CBSRMT Episode Information Next Episode


The Sinister Shadow


An unusual tale of how a timid woman chanced upon her doppelganger in a seedy bar, and how her double turned against her.



Air Dates

  • First Run - February 12, 1979
  • Repeat - August 2, 1979





77     32

14 Responses to Episode 0953

This episode really doesn't have much to do with shadows. (A la "I thought I saw a shadow", which I still enjoy.) Teri Keane plays a woman who lives with her mother. Keane works at a bank as a teller...she's in her 30s and doesn't seem to be going very far in her life. At the intro segment before the first act, she talks about her shadow, and how she was fascinated by it following her, and how now she sees it anywhere she goes even on cloudy days, etc. However, it turns out she's talking to another lady. A psychiatrist? appears this woman is at a bar. In fact, it appears this woman is Keane's character's exact physical double. Keane's Mom desperately wants her daughter to meet a nice man, though she's tried to set her up in the past with no success. Mom's very happy that her daughter is apparently seeing someone on a regular basis. When Keane, who does a slow burn (a la "Beheading") on a path toward becoming unhinged, tells her Mom that she's been seeing a woman...well, this is one of the few episodes I've heard of in the RMT where the spectre of lesbianism is raised. (That's fueled later in the show right before one of the acts end when the other woman's voice tells Keane that they'll go "upstairs" in a minute.) Mom panics, but Keane just says essentially: "Mom, she's my double." However, Keane's character seems to be more intent on releasing her pent-up anger than pursuing a romantic relationship. This is an Elspeth Eric might be worth adding to your playlist if you're a "Keanophile". It, like "Beheading" also seems to have a ray of hope shining through the psychological dreariness.

Hans B.

This is another example of Ms Eric's brilliant writing style. When the double describes knocking the mother out with a chair and choking her to make sure she was dead, then explains that she meant nothing to her, and did not know her from "a hole in the wall." You have to love it!


Reminds me of the Davis girl, Bette in dead ringer! Was it the port or am I seeing double? The hollow, a seedy bar is where it all takes place- and not a cup of good cheer served that's for sure!! Quite disturbing is the mothers tale of woe but what of it? Watcha gonna do? It's dark and somber and that's that.


"the sinister shadow". This one was a bit more amusing, though, probably unintentionally.


I not a fan of most of the stories penned by Elspeth Eric but this story was a pleasant surprise and kept me engaged to the very intriguing end.


This is another example of Elspeth Eric's brilliant style!!!!

Gina Schackel

Just my opinion as a man, but this isn't one of the better episodes of RMT. I made it to about a few minutes into act 2 when I couldn't take it anymore and went to do something more interesting, like paint the walls of my broom closet. What I got out of this episode is that I sure am glad I didn't get such as annoying mother-in-law in real life! There wouldn't be enough broom closets in the world to take avoid listening to her!

D.C. Klinkensmit

I rate this episode ★★★★☆ for GOOD. What’s great about this episode, is that it has an All-Female Cast: Teri Keane (as Dorrie), Grace Matthews (as Dorrie’s Double and the Nurse), and Joan Shay (as Dorrie’s Mother). Many CBSRMT episodes have an All-Male cast such as #0167-THE BLACK ROOM, #0782-REVENGE IS SWEET, and #1245-THE JUDGE’S HOUSE, but this particular episode had 3 phenomenal leading ladies. Joan Shay was brilliant as the antagonist. Grace Matthews did terrifically in her 2 roles. And as for Teri Keane, it’s one of her best performances in the series. Elspeth Eric’s wrote an intriguing mystery tale; however, the ending was kind of a letdown. The dramatic story-line was going great, but the ending was predictable on where the main character would end up. Plus, most of the scenes were dead silent; hardly any noise in the background to know if they were in a bar & grill or inside a house. The title is catchy, another way to title this story would be “Dorrie Detained.” The music was pretty good, especially using a couple tracks from THE TWILIGHT ZONE series. The sound effects of glasses clinking, doors, removal of the mirror, water bowl, footsteps upstairs, and the slap were OK, but as I said before, the scenes were dead silent. Background music and/or people murmuring during the bar & grill scenes would’ve been a nice touch. Not only the Cast was terrific, so was our Host. In E.G. Marshall’s Prologue, he recites the first 2 lines of “My Shadow” by Robert Louis Stevenson in his poetry collection in “A Child's Garden of Verses.” In ACT-1, our Host says that there are 23 separate definitions of the word “Shadow,” but CBSRMT picked the 8th definition of it to match with this story. In ACT-2, questioning on how to encounter our lookalikes and know that this story has a most efficient Double. In ACT-3, after revealing where the main character ended up, our Host explained that Dorrie’s Double lived in her shadow (SPOILER ALERT). In his Epilogue, E.G. Marshall may encounter his Double someday. The ending could’ve gone better. But other than that, it was still an intriguing episode. And all 3 Actresses in this deserve an acclamation. SPECIAL NOTE: This episode has a commercial that introduces Alistair MacLean’s 1978 thriller novel “Goodbye California.” Until next time…pleasant dreams. =0)


Oh, I love this one: Elspeth Eric at her finest. I loved Teri Keane's flat voice all the way through it, I loved the inane prattling her mother did, I loved the descriptions of how she murdered her (choking, hitting with a chair), and I loved the whole bizarre story line and dialogue.


Oh, I love this one: Elspeth Eric at her finest. I loved Teri Keane's flat voice all the way through it, I loved the inane prattling her mother did, I loved the descriptions of how she murdered her (choking, hitting with a chair), and I loved the whole bizarre story line and dialogue.


It's obvious that the woman told her mother dhe was meting with a woman, the mother thought she was having a lesbian relationship and she didn't approve. It's interesting how they didn't come right out and say so in the dialogue. In some ways CBSRMT is very dated, lol!


Whoever played the nurse in the sanitarium sounds just like the voice of the woman's double. It's confusing sometimes because the actress doesn't change her voice that much for both roles. But one thing I wonder is why wasn't the double played by Teri Keane? The double should have had the same voice as the main actress, since they were supposed to be the same person.


There were a lot of typos in my comment. I meant to say, "It's obvious that when the woman told her mother she was meeting with a woman...." etc.


This episode is a masterclass in radio storytelling and character building. It would be diminished by being adapted to any other medium. Every little aspect of it sets up a later payoff or builds the world, but none of them are heavy handed or telegraphed. And Dorrie, the introverted main character, is flawlessly acted by Keane. As an example, the first indication that Dorrie is experiencing a break from reality is expressed when she observes that her shadow appears to be walking with a different stride than she thinks she herself is. Whether Dorrie is still walking hunched over or she simply cannot see that her shadow is walking with her head held high doesn't matter as much as the fact that the two strides don't match, and it sets up both her encounters with other projected or reflected images of herself and the independence from her actions which she perceives them to have (the person above who says the story has little to do with shadows may have missed the definition that E.G. Marshall supplied, a definition which includes reflections). It is only after seeing her reflection in the mirror at the bar & grille that Dorrie encounters her double, and only after she tells the woman listening to her story--and after that woman leaves the room and returns, that the woman removes the mirror (presumably having reported part of the story to the people "upstairs"). There is even a little splashing sound a few moments before the woman realizes that the water in the basin is a reflective surface. All of this supports what is eventually revealed about her emotional state and where she is. Even though much of the story is framed in Dorrie's narration, it does not suffer from that occupational hazard of radio drama: over-description, the need for every character to say what they are seeing, what they are doing--telling what the medium will not let them show. Instead, writer Elspeth Eric manages to "show, not tell" with the context in which the dialogue takes place. Even Dorrie's mother's fears that her daughter is in a lesbian romance is brought across by the intensity of her dismay and Dorrie's forceful repudiation of the idea rather than by ever saying the (at the time) rather taboo "L word." The acting from the three actresses is phenomenal; definitely my favorite performance by Keane, selling every nervous flutter, need for affirmation, and measure of intensity when her own strength and need for independence begin to show through. It is a story without a "villain," per se; Dorrie's mother, while her antagonist, is clearly not her enemy. She clearly wants what is best for her daughter, wants her to be happy, and believes in her, yet it's also clear that she would be lost without her, and Dorrie knows it and feels obligated to be there for her even as she comes to resent having the obligation. All of these things flavor the play just right. While the scope of the story is nothing more than the everyday life of an introverted young woman, it manages to stay engaging due to it being a very relatable young woman and having a believable thread of mystery drawn through it.


Leave a comment