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The Sensitive


A cynical and bitter skeptic attends a séance with his wife and his boss. Despite his aversion to things of the occult, he soon realizes that he is sensitive to the paranormal activities around him and actually has the power to manifest spirits into the physical plane. His so-called gift however comes with a terrible price.



Air Dates

  • First Run - April 5, 1977
  • Repeat - August 20, 1977





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10 Responses to Episode 0629

This is an interesting one and it is hard to explain without giving away the ending. 2 couples conduct a séance. One of the couples has been studying the best way to go about it after failing the first time around. They are not trying to contact anyone in particular (such as a dead relative) just anyone will do - and they do make contact apparently. Seems that one of them turns out to be just the right vehicle for contacting the spirit of a dead person. Having seemingly found success the first time around, they decide to try and hit the jackpot again and another player is brought into the game. The person who can contact the spirit pays a heavy price for that "gift" though - and, another of the participants seems to develop a "personal relationship" with the entity that they contact. The surprise ending will leave you scratching your head (and that is more than I will normally say in a review about the ending of a program). This one gets your interest from the get go and is worth listening to.

Humphrey Braggart

A skeptic attends a seance with his wife and his boss. Turns out he is the "sensitive" who is able to bring the spirits to the material world. But the gift has a price.

Frankie Lacie

I would like to ask someone to open their archives, listen to this and tell me exactly what happened here, when possible. I KNOW this is the story of four foolish people (two husband-wife couples) who attend a carefully planned seance at the home of one of the couples. By "planned" I mean the temperature is set to a certain level, seating among the couples is carefully arranged (man/woman/man/woman), music is played, etc. The host couple say the seance will be a success if a "sensitive" is among them...a person who can feel and transmit the presence of a spirit from the afterlife. The host husband warns that everyone should be in good health, and that one who is a sensitive might actually lose weight if "successful". The other husband is "sensitive" to a french soldier named "Pierre". "Pierre" makes a prediction which turns out to be true, but his presence stuns his host into unconsciousness for a day. After recovering the man who was the "sensitive" makes an appointment with his physician, who says he's in fine health except for having lost 10 pounds since his last checkup (a few months ago) and his blood pressure is elevated. I THINK "Pierre" was interested in the "sensitive's" wife, but maybe ya'll can tell me differently...

Jeffrey Isaac

I would like to ask someone to open their archives, listen to this and tell me exactly what happened here, when possible. I will try to listen this coming week. I'm often in the same boat. I have had to go back and listen again in some programs to try and figure out what happened. In some cases, I'm still not sure. :?: ops: :?

Kyle Johnson

Well Jeffrey it took me two listens to figure it out. As you may have found out that the author Elspeth Eric was heavily into psychological dramas. Here she names the lead character after the Greek philosopher Philo. That was not just flipping a coin. Philo's name was chosen for a purpose. Likewise his friend was named Carl. No doubt in philosophy after Carl Jung. Now SPOILER ALERT coming. I suggest for first timers to listen to the episode first and try to figure it out yourself before reading further. In Act 1 Philo is a dedicated actor who prided himself for his performance in Ibsen's Hedda Gabler, and is auditioning for the part of Hjalmar in the play Wild Duck. He even tells Carl this at the start of the seance, but Carl, disinterested, says he could take or leave Ibsen, but Philo's wife is nagging them to apply for parts. Now to briefly describe the Philosophy of [the philosopher] Philo. Philo believed that God is the only real reality, and the logos of the Bible is divinely written but completely unknowable to man. The Bible is full of allegory and metaphor. This is in opposition to Carl Jung who is the number 1 atheist. Now the entire seance is arranged in metaphor and symbolism, (men wear black, women wear white, men have to sit next to women in a semicircle, and so on. All symbolism that would appeal to the Greek Philo.) Now what happens? We can take a clue from what E.G. Marshall says after act 2 and at the climax. Quote from William Blake, If one totally believes in something is so, then it is so. Marshall later says that an actor totally diving into his part can do so with such energy that he can literally bring the entity to life. This Philo does with Pierre. Pierre is not a ghost but an entity created by the actor playing the part. That is why Philo gets high blood pressure and loses weight. He even tells his wife that he is so good at it that he will quit his job and take up doing the seance medium bit. Unfortunately the phone rings and the news comes that the realist Carl [Jung] has beaten Philo and gotten the coveted part of Hjalmar himself! Surprising even to us the audience. To Philo who was betrayed by his realist friend Carl [Jung] remember, he recedes into a world that the Philosopher Philo could not understand, he does not die literally, but transforms himself bodily into his creation, Pierre.

D.C. Klinkensmit

Great! Thanks for this info. Was wondering the significance of the names, etc.


This is one of the more difficult story lines to understand and I appreciate your insights. The thing I still find puzzling in your explanation is that if Philo did not die literally, why did Dr. Hayes say "It isn't a trance state, Sally. Sally, Philo is dead...He is. There's no doubt about it. Philo is dead."? As the only outsider and skeptic, Dr. Hayes declared Philo dead, repeated the declaration for emphasis, and discussed the idea of an autopsy with Philo's wife. He would not do this is Philo was not actually dead. The thing to understand in the story line is the manipulation of Philo by his manager, Carl. Philo mentioned early on how domineering Carl can be at work. Carl expects Philo to jump when commanded and Carl exercises mental manipulation over Philo, even to the point of suggesting ideas to Philo's subconscious. This is the significance in Carl's name, an homage to Carl Jung who was a leader in the field of psychoanalysis and an expert in the unconscious state of mind. Carl and Joan conspired to steal energy from Philo because Philo was a talented and enthusiastic actor. Carl's wife, Joan, was an amateur dancer and she wanted Carl to become involved in Main Street Players to support her own ambitions. Although Carl had little genuine interest in acting, he desired to compete with Philo and crush his ambitions by getting for himself the lead role of Hjalmar in Ibsen's The Wild Duck. Carl knew how important the lead role was to Philo. Carl's 10 pound eight loss can be explained by his weakness and low appetite for a few days. His higher blood pressure would be due to the stress of the seance. Carl previously stated that he could "take or leave" Ibsen's plays. Thus, his main interest in getting the lead role was to impress his wife and crush his employee Philo. The play is an exercise in the power of suggestion! It also illustrates the ill will that can be motivated by jealousy. Note that it was Carl who announced "Philo is our sensitive" and suggested to Sally that the entity was standing directly in front of her. Carl announced "There it is!". Carl suggested to Sally that she touched the entity and suggested that the entity wore a uniform. The entity was supposed to be a French soldier Pierre Sorrel who lost his leg in the Battle of Borodino against Russia. This forebodes Philo's demise as an actor because his leg is lost. The entity Pierre predicted success for Joan to dance upon a stage and success for Carl, then he disappeared. Philo's energy was drained and he was subconsciously suggested to die. Philo was left weakened and emotionally drained. The coup de grace was Joan's phone call to announce that Carl got the lead role in The Wild Duck. When Sally relayed the information to Philo, his last energy was drained and he died. At the end, Sally is revealed to also be a sensitive because Joan suggested to Sally that Philo might be in a trance. Philo appeared to be recovering until his last bit of energy was drained at the news of the lead role he wanted going to Carl. Dr. Frank Hayes is a loyal friend of Philo and Sally but even he could not stop the power of suggestion from working against them. With Philo now dead, Sally is left in the grip of the suggestions left by Carl and Joan because she imagines the entity Pierre Sorrel emerging from her husband's dead body. Sally imagines the entity Pierre telling her that he will never let her go.


I was with it until the end. Elspeth is my least favorite writer because I don’t want to have a PhD in philosophy to listen to a radio show. That being said, DC’s commentary makes this show palatable and interesting . I’d rather read the commentary than listen to the episode.


I'm with you, Christine. I listened with interest, but I didn't care for this episode. All the explanation in the world (while interesting) doesn't really make up for a weak story. The constant mention of Ibsen was just weird. I mean, if a dead spirit visited me, the last thing I'd be asking about was getting a part in a community theater production. Maybe I'd ask him what was going to be on sale at Kroger next week. I mean, come on, it's silly isn't it? And, spoiler alert--maybe Pierre liked Sally (and killed Philo?), but why would Sally suddenly be like, "YES Pierre, I love you!" ...right after her own husband dies...WHAT?


At about 14:33, Ralph Bell reads a portion of his line and then repeats what he'd said and continues. Whatever flub thre was never got edited out.

Bill C.

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