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Sunday, February 28, 2016

Suspense Sundays (188) Dead Ernest

Posted by Charlene // Tags: ,
Suspense was a radio series from 1942 to 1962.  I have a fondness for "Old Time Radio" as we call it now, and Suspense is my favorite show.  It sets up weird, dark, scary, or intriguing stories with a plot twist in the end, and all in half an hour.  For Suspense Sundays I'll give a short review of an episode.

"Dead Ernest"
Air date: August 8, 1946
Starring Wally Maher
>>Episodes here<<

A man gets hit by a car - just tapped really, but he looks like he's dead.  The Doctor on the scene can't figure it out.  But the kindly voice over guy in the episode fills the listener in.  The man, Ernest, is a cataleptic, and he carries with him a medical bracelet and a letter explaining his condition, but these things are overlooked.  His condition means he might appear dead for 6 hours to 72 hours and he shouldn't be embalmed, nor should an autopsy be performed on him.  Will anyone figure out he's not dead before he gets processed at the morgue?

A very simple premise - if you can imagine what happens in this story, chances are you are right.  It's not a very imaginative episode, other than the idea of being accidentally killed or buried alive because you are mistaken for dead is a nerve-wracking premise.  I feel like this episode just took the idea and tried to build a story around it, which wasn't that successful.  To me,  the only really interesting thing about this episode is the fact that people are so unfamiliar with seeing the words "embalmed", "autopsy" and "cataleptic" that they almost have to sound it out as they read it.  And they are not even sure what they mean!

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