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CBSRMT Episode Information
Title:
The Ruby Lamp
Plot:
When a college professor creates a device capable of capturing a person's thoughts on film, he uses it to help a friend whose wife suffers from severe melancholia over the death of her children. The woman desires to know what became of her stillborn twins and the experiment all too capably supplies her with the answer.
Episode:
1122
Air Dates:
First Run - September 29, 1980
Repeat - December 22, 1980
Writer:
Listen:
Rating:
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5 Responses to Episode 1122


I'm not at my computer where I can pull up the file and listen, otherwise I'd tell you the actor's names. This episode's central characters are: 1. A kindly neighbor, a bit the shade tree inventor, who's played by the man who played clockmaker Ethan Vigil in that top-of-the-art-form RMT episode "Time and again". This actor always sounded like a kindly old uncle. 2. and 3. A man and his wife, who are both (with the wife moreso) quietly distressed at the recent stillbirth or miscarriage of their twin boys. The neighbor would love to be able to help his friends overcome their grief. During a visit to his house, he tells the husband about a project he's been working on that involves photographic film and a "ruby lamp" in a darkroom. This project actually enables him to capture, on film, thought images that people have in their subconscious. As the episode goes, he and the couple seem to think that by doing this there will be a therapeutic effect for them. A touching episode.

1. John Beal was cool. 2. Mandel Kramer and Teri Keane worked so well together. (See another RMT "Guilty Secret" for even more of this.) 3. Very touching episode, and Elspeth caught the mood of the mother quite well, I thought. (I thought she'd lost twins, but apparently they were separate pregnancies?) 4. This is a couple that I hope God was able to bless with as many children as they wanted after the episode was over. (Or that they were able to adopt the same.)

The whole idea of losing children is a very uncomfortable one and I think the show did indeed capture that mood. I didn't care for the show. Not just the idea of losing your children but it seemed to me that the whole paranormal stuff was thrown in just to fit it in to CBSRMT. I don't feel like the story flowed. To me it seemed kind of "shake and bake". Throw in some paranormal, a pinch of sorrow and human interaction. Shake it all up and you have mediocre radio drama. In my opinion, not one of the best shows. At least, there was a happy ending.

This is an odd tale that I was able to listen to only once and "get it" (I think). The mood we're in when listening can affect one's perception; the somber nature of this one was fascinating to me; the resolution might have been seen as soppy had my mood been different. But I felt as if the unfolding tale, complete with the sci-fi element of the "thought camera" contained enough mystery, symbolism and eerie references to keep the tale interesting and the story moving. A woman is distraught after having borne two stillborn sons. For some reason, as she obsesses about the whereabouts of their remains, her husband decides not to tell her. I wasn't sure why; all he told his friend was "You know how she is." I thought maybe she'd be less obsessed had he told her. Maybe I'm getting soft; I feel like I could be more critical of this episode, but it just grew on me and I enjoyed it. Another one that had a bit of a "Twilight Zone" feel. ("A Very Special Camera"— albeit a dark comedy, unlike this — featured a camera that would produce a picture from a few minutes into the future; "Little Girl Lost" featured a dog that saved its master, trapped in another dimension; and there were several TZ episodes with heartstring pulling emotional content and warm fuzzy endings. Can't wait to read "Until Next Time's" review. That person is awesome!

This was an entertaining episode, but not a "Gotcha" type of episode. I wasn't grabbed from the beginning as to why I should care about the story. I think that stems from two diverging themes: 1. The fact that the husband wouldn't tell his wife where he buried the bodies of their babies AND 2. The photos created from brain waves. I think these ideas were too divergent and not pulled together well enough by the story. The story should have focused on the issues between the husband and wife OR the mind photos. Since this story seemed to go in two directions, I was not able to really take in this story. It was a good diversion, just not one of my favorite stories.

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