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Title

The Parasite

Plot

A doubtful professor is made to change his opinions about the might of hypnotism but he believes the hypnotist wants to seduce him.

Episode

0812

Air Dates

  • First Run - April 7, 1978
  • Repeat - September 7, 1978

Actors

Writer

Listen

Rating

50
39     11


12 Responses to Episode 0812

A sceptical professor soon develops a strong belief in the power of hypnotism. He thinks the hypnotist is trying to seduce him.

Norman Trace

4 to 4 1/2 comments: 1. This show to me is almost "Sir Arthur Conan Doyle tips his hat to Elspeth Eric". Indeed, Doyle lived way before and never knew the latter (with her slow, psychodramatic love stories on the RMT) but it almost feels like he honors her here albeit with his signature flair, detail and edginess..."The Parasite" is essentially a one-sided love affair. Sir Arthur made some wonderful non-Sherlock Holmes short stories. 2. There have been several well-done vampire tales on the RMT. This show is a variation on that theme, where instead of gobbling blood the antagonist goes after (for lack of a better phrase) the life force of her paramour. The RMT had one other similar tale - the downbeat, somewhat-strangely-named "The 800 pound gorilla" starring Mandel Kramer, Earl Hammond and Teri Keane. In that story everyone we cared about bit the dust. I liked this show better, and it had some humor to it (listen, for example, to Rose's fellow educator discuss his classroom antics while "under the spell"). (And one of my favorite moments is at the very beginning of the first act, right after E.G. says the words "Gilbert...Gilroy") 3. That's when one of the best. RMT. Music beds. EVER. sounds. It's a shrill, almost off-key piccolo alongside a glockenspiel or other mallet instrument chime, joined seconds later by a bass or contra-bass clarinet* beneath hitting what I think is the lowest "A" note possible, followed moments later by an oboe and bassoon. It's essentially a gothic woodwind quartet, playing an ominous, sinister sound that so well sets the listener on edge. Which is why it's such a good counterpoint to... 4. Norman Rose in a jaunty, victorian, educated, accomplished-but-not-quite-arrogant voice responding "Professor Gilbert Gilroy, if you please. I've worked hard for that distinction." Just because one was doing a monologue on the RMT didn't necessarily mean one's character was going to make it through the episode. However, the slight smile in Rose's voice is, without going any further, reassuring - especially alongside the aforementioned music. Not the most action-packed, but a fun listen regardless, IMO. * I believe a case could be made, were one ever to ask "What was the favorite instrument of the composers of the CBS/Twilight Zone/RMT music", that the answer would appear to be "bass clarinet". From the long soliloquy on the signature RMT theme to several music interludes both jazzy and sinister, this instrument was lovingly used with frequency. Makes me almost want to learn to play it. ")

Howard Stern

Great analysis of the musical score of the various episodes. The music on RMT was first-rate and was used to great success in enhancing the storytelling. They generally knew the best "bed" to use in a given scene. You mentioned in another thread "The Vampire Plant" ( a great episode!) and in it-- the music is utterly chilling and really helps "cement" that tale in your memory. It seems to me, during the earlier days of T.V.-- producers, directors, creators,etc. really saw music as an important an element as any other in the construction of their productions (ie.:the script, character development, special effects, etc.) and they went to great lengths to create moving and memorable scores. Just listen to the soundtracks of the original "TreK" or "Twilight Zone". Today, it seems as if the music in T.V. episodes is merely an afterthought. Perhaps, because many of the early T.V. "people" got their start on radio-- they were more in "tune" to this concept. By the way, do you have a musical background? You do a great job of "deciphering" which instruments are being utilized. (In most cases, I haven't a clue-- But I do appreaciate the musical soundtracks tremendously). Until next time..........

Jasmine

I believe most of the CBSRMT music comes from the Twilight Zone, which had sizable soundtrack contributions from Bernard Hermann (Citizen Kane, Vertigo, Taxi Driver) and Jerry Goldsmith (Planet of the Apes, Chinatown, Alien, Poltergeist) which would help explain the very high quality of the background music.

Arriane

They used to sell a plastic spaceship model in 1968 or 1969, called the "Leif Erickson". Included in it was a paper record, called "The Sounds of Space", that lasts about 3-4 minutes. You were supposed to listen to it while you built the model, I guess. Well, mid-way through the recording, is some of the CBSRMT score. The prose of the record is really awful, but bear with it. Halfway through, you'll hear what I'm talking about. Warning - the record is terrible. As bad as William Shatner singing "Strawberry Fields Forever." I thought that it was awful when I was 8 years old, and that's saying something.

Marlon Rondain

I just started reading the Annotated Sherlock Holmes stories, released a few years ago, and around the same time I listened to this episode. In the introduction to the book, it is noted that Doyle wrote around 200 short stories, if memory serves. And the main character in The Lost World (Challenger?) apparently was almost as popular as Holmes for a period of time. Has any actor made more RMT appearances than Norman Rose? I doubt it. And he is my favorite. He was a true professional with a great voice. This episode is enjoyable and it seemed to get darker in tone as it progressed. What antics did Rose's character engage in during the lecture? I must have missed it somehow. I appreciate the fact that RMT did not always have nice, happy, everything explained totally, endings. I would imagine that most fans of RMT are also fans of The Twilight Zone. I wonder how many fans of these shows have also read the EC comics such as Tales from the Crypt.

Dolan

Apparently Robert Dryden holds the record for most RMT appearances but Norman Rose was undoubtedly one of the greats. And the CBS library (source of the Twilight Zone scores)was heavily used to great effect.RMT would not have had the budget for original scoring. The cue Howard Stern referred to was composed by Fred Steiner for the TZ episode "King Nine Will Not Return."

Dale Haskell

The photo you show for G. Lewis, is actually the Actor who played Dr. Kildare in the old movies, Lew Ayres.

Sham

I loved watching Care 54 Where Are You! On Nick @ Nite in the 80s. He was quoted as saying: "Voice work is the kindest thing that can happen to an old actor." (Though wasn't he a judge in "My cousin Vinny", long after the last RMT episode - think it was Mr. Gwynne's final role before he passed.)

Chris

I rate this episode ★★★☆☆ for AVERAGE. I’ll review what I enjoyed the most first and then finish off what I disliked. First, I enjoyed the cast: Kevin McCarthy (as William Gillette/Sherlock Holmes), Jada Rowland (as Pamela Watson), Russell Horton (as Jim Watson), and Carol Teitel (as the Tour Guide and Mrs. Hudson). Carol Teitel was terrific in her 2 roles. Jada Rowland is my favorite actress in the CBSRMT series and having her partner up with Russell Horton again, like many episodes before, was delightful. And Kevin McCarthy was entertaining, just like his performance as Sherlock Holmes in previous episodes before this one. Next up, music and sound effects. Dozens of dramatic tunes were used, but no suspenseful or chilling tracks were used to match the feel of being trapped in a castle. Sound effects of car engine running, tires screech, footsteps, tourists murmuring, sliding doors, cat meowing, howling wind, gong, lamp breaking, doors, cane hitting clothing, gun shot, tapping of the phone, drawing the curtains, carriage rolling up, pouring of drinking glasses, and doorbell were very supportive in this tale. Next is our Host and his narrations. E.G. Marshall’s Prologue focused on castles and our story takes place at a castle in New England. In ACT-1, meet Jim & Pamela Watson where one of them is a Sherlock Holmes buff. In ACT-2, knowing so little about William Gillette’s career and we get a sense that some actors like him can go too far to create an illusion of reality. In ACT-3, after the strange turn of events, our Host’s only explanation to the Climax is to mention a quote from a playwright about the 6th sense of the Imagination. In his Epilogue, he recommends CBSRMT listeners to take a tour of the Gillette Castle itself in Connecticut. Good recommendation, but no Resolution explained on what happened to our characters afterwards. And so, it comes down to the final segment: the Script. Elizabeth Pennell has written decent drama mysteries and even did the adaptations of #0605-JANE EYRE and #0643-WUTHERING HEIGHTS. But this story was Fair. So-so, I should say. I was expecting it to be a haunting mystery about a haunted castle with the Sherlock Holmes references. But instead, this story’s turn of events created massive questions to think about. Like, how did the Jim & Pamela Watson hear about this castle? Was Mrs. Hudson going through nightmare problems? Was William Gillette really dead? Was he putting on a show for his guest just so he can play Sherlock Holmes for fun? Did these 2 tourists actually travel back in time? Was the castle actually haunted? Was it really a nightmare? Was anything resolved after Jim & Pamela Watson escaped from the castle? There are so many fill-in-the-blanks in this, the episode’s title should be changed and call it “A Bad Case Of The Jitters” or “Elementary, My Dear Guests.” Tune in to this, if you like. There are better castle stories in the CBSRMT vault. SPECIAL BONUS: This episode has commercials of AMEX travelers checks, Bob Armstrong’s Diamond Center, “The Ritual” novel, CBS-News, First Federal of Gary, Radio Advertising Bureau, Jewel’s Discount Grocery Store, CBS-Sports News in Chicago, CBS-News on Election 1980, Susan Anton for Serta Sleeper Mattresses, and Smokey Bear Program. Until next time…pleasant dreams.

Russ

I rate this episode ★★★★★ for EXCELLENT. I'd think that Robert Barr would have been pleased of the adaptation of this by James Agate, Jr. It has intricate clues, it has peculiar motives, and it has a surprising twist in the end. And above all, it has a great detective in this: Eugène Valmont. Robert Barr’s character ranks up with Jacques Futrelle’s Professor Augustus S.F.X. Van Dusen and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes. Another way to title this story would be “A Case Of Interest” or even “The Parisian Detective.” In our Host’s Prologue, E.G. Marshall starts it off by comparing one of the characters as a “Scrooge.” In ACT-1, the bloodline of the James Dudley Hills on their fortunes. As the plot thickens, we realize that not all clues were divulged in the first Act alone. In ACT-2, questions pop up. More importantly, they see the evidence clearly, but not recognize it. In ACT-3, quoting Sir Francis Bacon about suspicions and our main detective plays a waiting game. In the end, after discovering where the loot was hiding all along and discovering who else was related to the family, we learned a private post-mortem joke that money would bring out the worst in those with the least character. In his Epilogue, E.G. Marshall finishes it off with the comparison of the Midas myth - great wealth does not equal great happiness. Outstanding narrations. Sound effects of bells, footsteps, background noise at the police station, phone receiving line, seals, patrons murmuring, paper note, newspapers, doors, dog wincing, phone ringing, paper bills, intercom buzzer, emergency sirens, pulling off wallpaper were terrific. As for the music, great selection of dramatic tunes that moved the story forward. And let us not forget our amazing cast: Norman Rose (as Eugène Valmont), Russell Horton (as James Dudley Hill III and Inspector Graves), and Robert Dryden (as James Dudley Hill, Jr. and Elijah Browning). These 3 worked well together. Norman Rose, performing with a French accent, was very entertaining. This is one mystery story that CBSRMT fans should not pass up on. Until next time…pleasant dreams.

Russ

I rate this episode ★★★★☆ for GOOD. I admire Murray Burnett’s work, particularly his adaptions of the Sherlock Holmes stories. But the story originally from Edith Wharton was better. The novelist’s ghost story had a Narrator without a name. In Murray Burnett’s version, we got a fashion designer that’s interested in the castle while the other male characters act persuasive and vulnerable. I was more interested in the mystery of the dogs and hope that they would play a bigger part to this tale. Other ways to title this would be “Dogs Of Kerfol” or “Strange Vendetta.” In our Host’s Prologue, that I had to find on other OTR websites, E.G. Marshall’s topic is about castles with ghosts. In ACT-1, meet our main character who’s interested in buying a castle. After digging into the story within the story, our Host points out the lifestyle differences of adultery from 2 different time periods. Our main character must’ve seen dogs or ghost dogs. After too many conflicts about pets getting killed in this story, E.G. Marshall mentions ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). Was E.G. Marshall trying to advertise this non-profit organization into the episode? In ACT-3, he understands the reaction that our main character felt when reading the history book. When the story was over, E.G. Marshall stated that when he talked about this story to a psychiatrist and what was his take on this? Was E.G. Marshall talking about his personal life on this? Or was this something that Murray Burnett wrote for him? What’s even weirder, is the Epilogue. E.G. Marshall tells the world’s shortest horror story ever. It’s a classic, but it’s irrelevant to this particular story. E.G. Marshall wasn’t off topic with his narrations, but he could’ve saved the ASPCA mentioning, the psychiatrist moment, and the shortest horror story for other episodes. The music was OK, but the tunes for the chilling moments kept on repeating in every Act. Sound effects of birds chirping, bell ring, iron gate squeaking, footsteps, car tires screech, jewelry case, door knocking, howling wind, violin music, and unbolting the door were good. And of course, the sounds of dogs barking were helpful. And finally, our cast: Mercedes McCambridge (as Paula Randall and Anne de Cornault), William Redfield (as Herve de Lanrivain and Andre de Lanrivain), Ian Martin (as Baron Yves de Cornault), and Guy Sorel (as the Judge and the Gypsy). I like this choice of cast members. In fact, this was my favorite part of the episode. All of the actors were great. But it was Mercedes McCambridge, our leading lady, who was superb. Her performance in this reminds me of her performance in Ep. #0318-CARMILLA where she played 2 roles: The Narrator and the Woman who dealt with death. Fans of her would enjoy this episode. Check this one out, but also check out Edith Wharton’s original ghost story. Until next time…pleasant dreams.

Russ


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