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CBSRMT Episode Information
The Secret Life of Bobby Deland
A couple suffering from the death of their only child take in a young waif to fill the void in their lives. At first the orphan helps alleviate the woman's migraines however, he later repays their kindness by robbing them blind.
Air Dates:
First Run - July 3, 1974
Repeat - September 14, 1974
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28 Responses to Episode 0113

The description of this story isn't accurate. A couple things missing isn't exactly "robbing blind." It is an interesting story though.

Heartbreaking-intensely moving-I wanted to cry.

This is a love story, and the stolen items were \'valentines\' to his Mother. He loved her with a perfect love. I can verify that the love for a parent has nothing to do with \'character references\' or logic. In my counseling work, I learned that the more remote the parent\'s love is (or its absence), the more the child loves.

I was touched by this episode. Regardless the relationship between the mother & child, the child showed an innocence & devotion towards the memory & connection of the mother from his past.

Another snoozer from the pen of dreary, melancholy, melodramatic Elspeth Eric. Like a lot of her stories they have an interesting premise but ultimately fizzle.

Well, my biggest criticism is that Bobby's psychic healing ability is completely irrelevant to the story. This story gave me the creeps, but my wife saw the ending coming a mile away because she works with dysfunctional families as part of her job. Agreed that the boy was NOT robbing the family blind; the items stolen were small in number and had no particular monetary value. Emotional thriller; irrelevant supernatural elements.

A troubled orphan boy has a penchant for stealing items from his host families. He's an unusual youngster with equally unusual talents. Unfortunately, the unusual gifts are not completely developed by the author but the plot takes an interesting twist during its conclusion.

The completist may wish to listen, as this episode isn't bad CBSRMT, but if you're trying to hit the highlights you should probably move on. Supernatural events form the backdrop to a heartwarmer about broken families.

A strange, young orphan comes home with a couple who lost their child in an accident. He is able to cure the woman's headaches and then steals from them. Turns out all he wants is his mother.

A kindly, childless couple are in contact with an orphanage, trying to adopt a child. The kind, loving man who is the husband seems to settle on a 10-year-old boy named Bobby Delan. Mrs. Appleton, the woman in charge of the orphanage says Bobby is a good child, but he's been in a type of solitary confinement to his room for stealing things...in particular belts, frying pans and shoes. (Those particular objects have a very poignant meaning at story's end.) Bobby had stayed at the home of another family earlier in preparation for a possible adoption, but they opted not to take him because he also stole things on occasion, and tried to run away. The kind man talks with Bobby, and becomes convinced that he's got a powerful ability for self-hypnosis strong enough to put himself in a trance, and moreso, is able to obtain incredible power when in such a state where his conscious and subconscious mind meet. The husband agrees to take Bobby to his home. Bobby has described it, though he's not quite correct in how his new family's home looks. Also, when he gets to the home he's aware that his new "mother" is not feeling well even though his new "father" believes otherwise. They find the woman has a migraine headache, which Bobby promptly convinces her to "give" him. Three weeks later, Bobby has started to steal objects...a belt (that he says is too big for him), a frying pan, a high-heeled shoe...then he runs away on a night under a full moon... (NOTE: This is the only CBSRMT episode I've heard to date where there is a reference to a porno film actresss. Mercifully, no child pornography is involved.)

A couple who lost their child look to adopt a child and select one particular boy from the local orphanage. The boy they select has a history of running away and certain eccentricities that have kept him from finding a good home. After the adoption, the boy tells stories of his mother, fantastic tales of her jobs, station in life, etc. He appears to be able to see things with his mind’s eye.

I dunno, I have to say that Star Sapphire left a bad taste in my mouth. The subject matter was a little too disturbing. The fact that Fred Gwynne was such a good actor and had such a lecherous, sexual tone to his voice whenever he hypnotized the girl made it all the more disturbing. I think I find "Bobby Deland" more palatable because, although both shows deal with abused orphans, in "Bobby" it happened in the past, whereas in "Star Sapphire" we're actually listening to it happen in the present. Also, in "Bobby Deland" there is a bit of hope at the end---in "Star Sapphire" the best we get is, perhaps, justice, since Fred Gwynn's character is shot at the end. I didn't really feel I took away a good or helpful message from "Star Sapphire", although I suppose there was some hope and comfort in the fact that the girl was strong enough to resist killing the farmer's wife in the end, and that the two of them were rid of the farmer and could live peacefully together. The rest of it, though, I felt was just basically listening to an exercise in abusive manipulation. Also, it's quite tragic that the girl was forced to kill someone. I can't say I enjoyed this or found it to be very enriching thematically.

What did you think of "Star Sapphire"? That may be a show I suggest next year, but it may be one of if not the most difficult RMTs to listen to due to its subject matter. That's probably the strongest Elspeth Eric script I've heard written. Funny thing too, because E.G. in his monologues at show's beginning seemed to get exactly what was happening in the show, but by the time it was finished it almost seemed to go right over his head, which (as witty as he was, whether scripted or not) was a rare occurence indeed. This, like "Sapphire" dealt with orphans, and maybe seemed to share a "nobody wins" (or did they?) ending. It's the only one I've heard on the RMT that talks about porno film actresses.

Hmmm... I liked it. Well, I've never been accused of being normal anyway.

Me neither! Besides, what's normal anyway? Actually, after I pondered that poem quotation a bit last night, I began to appreciate the underlying themes of the story a lot more. It's really a beautiful quote. And, just for the record, I had no problem with the actress doing Bobby's voice--didn't find it distracting at all. I don't think a child actor could have successfully put across the complex emotions required for this role.

I agree with pretty much all you said, although I disagree about there being no hope in the story. There is a very important shred of hope in the fact that this boy did not lose his mind under the abuse, but developed a coping mechanism---his mental abilities evolved to a higher plane. In fact, his healing power suggests something distinctly spiritual, even messianic. Also he is adopted by parents who actually care enough to patiently discover what causes his behavior, something the orphanage never bothered to do. So, despite everything, I think there still is hope. It actually lies in the WH Auden quote spoken by the doctor in the third act: The center that I cannot find is known to my unconscious mind I have no reason to despair because I am already there

I'm inclined to agree with your analysis. I found most of act 3 to be laughable. The amateur psycho-analysis is the one thing in a script that will instantly turn me off. I also don't like the kid being played by an adult woman. Just doesn't come across as believable. The story was not without its charm. The main character was easy to sympathize with. I gave it a 2.

Hmmm... I liked it. Well, I've never been accused of being normal anyway.[quote] Don't sweat it. My first submission was "Out of Sight" which somebody on another board ridiculed as one of the worst episodes ever. It received a lukewarm reception here too. I liked it.

i only gave this one a 3. i couldn't relate to the nonsense the father was constantly babbling on about. every time he opened his mouth i had to laugh. but on to other things. there wasn't much suspense for me. i guessed where bobby's mom was. i wonder , did bobby heal his mom in the end? the only suspense for me was how far they would go with bobby's powers? was he going to use them for good or ill? i had recently listened to You're Going To Like Rodney and kept waiting for something bad to happen. who played the boy? maybe someone already knows. i'll check in a minute. at first i thought it was the same person who played Rudolf the red-nosed reindeer. i think i like the idea of an adult playing the child's role to get the more experienced actor. i'm comparing this to THE CHILD'S CAT'S PAW. i wish i could unleash my subconsious powers. i would really be something . most people think i go through life mostly unconsious. i never realised how often rmt quotes the BIBLE. i think i've counted three times. twice the quote was taken out of context. in this show the quote was "you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free." ofcourse the TRUTH is that JESUS paid the price for our sins when HE died for us on the cross. it's interesting to see different philosophies in the shows such as in this one. i just smile quietly to myself. these must have been emerging onto the american scene.

I found the premise to be of interest, but I also found the storyline lacking in focus and the dialogue absent of any subtlety. Although the boy is the first Elspeth Eric character that I have developed any empathy for, I was consistently distracted by the actresses voice (IMHO it didn't even remotely sound like a 10 year old boy). There were no real winners or losers in this episode - maybe that's Eric's point - but stories without hope are better written by the Cure. I will give the author credit for tackling a story full of hard issues (child abuse, adoption, etc.), but I thought the episode fell far short of the usual script quality. I gave this episode a "2" - I dunno, maybe I'm being a bit too hard.

An interesting little story with an interesting premise. Very, very sad. Not one of my favorites, but well done. Elspeth Eric seems often to have a special interest in stories about victims of domestic abuse. It comes up in "Star Sapphire" and, I believe, is touched on in a few of her other plays as well. The one thing of special interest for me was the voice actress who played Bobby. Although she wasn't given credit at the end of the show, I recognized her unmistakably as Billie Lou Watt, who did the voice of Astro Boy--my favorite cartoon as a child. (Anime ROCKS!)

I don\'t consider myself \"normal\" - after all, what \"normal\" person ponders the merits of a radio program that aired almost 30 years ago, and then agonizes for two days over whether the resulting post will measure up to the standards of the website comments? Actually, even though this episode wasn\'t my favorite. I think we see Eric\'s writing in the same vein - I am starting to see a trend in the way I view her scripts. And try as I might, I notice myself hoping it\'s not her when I hear E.G. say \"tonights episode was written especially for the mystery theater by ...........\" Nontheless, I will try to keep an open mind.

I have to say that, more and more, I'm beginning to agree about Eric's scripts, if not sharing quite the same vitriolic intensity. She did write, in my humble opinion, a few really brilliant ones (Case in point: Her adaptation of "The Transformation". Awesome. Actually, I even found "...Bobby Deland" engaging--it just wasn't one of my faves.) But as the show progresses through the years her scripts do get worse and worse. I just recently listened to "Adam's Astral Self" and found it really didn't pass the "so what?" test for me. Then, tonight, I tried to listen to "Mind over Matthew" and just couldn't do it. Yuck. I had to turn it off ten minutes in. However, I always try to give old Elspeth a fighting chance, cos ya never know, right? Everyone has their good days and their bad ones.

Very well acted and well written. I have to admit, I was drawn into the story from the beginning expecting the usual type of RMT conclusion but was completely caught off guard the sweet, yet very sad ending.

This was a surprisingly interesting and well-written episode. Maybe one of my favorites so far. I didn't expect much from the synopsis, but it proceeded to get very weird as the story went along. by the way, I think I would have sent the strange kid with a women's voice back to the orphanage after that creepy migraine healing.

Strange description of the episode about being "robbed blind" when there are only specific objects which are stolen that aren't even that valuable. I found it strange that the man is most interested in one of the stranger kids there, and yet it's at least 3 weeks since the child has been in isolation. When did he originally go there and why did it take so long to make a decision? Also, why didn't he go with his wife when she was feeling better? At the end, does it mean that he was healing his mother as well and would eventually live with her? What would the Baron think (this being the same man who helped his wife star in pornographic movies)? A really strange tale.

This episode was pretty creepy at first, and stayed that way up until the ending. Though it was never explained where the kid got his psychic and healing powers.

Elspeth Eric wrote a few episodes that I liked very much, but this particular story is a weird psychological drama without too much mystery, (as a lot of her episodes are). Also, at the end of the episode, it's not clear whether Bobby is giving his mother his strange gifts out of love and forgiveness, or perhaps as some sort of revenge, (because his mother had abused him with similar objects). Who could really blame Bobby for not being too fond of an abusive parent? However, in this story, I got the feeling that he may have actually had evil intentions when he presented his mother with these particular reminders of her abuse. I wondered if perhaps his motive was to drive his mother further into insanity by showing her similar objects to the ones she hurt him with. His voice sounded subtly sinister to me and not loving, although maybe that was just my impression. Maybe that was the best part of the story, since I was left wondering what his true motives were and they left it up in the air. They left me wondering what would happen next.

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