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CBSRMT Episode Information
Title:
The Forever Man
Plot:
A luckless man is offered every material comfort in the world through free cars, houses and monetary wealth by a millionaire. The latter only wants to swap their souls in exchange so he can regain his youth.
Episode:
0092
Air Dates:
First Run - May 15, 1974
Repeat - August 3, 1974
Writer:
Listen:
Rating:
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20 Responses to Episode 0092


A very old plot device, body switching. The guy was a jerk, certainly, but he didn't deserve to die. Supernatural science.

The owner of a drug company makes a rash decision to murder his top chemist when he threatens to expose that the company's new antibiotic is unsafe, a revelation that could mean the end of the business. As a highly respected member of the community, the man is seemingly above suspicion and the sherrif is the only one in town who is willing to find out the truth. This is a good-old fashioned murder mystery with a great twist ending. Genre: SUSPENSE

Small-time hood Jack Hanley is offered an amazing proposition by an rich old man, LeRoy Frazier. Frazier will give Jack his entire fortune if Jack will agree to exchange bodies with him -- his young healthy body for Fraizer's sickly, dying old body. Is the rich man crazy or does he really have the power to do what he proposes? Genre: Occult

A young loser is offered free cars, apartments, and money in exchange for his body. An old milliionaire wants to "trade souls" with him so that he can have a young body again. Common story concept, but Janney shines.

A young hoodlum is bailed out of jail by an old eccentric man who hires him for a special job. To prove his sincerity, he gives the hood $500 cash, an Italian sports car, and a posh apartment fully furnished and stocked. The deal is that the young man will surrender his body upon demand by the older man who intends on performing a ‘soul transplant’. Of course the hood doesn’t believe him but takes full advantage of the free flow of money, until the promise is called in…

An enjoyable episode which includes a good performance by the older actor who portrayed the would be body snatcher. He delivers a very funny line when he tells the younger character that he wants his body. in the final analysis, things probably worked out for the best as the younger guy was basically a punk. What exactly did he expect the police officer to do at the end?

Kinda predictable, but enjoyable nonetheless!

This one suffers from having an unsympathetic punk as the victim. Maybe Sam Dann didn't want anyone nice to get hurt, but it definitely hurts the story's emotional impact. Also, Paul Hecht seems a little miscast. His role should have gone to Bob Kaliban, Jack Grimes or Russell Horton, each of them great at playing young punks.

Quote: This one suffers from having an unsympathetic punk as the victim. Maybe Sam Dann didn't want anyone nice to get hurt, but it definitely hurts the story's emotional impact. Also, Paul Hecht seems a little miscast. His role should have gone to Bob Kaliban, Jack Grimes or Russell Horton, each of them great at playing young punks. Actually, Mr. Hecht played an even slimier punk in another great RMT episode "The man who asked for yesterday". - I love the stock cuban(?) music used when Hecht's character is in his apartment and Janney's character turns on the stereo. This was used elsewhere as well, usually as background music in a bar / restaurant scene, so it was nice to hear this at a louder level. - This was the very first episode I ever heard, and I remember listening to it curled up in the back seat of my Dad's Volkswagen bug on the way to visit our family in Illinois. (Sadly, unbeknownst to us he had cancer and died 9 months later. I didn't know what this program was at the time being young, and didn't "discover" the RMT until four years later, so I never got to listen to other episodes with He and my Mom.)

A well-produced episode with polished performances, a well-paced script and effective music. This one had the feel of a classic 40's episode of Escape or Suspense. My only criticism would be that the last two minutes could have packed a bit more punch.

A good, solid episode with some \"body switching\" premise that was hokey and yet fun. I do agree with Gary and Vince though; Paul Hecht\'s voice is way too mature and aristocratic sounding to play such a young part as Jack. 4 stars.

Very suspenseful

I thought the line "I want your body" followed by "... and you can have mine" could've had a completely different connotation even when this was made. I also thought it interesting that the old man talked about "George", but "George" doesn't seem to be around anymore - I guess he didn't like him so much that he shared his secret.

One of my favorites!

One of my favorite, great ending

I rate this episode ★★★★☆ for GOOD. This story reminds me of the 136th episode of THE TWILIGHT ZONE from Season 5 entitled "The Self-Improvement Of Salvadore Ross" because both stories are about people who switch their lives with others. That TV episode is based on a story by CBSRMT writer Henry Slesar and I wonder if he ever noticed that his story idea was used by Sam Dann so he could write it for this series. Everything was going smoothly in this story, except the ending. In my opinion, it should've ended where our 2 main characters switch spots one last time and "The Forever Man" would cease to exist and finally be labeled as "The Never Man." Anyway, we had a pretty good selection of the cast in this. Paul Hecht (as Jackson Hanley), Bryna Raeburn (as Della, Mrs. Toomey, and the Nurse), William Redfield (as Sergeant Burns and Jerry), Dan Ocko (as Mr. Soames and the Doctor), and Leon Janney (as Leroy Fraser). I enjoyed the actors' performances, but not so much on our leading actress. Bryna Raeburn played her part as Della as an annoying paranoid troublemaker, Mrs. Toomey as too obedient, and the Nurse hardly had any character development. She has done great work for the series and she deserved better roles than these. There are 3 things that I liked the most in this. FIRST: the music had the right dramatic elements in every Act and it build up the suspense from one scene to the next. SECOND: the sound effects of the rotary phone ringing, the cars honking on busy streets, car engine running, Jazz music playing on the stereo, the doorbell in the apartment, public murmurs at the bank, the car racing and then it crashes, pouring of the brandy, and the body dropped to the floor were all delightful to hear. THIRD: E.G. Marshall's opening monologue when he said, "Welcome, once again, to the shadow world of mystery and suspense. To a dark and cryptic universe called the Imagination." Now THAT, is what I call a magnificent introduction! And of course, his narrations were entertaining, like when he mentions what money can never buy, can a soul leave a body before the body is dead, learning the Art of Exchange (including the exchange of souls), ask if the soul is transferrable, and the resolution about the soul of Jackson Hanley (that's inside Leroy Fraser's body) ends up in a sanitarium. Watch THE TWILIGHT ZONE episode after listening to this mysterious tale and see the similarities. And if you're Nostalgic on Old Time Radio, listen to this episode with its commercials of Kellogg's Special-K cereal, Ozark Air Lines, Suburban Savings, Buick Apollo, Goldilocks with her Diet 7-UP, ShopRight, Contact Allergy, Thomas English Muffins (Thomas' promises), Punt e Mes (Italian aromatized wine), Budweiser, and the CBS News report on Richard Nixon & the Watergate. Enjoy! =0]

This was the very first RMT episode I ever heard, in August 1974, as a 14-year-old riding in the back of my Dad's VW bug while we were en route to family in Illinois prior to a Florida trip...didn't hear the RMT again until 4 years later and then I was hooked, as the saying goes. Note the latin-sounding music which plays when Jack Hanley is shown the condo he'll be furnished with the nice stereo system (just imagining an early-70s style pad)...I always liked this RMT music bed which was always used not for emotional effect but as a true music bed simulating playing music. I think it was also used in "Life Blood" but I can't be sure without hearing the latter episode again.

BTW, Russell, interesting that the RMT's "A bargain in blood" is literally an RMT remake (with more time) of the TWZ's "The self-improvement of Salvatore Ross". Liked both that RMT and the TWZ episode.

This was the very first RMT episode I ever heard, in August 1974, as a 14-year-old riding in the back of my Dad's VW bug while we were en route to family in Illinois prior to a Florida trip...didn't hear the RMT again until 4 years later and then I was hooked, as the saying goes. Note the latin-sounding music which plays when Jack Hanley is shown the condo he'll be furnished with the nice stereo system (just imagining an early-70s style pad)...I always liked this RMT music bed which was always used not for emotional effect but as a true music bed simulating playing music. I think it was also used in "Life Blood" but I can't be sure without hearing the latter episode again.

I rate this episode ★★★★☆ for GOOD. This story reminds me of the 136th episode of THE TWILIGHT ZONE from Season 5 entitled "The Self-Improvement Of Salvadore Ross" because both stories are about people who switch their lives with others. That TV episode is based on a story by CBSRMT writer Henry Slesar and I wonder if he ever noticed that his story idea was used by Sam Dann so he could write it for this series. Everything was going smoothly in this story, except the ending. In my opinion, it should've ended where our 2 main characters switch spots one last time and "The Forever Man" would cease to exist and finally be labeled as "The Never Man." Anyway, we had a pretty good selection of the cast in this. Paul Hecht (as Jackson Hanley), Bryna Raeburn (as Della, Mrs. Toomey, and the Nurse), William Redfield (as Sergeant Burns and Jerry), Dan Ocko (as Mr. Soames and the Doctor), and Leon Janney (as Leroy Fraser). I enjoyed the actors' performances, but not so much on our leading actress. Bryna Raeburn played her part as Della as an annoying paranoid troublemaker, Mrs. Toomey as too obedient, and the Nurse hardly had any character development. She has done great work for the series and she deserved better roles than these. There are 3 things that I liked the most in this. FIRST: the music had the right dramatic elements in every Act and it build up the suspense from one scene to the next. SECOND: the sound effects of the rotary phone ringing, the cars honking on busy streets, car engine running, Jazz music playing on the stereo, the doorbell in the apartment, public murmurs at the bank, the car racing and then it crashes, pouring of the brandy, and the body dropped to the floor were all delightful to hear. THIRD: E.G. Marshall's opening monologue when he said, "Welcome, once again, to the shadow world of mystery and suspense. To a dark and cryptic universe called the Imagination." Now THAT, is what I call a magnificent introduction! And of course, his narrations were entertaining, like when he mentions what money can never buy, can a soul leave a body before the body is dead, learning the Art of Exchange (including the exchange of souls), ask if the soul is transferrable, and the resolution about the soul of Jackson Hanley (that's inside Leroy Fraser's body) ends up in a sanitarium. Watch THE TWILIGHT ZONE episode after listening to this mysterious tale and see the similarities. And if you're Nostalgic on Old Time Radio, listen to this episode with its commercials of Kellogg's Special-K cereal, Ozark Air Lines, Suburban Savings, Buick Apollo, Goldilocks with her Diet 7-UP, ShopRight, Contact Allergy, Thomas English Muffins (Thomas' promises), Punt e Mes (Italian aromatized wine), Budweiser, and the CBS News report on Richard Nixon & the Watergate. Enjoy! =0]

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