" a few weeks back the contestants performed original songs. In interviews with a songwriting duo, the professional songwriters said most successful people in their trade were married, had kids, and had experienced what life is all about. I think that, too, is what made so many of the RMT plays so successful, even if the subject matter was often ghosts, aliens from space, science fiction and ficticious crimes. The writers had lived through world events. Prolific playwright Sam Dann had been in the 42nd Infantry Rainbow Division in WWII and had seen history, I don't know what history Ian Martin had seen, but he wrote some of my favorite RMT plays (including the tremendous adaptation of Guy de Maupassant's "The hand") and himself seemed to have a firm grip on reality. I try not to let myself voice my views that much, but in reality I'm politically and spiritually aligned pretty much with Drs. Jerry Falwell and James Dobson. I'd rather leave most discussions to other bulletin boards and just focus on good ole RMT shows here...but I've said before how much I appreciate the elements of Christianity woven into so many RMT plays (which would never even be considered in most CBS shows today, I'm guessing). These playwrights, for the most part, knew right from wrong. Anyhow, I've written way too long, so I'll end with the ending words of Ian Martin's "Saladin" character, followed by E.G.'s first act outro immediately thereafter (the latter's third act outro and final outro were quite biting as well)*: Quote: "We will go visit the lady whom Allah has provided to give me sanctuary." - "Saladin the butcher", after explaining to his brother how he'll go and take a wealthy American woman and her niece hostage, take their money, commandeer their home and hold them until they're no longer useful. "An intruder, his authority not only the gun but lack of any morals...a man who once when he was through with us and our usefulness was done would not hesitate to dispose of us as casually as a burnt out cigarette." E. G. Marshall, at the end of the first segment. *BTW, I have a problem with Islam but not with many practitioners of it, some of whom are people I'd give my life for. I just have a problem, as did the writers of the show, with Islamic terrorists.

"We will go visit the lady whom Allah has provided to give me sanctuary." - "Saladin the butcher", after explaining to his brother how he'll go and take a wealthy American woman and her niece hostage, take their money, commandeer their home and hold them until they're no longer useful. "An intruder, his authority not only the gun but lack of any morals...a man who once when he was through with us and our usefulness was done would not hesitate to dispose of us as casually as a burnt out cigarette." E. G. Marshall, at the end of the first segment. <SARCASM>Gee, this has NO relevance to us today, does it?</SARCASM> A well known Muslim terrorist known as "Saladin the butcher", on the lam after a bombing in Greece, meets up with his brother in a remote area on the Turkish coast. The brother knows of a wealthy, elderly romance novel writer who lives nearby with her niece. Saladin has to lay low for awhile and needs a way to keep fed and his cash flowing. I've already said what he decides to do. The elderly woman isn't afraid of the terrorist, but wants no harm to come to her niece, hence she acquiences. In the meantime, an archaeologist who plans on going to the area (his mother married a greek guy who was raised in Turkey...I'm sure not uncommon but interesting given the conflicts that have existed between those two nations) meets with his uncle, who's with an influential publishing house that happens to have the elderly American ex-pat romance writer in their stable. The uncle thinks something is wrong due to correspondance he's had with the lady, but he can't put his finger on it. He asks the nephew to check in on her, and the adventure begins. At the end of the episode, I was tempted to ask "C'mon, E.G., tell us what you really think of terrorists."

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