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CBSRMT Episode Information
Title:
The Dagger of Almohades
('Sir Arthur Conan Doyle story')
Plot:
The tables are turned when a beautiful woman encounters a man with a possessed dagger. It seems that her usual feminine ploys will not work on the wily stranger.
Episode:
1134
Air Dates:
First Run - November 10, 1980
Repeat - January 26, 1981
Writer:
Listen:
Rating:
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19 Responses to Episode 1134


Vile, absolutely vile.

Wow, quite a unexpected ending ending! 5 stars for both the story and for John Lithgow!

Tony Andrius, played by John Lithgow, is just one man in a string of men who are interested in Jennifer Wilson. Tony asks for Jennifer's hand in marriage and soon we learn she is being courted by another man, Liam Bagley. Liam attempts to take Ms. Wilson, forcefully, but is killed in the process. Though Jennifer is the first to admit that she may not be marriage material, Tony takes her hand just the same. After they are wed, Jennifer meets a brilliant surgeon, Dr. Stone, and they have a brazen relationship, known to the entire community and to Tony. The story takes a terrific twist which I won't reveal so as not to spoil the ending.

An Arthur Conan Doyle tale of hatred. The story starts in India and ending in England. A man (Major John Litton - a Doctor who is a collector of things from the East) purchases a dagger from merchant in India and the next day the man contacts him and says he needs to buy it back as his life depends on it. Later, a woman, Jennifer Wilson, enters the picture. It seems that she is a femme fatale. Her actions lead to an interesting ending.

A manipulative femme fatale delights in courting men and seeing just how far they will go to keep her affection. Seemed that each act had very different focus, and that there were many elements to the entire story that were only loosely strung together. What I did notice was that the dialogue was extremely tight - a lot of information packed into each sentence. For that reason, this episode required more 'brain power' than most episodes. Lithgow's delivery is amazingly sharp and finished even then as it is today. The whole dagger business seemed irrelevant - would have been better if it were an ancient lip balm, or cosmetic. I was cringing at the horrifying attempt at a Pakistani accent!!

This is a show that (if I recall correctly) could be the answer to a trivia question: "Which RMT broadcast featured an Oscar-nominated actor/actress that wasn't Mercedes McCambridge?" (A: This one, with John Lithgow.) However, I once had a physics professor in college, during the last four years of the RMT, who elaborated what was believed then about the concept of "black holes" and their relationship with time. He stood in the middle of the class walking in a circle, as an imaginary object would be as it spun round and round into the center of the hole. He said that time would start changing for that object and essentially slow up for it. He said, speaking like so, that "as I get closer and...closer to...the black...hole...everything...starts...getting...slo wer." I remember this episode from my original RMT days, and that it started out as a great straightforward RMT mystery, but like the object caught in the black hole's maw it just...started...getting...slower. I listened (or tried to) to it again a few months back but ended up tuning out. I'm going to listen again. My advice to my RMT listening friends...you need to be prepared to listen to two different RMT styles in the same program with this one. Many of you (like me) have reviewed a fine program "The raft", which IMO is the closest to this in terms of "paradigm shift for listeners" (if there is such a category). That particular RMT show started out loosely as a first person retelling of the events (a man started getting notes in his mail demanding 1 million dollars, and these were neither extortion, ransom or blackmail requests...he had mysterious memories that apparently were tied to these, but we never understood the whole story as he was trying to FORGET those memories) but when that man met an unfortunate end the story shifted mid-program to a straightforward "whodunit". That program was, IMO, somewhat easier to listen to than "The dagger of Almohades", if you were unprepared for either. Just be ready for not only plot twists but style twists in this one...I'm going to listen to it again, and it may end up being one of my favorites.

As the rules state, I have not read any comments posted in this thread before composing mine. But, I did read Vince's review in his Listening Log and I see that he had a better grasp than I did on this one. It started out good and I was interested but then the girl came in and I was wondering about the dagger and what happened to that. There was a period of time that I lost the plot and tried to figure out what was happening. I listened while packing some boxes and had to back it up a bit as it didn't grab my attention the way some programs do. So, at the end, I guess her lip was amputated? Sick, but that makes for a good program! I should listen to this one again and pick up more than I did the first time through. I'm a little confused about the dagger other than people that cross paths with it end up dead. Is that how it was?

I remember this episode from my original RMT days, and that it started out as a great straightforward RMT mystery, but like the object caught in the black hole's maw it just...started...getting...slower. I listened (or tried to) to it again a few months back but ended up tuning out. I'm going to listen again. My advice to my RMT listening friends...you need to be prepared to listen to two different RMT styles in the same program with this one. You said it well Kurt. This one did not go where I thought it was going and in fact did pitch a change-up mid-stream. It starts out with this dagger, which I assumed would be tied to some secret mystery or something and lead to problems for those who came in contact with it and it turned into a love/hate/revenge. It doesn't make it a bad program - just not what I thought it was going to be from the way it started.

Tony Andrius, played by John Lithgow, is just one man in a string of men who are interested in Jennifer Wilson. Tony asks for Jennifer's hand in marriage and soon we learn she is being courted by another man, Liam Bagley. Liam attempts to take Ms. Wilson, forcefully, but is killed in the process. Though Jennifer is the first to admit that she may not be marriage material, Tony takes her hand just the same. After they are wed, Jennifer meets a brilliant surgeon, Dr. Stone, and they have a brazen relationship, known to the entire community and to Tony. The story takes a terrific twist which I won't reveal so as not to spoil the ending. This was an interesting story that was told in a very unusual manner. I truly thought the story was going to be about the Turkish assassination sect and/or a revenge killing associated with the initial murder of a shopkeeper. I was very interested by this Turkish assassination plot when out of nowhere came Jennifer, Tony and Liam. I found myself wondering who was going to exact revenge and I guessed completely wrong. John Lithgow did an excepctional job as Tony and my favorite line in the program centered on Tony Andrius' thinly veiled threat to his wife in which he gave her a final warning. The other actors were also quite good. My complaint about the story was that it seemed a bit confusing until the final focusing scene. I didn't see that the dagger theme was crucial to the storyline at all.

All I can say is HOLY SMOKES, you could have written my review! I didn't read your post before sending my own but I was also confused with the dagger theme and wondered what happened. While you were packing boxes, I was trying to watch the NBA basketball game (muted) during my listen. I had to listen a second time because I couldn't understand how we made the leap from the Turkish sect to Jennifer, Liam and Tony. Consequently, I stuggled with what to say about the dagger in my listening log and decided to leave it out. In general, I complete my show of the week review at the same time as my listening log but I was so confused about the dagger and it's relevance that I couldn't figure out what to say. Now, I'll await Lag's review so I can feel like one of his eighth graders....everyday's like school in my feeble-minded world. BTW, I think the dagger theme with the Turkish assassination sect had great potential!

well... Perhaps listening to this while cleaning the classroom after Parent/Teacher Interviews was not the best time. Like most of you, I could hear the voices, but there wasn't much settling into my brain in any kind of coherent manner. Something about a set of Turkish daggers used by some secret society for ritual killings. (piqued my interest) Then a marriage, and affair. (isn't there one in every single episode?) Then something. (this is where I entered an intellectual black hole of my own.) :roll: Will listen again and try concentrating.

I've gotta' ask: Why did you think of this program for the show of the week? I'm beginning to think the stranger and more controversial shows are more fun to review and I'm wondering if you had heard this one before pitching.

I really enjoyed this one. I'm glad you picked it. Yes, there was what seemed to be a shift in genres from mystical relic horror to a suspense thriller with a provacative vixen. Finally, we are treated to a major twist that would seem so campy in B-grade horror flicks, but work so well on the radio. This was grade A material that was well acted. I gave it 8 out of 10.

Ok so I’m stretched out on the floor listening to the SOW (Show of the Week) and I realize that I must have dozed off. So I reverse the program to see what I missed. Turns out I wasn’t sleeping just very confused. Talk about changing a story in midstream. I ended up listening to it again last night. The only reason I can find for the whole Turkish assassins, shopkeeper, murder etc is to explain how Tony came to have the dagger. What a delicious ending. The unfaithful wife finely stops running around. I did find it a bit of a stretch that Stone would react as strongly as he had. Obviously he would be repulsed by the fact that he had disfigured someone he knew; however he made it clear to the narrator that he had no interest in a long term relationship with Jennifer, so I think the complete breakdown on his part was a bit much. I’m sure this one when it first aired had a lot of people scratching their heads. I like a story that takes you in a different direction than you are expecting, but it this was a little quirky even for me. I give it 4 stars.

The reason I picked this show and the last show (thanks for the terminology, Michael) was because of the main actors. I had not heard the episodes before. John Lithgow (and Jerry Orbach) are such well known television personalities now, that I thought it would be fun to hear them in earlier incarnations. I found it particularly interesting to recognize their voices, and to picture their faces in my mind's eye. While Jerry Orbach's character in "The Follower" (ep#212) was played similarly to his role today in Law and Order, I found I had to really listen to recognize the voice of Lithgow in "The Dagger of Almohades" I know Lithgow did some Broadway acting, and has done some Shakespeare on stage. I suppose one of the strengths of an actor is to disappear into his/her character and Lithgow did so in this episode. Along the same theme, I'd like to listen to: Morgan Fairchild (at age 26-27, 6 episodes) Jerry Stiller (1 episode)

Ahhh...makes perfect sense. I wondered if you had listened previously, found it confusing and wanted to get some opinions. BTW, I listened to the Stiller show recently and enjoyed it. I haven't found a Morgan Fairchild program yet but I'll get there in due time. Hope I'm not going to have to imagine her as some sort of hag because having seen her, I'm not sure I can make this leap.

A good one to start out with is "The Haliday Prediction" with Tony Roberts...who usually was the RMT's "man's man" type of roles. Morgan Fairchild plays his love interest there in a predictable but enjoyable enough plot.

I remember hearing this show when it was originally broadcast, but didn't remember anything about it so it was like hearing it anew. I liked this show, at times it was pretty obvious but the ending is still pretty drastic. It is good to get shows from different times in the series, there are subtle differences in the look and feel that are interesting to note. So I will listen to a few more from around this time and see how I like them.

OK - Second listen... here's my opinion. Seemed that each act had very different focus, and that there were many elements to the entire story that were only loosely strung together. What I did notice was that the dialogue was extremely tight - a lot of information packed into each sentence. For that reason, this episode required more 'brain power' than most episodes. Lithgow's delivery is amazingly sharp and finished even then as it is today. The whole dagger business seemed irrelevant - would have been better if it were an ancient lip balm, or cosmetic. I was cringing at the horrifying attempt at a Pakistani accent!! Anyway, thanks for the indulgence on this week's POW

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