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CBSRMT Episode Information
The Children of Death
In a time where men and women have been segregated to live alone, a deadly game is born. A game wherein they must hunt each other down to win the ultimate prize-- a chance at procreation.
Air Dates:
First Run - February 5, 1976
Repeat - June 23, 1976
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15 Responses to Episode 0426

I loved this episode. This is more on the Sci Fi side in which I like.

In future time men and women are separated and consider each other mortal enemies. Procreation can only take place by battling and capturing one of the opposite sex. One particularly meek and guileless men, son of the High Priest, sees the whole thing as barbaric and is not interested in participating. Under pressure, he heads out to the battle ground and encounters a woman by whom he is defeated and captured. Taken to the women's community, he discovers first hand the differences, and similarities that exist between the two genders.

Sorry to reanimate this old thread, but maybe it should've been noted that this episode was the basis of Mr. Dann's 1979 novel "The Third Body", according to the Wikipedia CBSRMT page.

It was ok. I found it to be somewhat predictable. Many of my favorites are not predictable, or have a twist that I did not see coming. I really enjoy Sci Fi, and enjoy some of the CBSRMT episodes that dive into that genre. Keep them coming, and I will comment as I listen. I like the polling section.

this one was okay. not bad, but not the best. i think the first time i listened to it, i was impressed because i didn't know what to expect. i marked it off in my archive as being a good show. Upon listening again, i realized how cornball the acting came off (too stiff and robotic) and that this potentially rich tale left a lot to be desired. i enjoyed it very much, but not sure if i'd be willing to sit through it again.

Perhaps I would have enjoyed this one more, had I not listened to it at 3 AM. I never became fully interested in the story, and I'm not sure it would have made much difference no matter what time I listened to it. It was okay. It just wasn't a thriller to me.

This one was OK. Plot ending was similar to TWZ "The Man in The Cave". But it caught me a bit by surprise I guess.

Perhaps I would have enjoyed this one more, had I not listened to it at 3 AM. I never became fully interested in the story, and I'm not sure it would have made much difference no matter what time I listened to it. It was okay. It just wasn't a thriller to me.

This one was OK. Plot ending was similar to TWZ "The Man in The Cave". But it caught me a bit by surprise I guess.

I agree that this one was OK. Not great, not terrible. I agree that not every show has to be great to be enjoyed. It seems that the mediocre shows are often the ones that deal with the political issues of the day so they can provide insight as to what was on peoples minds at the time the show was written. I am also amazed at how shows that seemed great to me at one time seem cheesy when I listen to them now. Some of my favorites of my teenage years are really pretty bad when I listen to them today.  I did enjoy this one even if it's not one of my favorites.

In the future, men and women live in two separate tribes, apart from each other. Men capture women, or women capture men, for a chance at procreation. Then the captured one is killed after procreation. As you can imagine, this would result in fewer people each generation, as the population can't reach replacememt level under such a system. I hope our hero and heroine can work out a syystem before it's too late.

"The Children of Death" is an interesting commentary on the ideological differences (or lack of) between the Western and Eastern bloc during the Cold War encapsulated in a fascinating story and novel concept. Mystery Theater always did science fiction very well, especially stories about the future. I wish they had done more (fFor one of the best sci-fi radio plays of all time, listen to Prisoner of the Machines starring a young John Lithgow with a long cameo by Hyman Brown). In 'Children' Tony Roberts (occasional Mystery Theater actor and always a stand-out) plays 'Gold,' a young member of the male tribe, who upon reaching manhood, must venture into the forest and either capture a female to bring back to the camp for procreation or die trying. Interestingly, members of the female tribe, such as Flower (the woman Gold confronts) are required to do the same. Gold is unique in that, despite being the son of the tribe's religious leader (perenial Mystery Theater regular and legend Robert Dryden) he rejects the overall system and long-lived patterns of hatred for the opposing female tribe. This attitude of appreciation of the similarities rather than differences between the tribes is contagious, especially on the battle-tested veteran Flower. Though the manner of speech could be tiresome to the ear, listeners should appreciate the strict adherence of the Sam Dann's script to the small vocabulary and use of language by the simple people of this futuristic and uncivilized world. Children of Death is a captivating listen of a fascinating concept that I enjoy time and time again. Though history disagrees with the idea that the opposing sides of the Cold War were merely different sides of the same coin, the over-riding message of peace, love, and coexistence is inspiring. The story's end is quite moving and touches the heart. I give Children of Death four stars - JUROR # 4.

Although I was thinking this was an okay episode, after reading Juror #4's take on it I guess it was better than I thought (after I considered it as an allegory to the cold war). I agree that some of the voice acting was stilted, but it was still fairly good. I was curious how other people think how the story continued, either good or bad. I was thinking both but not one more than the other. That is one of the nice things about radio shows like this.

I rate this episode ★★★★★ for EXCELLENT. It's combines the Drama-Mystery and the Fantasy-Mystery together. Drama, because it is a battle of the sexes. Fantasy, because it takes place in a dystopian future. SPECIAL NOTE: Not only Sam Dann wrote this story, he also wrote a novel based on it entitled THE THIRD BODY. Luckily, I found this book and it would be amazing to hear this story on CBSRMT if it was split into 5 parts just like they did for the episodes of NEFERTITI, THE LAST DAYS OF POMPEII, THE LEGEND OF ALEXANDER, and LES MISERABLES. The sounds effects of the beating of drums, swords clash, howling wind in the forbidden forest, hunting spear thwack into a tree, birds chirping, and tape reel were highly supportive in this tale. The music had the right tunes in each Act where curiosity, suspicion, and doom slowly creep up on our characters. And what I enjoyed the most from this tale was our outstanding cast: Tony Roberts (as Gold & David), Marian Seldes (as Flower), Evie Juster (as the High Priestess & Lona) and Robert Dryden (as the High Priest & Death the hunter). The characters that Evie Juster & Robert Dryden played were pessimistic; not willing to think outside the box. But the roles that Tony Roberts & Marian Seldes played were the exact opposite; character-driven to be optimistic. They went from adversaries, to allies, to lovers. I like the part where Gold describes the High Priestess as “a tall handsome woman” at the 20-minute mark. As for our Host, he was very explanatory in his narrations. In his Prologue, E.G. Marshall begins by quoting Hotspur from Williams Shakespeare’s HENRY IV Part 1: “Doomsday is near; die all, die merrily.” But also, discussing the prophets of doom, the sears and sages for the end of the human race. In ACT-1, our story takes place in the future, but not OUR future, where it is Male Tribe VS. Female Tribe and both have gone back to their primitive ways. In ACT-2, after realizing that these characters live in a world where combat is the order of the day, E.G. Marshall asks “Why bother with truth when we can enjoy fiction?” (I’m glad that this is fiction; as what Mark Twain once said, “Truth is stranger than fiction.”) Later on, he asks another puzzling question: “How can these Warrior Men & Amazon Women resolve their differences?” In ACT-3, he wonders does the future repeat the past and supposes that there comes a time when the world has to begin all over again. After revealing what happened in the final scene, E.G. Marshall asks us CBSRMT fans to write the End to this story. How do YOU see this story ending? If you’re searching for a dystopian story with a hopeful ending, this one’s for you. Plus, it has a commercial of Joanne Woodward for the National Society for Autistic Children with its address: P.O. Box 8646 Albany, NY 12208. Until next time…pleasant dreams. =^D

I heard this a while back. Very well done. I am fan of this "genre", and enjoyed it.

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