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Dark Fantasy

Entry updated 4 April 2017. Tagged: Radio.

Radio series (1941-1942). The NBC Radio Network. Produced by John J Prosser. Radioplays were by Scott Bishop, pseudonym of George Hamaker (1912-?1996), and Richard Breen. Announcers: Keith Painton, then Tom Paxton. 31 30-minute episodes.

Based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, this Horror and Fantasy series featured some sf during its brief run, and while not well remembered was reportedly of high quality. Bishop had written for the radio incarnation of Lights Out (1934-1947) before creating this series. Soon after its launch Dark Fantasy was syndicated nationally, though with spotty coverage. Known sf episodes include "Men Call Me Mad" (19 December 1941) about a Scientist who finds how to travel between Alternate Worlds; "Convoy for Atlantis" (27 March 1942) about the discovery of portions of the legendary continent of Atlantis on an Island; "The Cup of Gold" (1 May 1942), whose initially conventional golfing story leads to murder and, in a bizarre twist, the involvement of Aliens; "I Am Your Brother" (5 June 1942), on ancestral memory and the connection between two men, one in the present and the other having lived 10,000 years ago. A Merritt's fantasy "Three Lines of Old French" (19 August 1919 All-Story Weekly) was to have been broadcast in early December 1941, but was pulled owing to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor – broadcast stories dealing with war were for a time forbidden. The segment later ran as a special presentation (11 November 1942), not officially a part of the series. 27 complete episodes survive, plus part of another.

Bishop later created the radio drama Tales of the Witch-Queen (1944) which lasted for only nine 75-minute segments which seem to have been broadcast only in the Oklahoma City area. It reportedly covered much the same type of material; two episodes survive. [GSt]

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