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The Victim


Hotshot lawyer Ferras gets an acquittal for Joe Thompson's manslaughter conviction, as well as $2 Million as damages. Joe travels to Acapulco to celebrate his freedom.



Air Dates

  • First Run - February 19, 1982
  • Repeat - April 27, 1982





90     30

8 Responses to Episode 1292

"The Victim" was fantastic all the way around. The acting was great. John Lithgow plays Joe Thompson, the main character on trial for a murder he didn't commit. The story has a great twist at the end with shades of a winter romance. This is Mystery Theater at its best!

Davy Joe

John Lithgow is the lead in this play which centers on a man falsely accussed of murder. The story is a bit predictable until a minor twist at the end.


Tammy Grimes said that she wasn't sure whether Joe Thompson committed a crime. I think it's clear that his crimes were conspiracy to file a false police report, obstruction of justice, fraud and a host of other crimes.


I rate this episode ★★★★☆ for GOOD. A terrific Drama-Mystery written by Bryce Walton. This is one of those stories that can draw you in, one minute at a time. The more focused you're listening in, the better the suspense. Another way to title it would be “The Lawyer of Last Resort” or even “The Lethal Season” (you’ll know what I mean when you get to the 25-minute mark in this story). Tammy Grimes as the Host was pretty good this time around. In her Prologue, she asks, “What’s the most horrible thing that could really happen to you?” That’s when you know the suspense is about to rise. In ACT-1, she said her idea of genuine horror is to be proven guilty of murder when you’re not. Later, she explains that anyone can be a victim; it’s just a matter of waiting one’s turn. In ACT-2, our main character’s story of persecution is a living nightmare. Not only that, Tammy Grimes quoted the old saying, “I know not how the truth may be, I tell the tale as ‘twas told to me.” SPECIAL NOTE: That quote comes from “A Legend of the Rhine” by H. Gilbert. At the end of the Act, she questions if there’s a criminal that we can identify with; certain criminals that became objects of hero worship. In ACT-3, she mentions the misfortunes of others that make us more fortunate than we really are. More importantly, at the end of the Act, we learned that our main character is not a criminal of murder, but did commit a crime that was rendered legal. If you read the PLOT, it gives away the ending about the cash and Acapulco. In her Epilogue, Tammy Grimes mentions the power of money; how it can be used for evil or for good. She did well, but not like E.G. Marshall could. The sound effects of the TV set on, door knocked, the footsteps, keys, jail cell closing, court case papers, phones ringing at the police station, piano music at the restaurant, pouring of the coffee, dialing of the rotary phone, clinking of the drinks, and the tropic/romantic music playing were beneficial. But a bigger benefit was the music. Every scene you go to will have these music tunes that expressed pain, despair, agony, depression, loneliness, darkness, and hopelessness. Or as what E.G. Marshall has said before, “The fear…you can hear.” And that’s exactly what you’ll get to hear in all 3 Acts! But the best part of all, was our cast: John Lithgow (as Joe Thompson), Russell Horton (as Sergeant Cove and Al Mark: the Public Defender), Teri Keane (as Helen Travis), and Earl Hammond (as Officer Wilson and Sam Ferras: the Lawyer). SPECIAL NOTE: Himan Brown plays the role of Benny Shop: the Bartender. John Lithgow deserves the recognition and acknowledgement for his talented work. Listen to his voice at the 24-minute mark when he says, “You miserable shyster.” But also listen to the way he portrays his character as a man in a state of Oblivion. There are many reasons why CBSRMT is so memorable and John Lithgow is definitely one of those reasons. He ranks up to the same level as Norman Rose and Fred Gwynne do. Everyone should tune in for this one. Until next time…pleasant dreams. =0)


A fun plot with a small twist at the end. Honestly I did not see it coming but it was not an epic twist but ok! smile emoticon Enjoyed John Lithgow very much! He does a great job in this one check it out!


The twist is sort of given away early on - see the plot description. Nevertheless, still a good storyline.


The Victim is a slightly drawn out story starring John Lithgow, Russell Horton, and Teri Keane. Lithgow does a good job carrying the repetitive narrative of a wrongly accused man which includes a inspiring but all too brief appearance by Earl Hammond as a sympathetic and fatherly lawyer, and an interesting twist at the very end that is too late and with not enough boom to salvage the hour. Keane and Horton do well too, but sadly, Bryce Walton's Victim makes the listener the true bearer of the title role and barely earns two stars out of five – Juror #4.

Juror #4

I expected an awesome twist at the end, but it wasn't the twist I expected? 5 stars!

Jim K.

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