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Quiet, Please

Entry updated 4 April 2017. Tagged: Radio.

Radio drama series (1947-1949). Created by Wyllis Cooper (see Radio) for the Mutual Broadcasting Network, then the ABC Radio Network. Written mainly by Cooper. Announcer: Ernest Chappell. 106 30-minute episodes.

The innocent-seeming title disguised what was often one of the most frightening radio anthology series ever broadcast in the US, almost always starring announcer Chappell (1903-1983). While the great majority of the programmes dealt with Horror or mystery-suspense, sf featured from time to time. For example, "It's Later than You Think" (8 February 1948) centres on Time Travel. The series' most famous episode is without question "The Thing on the Fourble Board" (9 August 1948), which deals with an oil derrick worker's discovery of a creature from the Hollow Earth which has gained access to the surface by climbing up a deep oil-well shaft. In one of the frequent twist endings, the creature is revealed to be now living with the narrator, apparently as his wife. An unsuccessful attempt was made by Cooper and Chappell to transfer the series to Television in the early 1950s.

Though for some time believed lost, 88 full episodes are available, along with part of one other. Chappell had saved most on transcription discs (a type of phonograph record used for recording radio broadcasts), and copied them in the mid-1960s for Cooper's widow, who later made them widely available again. Harlan Ellison has often praised the series' high quality. [GSt]

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