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CBSRMT Episode Information
The Fatal Connection
A young couple expecting a child also happen to inherit a furnished house. Among their acquired furniture is a phone that can send them back in time to relive the lives of their ancestors. They slowly realize that their ancestors were not very nice.
Air Dates:
First Run - December 9, 1974
Repeat - February 2, 1975
Repeat - June 20, 1980
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13 Responses to Episode 0184

I liked the story but I think if the main character wanted to send a message to the future it should have been to sell the house so history couldn't repeat itself. It also never says what happened to the real criminal relative that left this mess for him to deal with.

Norma and Hal Glenford have moved into their family's old turn-of-the-century home. They are mysteriously transported (by way of a broken phone) back to the turn of the century where they are taken for Hal's great grandparents. They are apparently stuck back in time and soon discover that Hal's great grandfather had made many enemies and they may have to pay for his misdeeds. This is an interesting time travel story that suggests that sometimes the sins of the father ARE visited on the son. Genre: Science Fiction

A couple move into a house they have inherited from an uncle who couldn’t live there himself because of the ghosts. As they explore the virtual mansion, once occupied by his great great grandfather, they come across one room decorated in the exact style of the period, including an old telephone. Lifting it up they jokingly order a hansom cab to pick them up. Within minutes, the door bell rings and the cab driver is there. Also in the room is a desk with papers that reveal his ancestor to be a fabulously wealthy, if not unscrupulous businessman. As they delve deeper into the past, they themselves appear to be sucked into the past…

This was a very good episode, but it contained some anomalies that took place 32 years ago during this airing. #1. Though originally aired in 1974, this episode was a replay from June 20, 1980. #2. That date seems uneventful, but it was the same night as the famous Roberto Duran/Sugar Ray Leonard fight--one of the biggest fights in history. #3. The episode was very interesting and engaging was frequently interrupted by a news correspondent keeping the listener aware of the fight's details and eventual outcome. #4. The frequent disruptions took away from the story, but if you are a history or boxing aficionado, by all means listen to this episode understanding that there will be holes in its story.

Wasted potential could be the most apt description of this one. An intriguing horror premise of time travel as karmic retribution is undermined by some weak acting and plot holes. The first act is excruciating, as the leads awkwardly fake-laugh their way through painfully unfunny dialogue. The second act is the protracted process of the leads taking fifteen minutes to realize what's immediately obvious to the listener. By then there just isn't enough time remaining to build the tension and dread the story's aiming for, and we still barely know a thing about the leads or their historic counterparts. A nice idea, badly executed.

All I can say is, "Roberto Duran &Sugar Ray, wow!" I wish they cut in with some of the fighting, live. Oh, well. If you set aside the numerous interruptions from the boxing update, the show itself was pretty good. I like it when the real-time commercials and news is left in the show and not edited out for the current listener. It's a fun episode that strikes me as a evil and twisted version of "Groundhog Day." I like with the show leaves you asking questions. I wonder how many times history "repeats" itself. A better message to the child is in order to break the cycle. Of course no one would ever get a chance to know to tell the child to break the cycle. Giving away stolen money does not change the fact that it is still stolen.

I agree 100% with Matt Sandwich's review. Wasted potential. They could have done so MUCH with the play, but the first act did have terrible voice acting (on the man's part), some of the fakest I've ever heard here, and second act dragged. Very frustrating hearing them argue for awhile about whether to even answer the flippin' phone or not. Jeez, just answer the darn thing. And there could have been many more connections between the past and present, and no real lessons learned. Just kind of a bleh ending and bleh development. I was hoping he'd try to make amends, as he did, but instead he just realized how complicated it all was and backed out of the entire thing. And that he knew someone was coming to kill him, yet still got killed is just beyond me.

I first heard it when I was 12, when it started in 1974. On the local station, KWON in Bartlesville, OK. It got a reputation among kids as a scary show, and since it ran from 10-11 pm I'd listen to it when I was in bed. I liked it, but I wished it wasn't so targeted to adults. The plots always seemed to revolve around a middle aged man who was having some crisis, so sometimes it wasn't easy to relate. Now it's not so hard to relate!

I agree with Mike and Matt - terrible voice acting in the first act (which got better in the second and third acts for some reason) and bad plot development. Time travel stories can be interesting, even paradoxical ones like this one, but when you never find out what happened to the real grandparents or know more about them it's not a very good story.

I too, was 12 years old listening to this series in my upstate NY bedroom. I wasn't allowed to listen to the radio after bedtime, but I had a small Radio Shack transistor radio I would turn on and secretly put under my pillow and listen to these shows at 10pm. My stepmom didn't know! Those were good, simple times back then. Now that I am listening to these shows again, these shows really remind me of a "radio version" of the TV series The Twilight Zone.

The worst part about the boxing interruptions was the female announcer flubbing half of what she was trying to say. Must've been the station manager's niece...

The Fatal Connection definitely one of my favorites

I rate this episode ★★★☆☆ for AVERAGE. What I enjoy the most from the CBSRMT series is that there are episodes that combine the Drama-Mystery and the Fantasy-Mystery together. And the writer, Fielden Farrington, did combine those two; a story involving tension & time travel. Everything was going well in every Act, but I think the climax & resolution took a turn downward. I was expecting our main characters to get back to the 20th Century, but apparently, they ended up in the 19th Century and one of them had to ride it out for many years (SPOILER ALERT). Part of this story reminds of the movie SOMEWHERE IN TIME (1980) where a character travels backward to live a particular moment in the past and does a number of things to make sure there would be no time paradox that could damage the future. The title of it was okay, but other titles could work such as, “Time Complexity,” “Genie Telephone,” “Back In These Days,” or even “77 Years Ago” (because that’s where the story took place—it started in 1974 and the 2 main characters traveled back to 1897). SPECIAL NOTE: If you have the CBSRMT Episode Guide Book, you’ll notice a TYPO: it says it was written by Jennifer Harmon. The sound effects of the doors, footsteps, door locks, the antique telephone, pouring of the drinks, traffic noise, opening of the ice box, howling wind, train, horses hooves, tableware clinking, oil lamp, desk drawers, papers, pulling the telephone wire from the wall, front door pounding, gun fire, and the body thud were good, but the music itself needed more. Don’t get me wrong; there were great tracks that brought intensity and suspense. But since this is a story involving time travel, it would be perfect to add sci-fi theme music to it. Sci-Fi music from #0790-A MESSAGE FROM SPACE, #1054-THE GOD MACHINE, or the TWILIGHT ZONE music tracks that were used in #0801-ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE. The cast I liked and admired: Jennifer Harmon (as Norma Glenford), Nick Pryor (as Hal Glenford), Robert Maxwell (as Bill Voight, Hansom Cab Driver, and James Blakely), and Joan Shay (as Maude Spencer and Phone Operator). Both Jennifer Harmon & Nick Pryor were terrific. I’d give Robert Maxwell props for playing 3 roles. But I feel sorry for Joan Shay who played 2 small parts. If you’re going to have more than 3 actors in a radio episode, I think everyone should be entitled to portray their characters with more dialogue and make a bigger contribution to the story instead of doing just a couple of scenes. In our Host’s Prologue, E.G. Marshall jumps in to where the story takes place: 621 East 58th Street in New York City. (SPECIAL NOTE: If you Google this actual address, it’s on the corner of Sutton Square) In ACT-1, he talks about how scientists & philosophers see Time as and how the past is obscured, but obliterated. In ACT-2, he talks about Time as something we don’t understand in our Universe. Later on, he focuses on the paradoxical of time. In ACT-3, it’s about time complexities and points out that no one ever said if they had their great grandparents’ lives to live over. In the end, he asks how many times Justice must be served. In his Epilogue, E.G. Marshall explains the aftermath and asks us fans was it the character Hal Glenford or Harold Glenford who gave the son directions. Our Host was informative on the topic of Time, however, did not add suspense to the mix. If he quoted the topic of Time from the words of H.G. Wells, Mark Twain, William Shakespeare, or Nathaniel Hawthorne, that would bring a powerful message to CBSRMT fans. Overall, it’s an interesting mystery story. Tune in to this one. And if you’re Nostalgic on radio commercials, this particular episode has the commercials on the novel “Lily,” the CBS Daytime TV info on “The Young & The Restless,” epilepsy, sports news, Pat Summerall for True Value Hardware Stores, the American Library Association, WFAA Good Time Hour, American Express Traveler’s Checks, Smokey the Bear Program, Federal Business Bureau, and the Red Cross. Until next time…pleasant dreams. =0]

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