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Yesterday's Giant


After a nuclear exercise, two scientists discover a group of Neanderthals living in the strange jungles of Nevada desert. Each of them follow the remarkable discovery with their own means and goals.



Air Dates

  • First Run - January 30, 1978
  • Repeat - June 25, 1978





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35 Responses to Episode 0773

Two scientists discovered some Neanderthals who are like ten feet tall or close to that size. There is also an episode called Wise Child in which a couple find a baby in a thunderstorm they keep the child but it does not grow or mature.


This program is somewhat the same story line from the last review reworked. This involves the interaction of three men, some (apparent) surviving Neanderthals, and nuclear tests in the Nevada desert. Listen to this one and the last one back to back and see what you think.

Sally Severo

A discredited anthropologist is offered a chance to revive his career when a friend calls with a unbelievable opportunity: a chance to study a recently discovered specimen of prehistoric man....and the specimen happens to be alive ! A well-done episode with an interesting story. Genre: Science-Fiction

Rodrigo T.

Two scientists pursue a giant, living neanderthal in the Nevada desert in the wake of a nuclear test. Each pursues the living fossil with his own agenda.


Norman Rose plays an archaeologist, Ralph Bell plays another one, albeit with a few less scruples. Bell's character comes to his old friend and fellow researcher with some startling news. They believed in their earlier days they had evidence that a huge species of prehistoric man existed whose scientific name was gigantopithecus (sic). Bell's character has just seen one, in fact, a whole family of them in the remote mountains of Nevada...they wandered through his camp. He entices his fellow researcher to come and see them for himself. He believes they'll be flushed out of the caves they're living in due to vibrations from an upcoming detonation of a test nuclear device by the military in the desert some miles away. So the two men go...Rose's character motivated by the quest for scientific knowledge, Bell's by the quest for lots of $$$$$...

A. Tosoc

Underground nuclear tests awake a family of Neanderthals living in a cave in a remote part of the country. A couple of scientists debate ethics versus finance with respect to dealing with their find.


I just heard this one last week. Pretty good episode. You can really see the "Giants" in your mind while listening to this one. Everytime I hear (or see) something about creatures living secretly deep in the earth, I remember watching the old Superman episode at night with the Mole Men. Must be something about being a kid and staying up late that adds to the experience of these old shows (radio and T.V.) and makes them so special.

Jonathan Badong

Just for fun you can check Google News to find the news article EGM quoted at the beginning of the show. It was a Sept. 27 1977 UPI story; Google finds it in the New York Times of Sept. 28. (NYT charges for access, but Google's snippets confirm that EGM quoted the opening text of this article.)

T. Sterns

Well it's fun tale but kinda goofy. When the Giant finally speaks, I had to laugh out loud, although I know it wasn't meant to sound funny . . . but really!! And the one fellow wants to lock up our furry friend and put him on display. It reminds me of a remark by Carl Sagan who noted that throughout the world apes and chimps are kept behind bars, in jails . . . by humans. Which, I guess, shows in some way who is civilized and who is primitive. I've always thought that this was an interesting point, at least on some philosophical level, and worth a bit of reflection.

P. LaBouy

You know it's all over for that one guy when he shows up with the baby in his backpack. Kiss him goodbye.

Freddie B.

Not a bad episode at all. Takes advantage of the medium of radio to bring us face to face with a living cave-man, but doesn't descend into the trite melodrama that often afflicts this type of plot. (If this was a movie from the same period, one of the scientists would have had a daughter who would have been carried away by the "monster" ! I remember Michael Crichton's novel Terminal Man in which it is specifically stated they can't shoot at the killer because of the radiation hazard; in the movie version they blaze away merrily at him with no such restrictions.) A good example of how you can do such a story much more easily on radio. I played this for a friend who is becoming interested in old radio shows and she was quite impressed.


Quote: You know it's all over for that one guy when he shows up with the baby in his backpack. Kiss him goodbye. LOL! No doubt!


Richard didn't make a very wise decision in asking the character played by Norman Rose to join him. Another good effort by Rose, my favorite RMT actor. Rose was good at playing scientists and intellectuals. I too was amused by the sound of the neanderthals "talking". Overall, I loved this episode. It is exactly the kind of entertaining show I remember listening to as a kid. I suppose it is the closest RMT ever came to airing a bigfoot show (unless I missed it).

R. Romani

We had this as a "double header" show on this website a couple of years ago. It's unique among the RMTs for containing (for lack of a better term) "caveman" references...strange how few episodes like this there were on the RMT given its thousand plus episodes. The reason why I suggested it as a doubleheader was Rose, and how his character was used. The other part of the "double" was the EXCELLENT episode of the same year "The laughing maiden". The reason they were paired together: 1. The main character, and narrator, was Rose. 2. At the beginning of each show he says "I suppose you'd..." (Interesting though that his "Laughing Maiden" character was now a drifter, the polar opposite of the decorated scientist he played in "Yesterday's giant". 3. Under his narration, each episode played the same music bed...the mysterious, semi-ominous bassoon chorus joined by trilling oboes. (For you musicians out there (I'm not one) I guess this was the RMT's "double reed festival" ">)) 4. And, in each episode, Rose's character survived while his former best friend (in "The laughing maiden" the best friend was a former co-owner of a Florida keys charter boat who was obsessed to the point of death about getting Captain Kidd's sunken treasure from a caribbean island guarded by a mysterious "yacht") perished due to greed.(Wow...I "googled" "The laughing maiden Norman Rose" to try and find that actor's name and instead found this page) 5. I'd forgotten it, but I loved when Rose's character talked about P and S and "Raleigh" waves during the nuclear test. Great sound effects, great narration, great music.

Chip Mueller

"If you can dream - and not make dreams your master..." From "If", written by Rudyard Kipling to his son HIMAN BROWN: "Hi, Norm, remember that show we recorded a week back about that "down-on-his-luck" guy who gets caught up with an old friend who thinks he's going to get rich because of something from the past?" NORMAN ROSE: "sure, Hi...and the guy's lied to by his 'friend' as to what's really going on, and the friend like a fool is willing to risk everything including his own life to get the treasure?" HIMAN BROWN: "Yes, that's it. Percy Grainger did such a good script that Fred Lewis and I thought we'd do it again, right down to you introducing yourself at the beginning over that "oboe-and-bassoon" melody we used in "Hickory Dickory Doom". NORMAN ROSE: "Oh, wow...who will I say I am THIS week?" Imaginary conversation in January 1978 between Himan Brown and Norman Rose ...and so, I nominate for this week's show(s) "The Laughing Maiden" and its fraternal twin born two weeks later "Yesterday's Giant".


Three things: 1. The always enjoyable Ralph Bell's breathless performance alternates, IMO, between being irritating and "TreMENdous". 2. When the writers were at the top of their form, you could learn things from them even when E.G. wasn't talking. I enjoyed hearing Rose's character talk about "P", "S" and "Raleigh" waves during the nuclear test. 3. We've talked before about the conditions the RMT players had to work with, and what a marvelous job they did with sound effects, music, etc. However, listen when Rose's character "James McLain" starts trying to break or hammer the rocks alongside his friend at around the 32:45 mark. Is that sound effect what I think it is?

Jack Cassidy

This was an ammusing episode. Haven't listened to the companion episode yet, will do that tomorrow. Speaking of sound effects, when they were trying to smash out the center rock from inside the circle of holes, it sounded like they were tossing pebbles against a boulder. Hardly the effect desired! With 1399 episodes written in such a short time span, it's not surprising that there are episodes that are quite similar. One literary researcher suggests that there are, in fact, only 20 master plots in all literature, and the only thing that changes are the conflicts, characters and settings to tell the story. i'll reserve further comment until I listen to the other episode.

A. Miles

I too find several amusing things in this...such as the caveman's voice. (Interesting how he roared like a lion atop the plateau, but seemed to have a normal, almost conversational volume when he was accepting the food from the archaeologist and his military friend.) I agree with you on the 20 themes, and think it would be interesting to create a database on how each of the 1,300 RMT episodes break down by theme. However, in [i:1ba836db02]this[/i:1ba836db02] set of programs we almost had a "cookie cutter" effect. As I hinted earlier, listen to Rose's opening dialogue over that "oboe-and-bassoon" music bed in the first act of each of these plays...notice how he says "I suppose" in each one. Later, you hear him say "wow" or "oh, wow" in each episode...and you hear the "protagonist" say "We're rich, Jason...we're RICH!" ("The Laughing Maiden") or "We're going to be RICH!" ("Yesterday's Giant"). Then there are the plot similarities: three characters in each play, no women involved, one guy thinks he's found something from the past to get rich from, that same guy's a shady character (anyone who heard this program think that Ralph Bell's guy was responsible for what they repeatedly called "that Utah man business"?), he tricks Rose's character into coming along into a high-risk mission, the shady character is absolutely RULED BY his dreams of wealth, etc. It seemed the RMT guys had a formula in January 1978. And thanks to the execution of the actors, and in spite of the extreme similarities, for me that formula worked.


This is also an intertaining program. Good ear on noticing the similar story line with this one the the other show that you suggested this week. I probably preferred the other one over this one but they were both good. In any event, the acting was superb!


This play takes place in the State of Nevada, during the country's underground nuclear testing days. A profit-minded anthropologist finds a prehistoric family hiding in the Nevada desert. He intends to exploit them for monetary gain and explains his plans to a close friend. The friend, our main character, hopes to use the find for scientific purposes. This play demonstrates many human traits. We witness the need to understand our origins, the desire for recognition among our peers, greed, benevolence, fear, kindness and many more. I enjoyed both the writing and acting and give this play a 4/5 based on the interesting and unique subject matter. That's not to say the play was completely unique because I've watched, read or listened to other programs where an alien being of some sort is exploited by scientist. However, I thought the content and the ties to the Nevada testing facility was interesting given that it certainly dated the program for the history buffs among us.


I haven't listened to the other program yet but I thought I'd comment on your posts. I wish I had commented on the sound effects because I also got a kick out of the prehistoric man's voice and the sound of the tiny rocks being used to give us a picture of the massive boulder. Both of these effects made me smile.

Larsen C.

Of the 2 programs I enjoyed this one more. Which is strange because I thought the other story was better crafted.. Both are classic tales of men out for profit, but I felt the fact that they were looking to exploit a living creature as opposed to stealing a dead pirates gold made Giant the better of the two. i was able to see the bad guy as more evil if you will Overall I thought the acting was good. I did have a couple of problems with the writing however--I found the whole Utah Man reference a distraction, I know it was supposed to be his motivation-but it didn't convince me. I also thought that the introduction of the infant in the last 2 minutes was cheap and beneath the normally solid writing. As far as the sound effect-it sounds like 2 billiard balls to me.

Anna Miranda

All I can say is WOW! What an excellent episode! The idea is truly original and delightful. The script builds the drama wonderfully and presents us with exceptionally crafted characters. Those characters are brought to life with gusto by the all-male cast. This may have been Norman Rose's finest performance. I'd put it in the top tier of episodes.

Milo A.

While I've listened to many episodes, this is the first one that involved a prehistoric creature. I am always surprised by the creativity and freshness of each story. However, I couldn't help but think Himan was indirectly or perhaps directly commenting on the role of Zoo's in our society. Maybe I'm reading too much into this but James talks about creating a national wildlife preserve while Richard talks about exploiting the creatures for money. Richard clearly is not concerned with the welfare of the creatures or science. He seems only to be concerned with the prospects for his own wealth. There is also one last point that struck me as interesting. Richard (at 18:40) talks at length about duplicating the exact habitat of these creatures down to the caves and all. Nowadays this is common practice but was that the case in 1978 or was Himan ahead of his time?


BTW, "billiard balls being hit together" is EXACTLY the same sound effect I thought. As to "that Utah man business", the reason why I think (after several listens to this) it was stressed is that it was supposed to have deeply affected Rose's character enough to make him totally opposed to considering exploiting the "Gigantispithecus" (sic? I think at one time it was pronounced "Gigantopithecus" as well in the show). At one point he also hinted that were he to do so he'd be finished as a scientist as a result of that "business. I agree...I can't remember any other cavemen, dinosaurs or prehistoric whatnot being used in other RMT plot lines.

Denny Perdue

the first thing i noticed about this episode was the lack of or poor sound effects. rmt usually does better than that. i had a picture of a desert setting but then i heard tropical birds and that kind of ruined the mood. the hammer hitting the rocks was funny. was the caveman supposed to be 100,000 years old? why wouldn't the giganticus guys have EVOLVED like we did? good acting. up to the rmt standards. was the info about the different types of waves true?

John Richard V.

Earthquake travel outward from the epicenter in three different types of waves. The fastest of these, called the P-waves, are pressure waves that travel through the ground like sound waves. Then come the S-waves, or shear waves, which move the earth from side to side. Last, but certainly not least are the so-called Raleigh Waves, which result in ripples on the surface of the earth - this is what makes the telephone poles appear to dance. Like counting the second between lightning and thunder to judge the distance to a storm, you can judge the distance to the epicenter of an earthquake by noticing the time between the shaking (S-waves) and the wiggles (Raleigh waves). Suppose you are in an earthquake. You see the earth start shaking with a period of 2.0 seconds. Approximately 30 seconds later, you see the telephone poles wiggle at a frequency of 5 Hz. Your friend, the seismologist tells you that S-waves have a wavelength of approximately 7 kilometers, while Raleigh waves have a wavelength of 160 meters.


This episode is going down as one of my favorites. Very entertaining. The sound effects of the neanderthals were classic. This episode reminded me of Frank E. Peretti's book "Monster." Great book. This is defenitely a step into the contemporaty for Mystery Theater. I listened to all of the episodes from 1974--most of those story lines could have taken place in the 1920s or 30s. The newer episodes (if you can call 1978 "newer") deal with modern day themes--at least modern for 1978. This episode would be a great for a first timer. 5 stars.


I just listened to this one not long ago. Great one.


Yeah I think it is yesterday's giant too. But if there is a similar episode Id love to know.


Great ep of the show. Love listing to it. Very well written and acted.


The 1st entry about the baby found by a couple in a storm, & this radio play with the Neanderthal Giants seemingly both the result of a nuke detination. 1 other thing.....ants the size of a Cadillac or maybe larger than that(check out an old movie with l8 actor(s), James Arness & James Whitmore).


The movie about the giants ants was called THEM. I 4got 2 mention that in my previous entry.....sorry about that.


A masterpiece. Ralph Bell and Norman Rose were great. It's Tremendous!!


cbsrmt was really scraping the bottom of the barrel with this one. LOL.... Giant Neanderthal ? they were 5foot 4inches on average, there were no giants... and they lived in Nevada?? Now I know this is called mystery theater but this is just fantasy fairy tale stuff and the only reason to listen to it is because it is so over the top Goofy and beyond belief it makes for a fairly good laugh... or not

helen forbes

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