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CBSRMT Episode Information
Title:
The Frontiers of Fear
Plot:
A defeated man buys an ancient typewriter from a pawn shop. The typewriter reveals itself to be like the Goose that lays golden eggs. But gold might not be the only thing it has to offer. What if it is blood?
Episode:
0132
Air Dates:
First Run - August 13, 1974
Repeat - October 12, 1974
Writer:
Listen:
Rating:
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14 Responses to Episode 0132


This story reminds me of Isaac Assimov's story "End Of Eternity" only in that book the main character goes back in time to give Einstein the idea to the bomb to spur a tech revolution to prevent mankind from being bottled up on Earth after the rest of the universe has been colonized.

He he, truly awesome intro by E.G. Marshall here. How come I and no one I know who was alive in 1974 recall the Buick Apollo? Great name for a gigantic, mis-designed lumbering piece of metal . . . LOL - half the stuff advertised here isn't on the market anymore. I love the commercial for some bank (if it's not this one it's one near here) that offers a 7.9% savings rate. We'd kill for 1.5% these days. So, typewriter possessed by a sentient non-human entity, Mr. Gaan, with a nefarious agenda and ability to solve almost any real-world human problem. Very interesting plot . . . LOL @ E.G. Marshall's comments at the beginning of Act 2. Internet porn came right to mind - oh 2012 is cynical and everyone felt so darned cynical and burnt back in 1974 . . . . Oh man, LOL at the IRS commercial. Do they still do this? I can imagine the 2012 style . . . Needless to say this Mr. Gaan could sure make effective use of email or a social network. . . Good show. Bravo.

A young man walks into a pawn shop and makes a trade for a typewriter, a VERY special typewriter. Soon, the machine takes on a life of it's own and the words this man types become reality.

A chronic loser picks up an old typewriter at a pawn shop. Turns out the typewriter is the goose that lays the golden egg. But all that glitters is not gold; it could be blood.

Jerry Stiller plays a Runyonesque down-and-out small-time con man who finds that an old typewriter first helps him to write saleable fiction and then begins to talk to him... Twilight Zone fans will not be surprised that what is typed on the typewriter then happens in the real world... And the voice has an agenda of it's own. There are surprises and the story works from beginning to end... And Jerry Stiller is perfect.

Jerry Stiller is Harry Dorn, a small town swindler down on his luck as he tries to pawn a set of jockey silks. The broker is not impressed with his story and offers to trade him for anything in one corner of the shop. A voice in his head says, ”take the typewriter”. Wanting a steak instead, he is reluctant but takes it anyway. When he gets it home he puts paper in and churns out, as though possessed, a stack of poetry. On a whim he sends them to a publisher and receives money for them. Next is a short story, and more money. Then the police arrive at the door showing him the headlines of a murder that mirrors his story. The voice becomes clearer and tells him that just by typing, he can “make things happen”. Sounds too good to be true, and you know what they say about things that are too good to be true…

A down and out gambler's fortunes take a turn for the better and the worse when he comes into the possession (literally) of a typewriter that can not only predict the future, but dictate it.

The voice of the alien entity (or whatever "he" was) sounded like a female to me. Was Harry played by the comedian Jerry Stiller, Ben's father? I wonder how many RMT episodes have featured wishes that caused unforseen consequences. Overall, a good episode that combined classic RMT elements (wishes gone awry, aliens, open ended conclusion and corpses).

I don't know how many episodes have featured wishes that resulted in unforeseen consequences but there certainly are a few. For me, that element is one of the best defining classic RMT elements. I always enjoy the ones where our subjects get what they wish for and then regret it.

This episode had an interesting premise, but I felt it never really went anywhere. Maybe, it would have been more interesting had it featured more earth-shattering events (Like the island wiped out early in the story). Definately, had a "Monkey's Paw" feel to it, though. ("Careful what you wish for"...etc.) One other problem is-- trying to visualize Jerry Stiller as anything other than "Frank Castanza". Of course, this was done way before "Seinfeld", but I kept waiting for him to start yelling at his wife or going on about "Festivis". Just my opinion.

This episode reminded me of a TWILIGHT ZONE episode from Season 4-"The Printer's Devil" where typing words on paper can change a man's future. What bugged me about this CBSRMT episode was the voice of the typewriter, known as Mr. Ghan (played by Paul Tripp). The way he talked was creepier than Douglas Rain's voice of HAL 9000 from 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY. I don't think the typewriter really needed a voice. It would've been better if the letter keys of the typewriter moved by themselves and the Harry Dorn (played by Jerry Stiller) read the words out loud for the audience. But, it's still worth listening to

Jerry Stiller's entertaining in this episode; 1974 had some good broadcasts. The commercials are almost as entertaining as the story.

I agree this is very much like "Printer's Devil," albeit with space aliens rather than the Devil. Also, in "Printer's Devil," the Devil lost! Science fiction; deal with the devil. I will add as an aside that 7.9% in 1974 reflects the stagflation that was going on at that time. The recession was pretty severe, the worst in my lifetime until the 2008 crash. Anyway

Great episode--5 stars. I must admit that I am unashamedly biased--I like many other listeners am a huge Seinfeld fan and when I saw that Frank Castanza--Jerry Stiller--was the star of this episode, I was only too happy to listen to it. It was entertaining and well written. A great listen.

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