The Weird Circle, The Clock, The Zero Hour - Old Time Radio Collection (OTR) (4 x mp3 CD)
The Weird Circle (78 Shows)
Format: mp3 CD
"In this cave by the restless sea, we are met to call from out of past, stories strange and weird. Bell keeper, toll the bell, so that all may know that we are gathered again in the Weird Circle!"
30-minute syndicated series featuring adaptations of classical horror or ghost stories by authors such as Hawthorne, Stevenson and Edgar Allen Poe.
Along with Mercury Theatre on the Air, Columbia Workshop, Great Scenes From Great Plays, Screen Guild Theater, and Lux Radio Theater, The Weird Circle brought to life the works of great authors in the history of letters in the English language.
The program adapted several Edgar Allan Poe works, as well as great treasures from Robert Louis Stevenson, Guy de Maupassant, Hans Christian Anderson, and Charles Dickens. However, The Weird Circle had a particular niche, the adaptation of horror stories or other chilling tales of the paranormal or supernatural.
For this reason, it is more-commonly linked to programs in this genre, such as Suspense, Inner Sanctum, and Lights Out.
The Weird Circle took the air in July of 1943, where it would live (by telling stories of the dead and un-dead) until 1945, airing 78 episodes.
Its maiden episode adapted Poe's "Fall of the House of Usher" and began with the ominous words, "Can the dead return to life? Listen to The Weird Circle."
Often, programs begin with sounds of howling winds or creepy moans. The announcer's voice was often augmented with plenty of reverb. The stories get started right away, without mention of sponsorship or any superfluous buildup. The actors just get into it.
While we don't have as complete a list of the actors that contributed to this cult classic, they do include Lawson Zerbe, Gladys Thornton, Walter Vaughn, and Arnold Moss.
Many of the stories are intended to relate to people's fears of the unknown, of a past coming back to haunt one, of misdeeds being repaid in unexpected ways. They are about dark parts of our psyches, brought to life in the form of ghosts, and brought-to-life objects, and other spectres. These themes would be explored throughout the twentieth century, and still are today.
This is a collection not to be missed, since the show is not as well-known or well-remembered as many of its counterparts. It is of high-quality, though, in no small part due to the greatness of the works on which it bases the episodes.
The Clock (59 Shows)
Format: mp3 CD
"Surise and Sunset, Promise and Fulfilment, Birth and Death, The whole Drama of Life is played out in the Sands of Time"
The Clock was a radio anthology narrated by Father Time and broadcast 80 half-hour episodes from November 3, 1946 to May 9, 1948. Its stories were mostly mystery and crime with a tiny smattering of supernaturally-themed episodes. Similar to The Twilight Zone.
This is a great series where the main theme seems to be Retribution. The Clock originated in Australia and was syndicated to the United States.
The Zero Hour (133 Shows)
Format: 2 x mp3 CD
Presented by Rod Serling
Chosen by the Mutual Broadcasting system for having a theme of tales of mystery, adventure and suspense, The Zero Hour (aka Hollywood Radio Theater) was a 1973 to 1974 two-season radio drama anthology series hosted and scripted by Rod Serling and produced by JM Kholos. The cast included the top line actors John Astin, Edgar Bergen, Joseph Campanella, and many more. Ferrante & Teicher composed opening theme music. The show did not last because of the lack of promotion value and issues with the weekly serial format schedules.
Format: 4 x mp3 CD
Contained in: CD Jewel Cases.