Escape!

Quick Links

Overview | Significance | Background | Plot | Cast | Resources | Episodes

Overview

Escape (1947-1954) was an OTR adventure series providing high adventure through adapted classic and contemporary stories and novels in many different genres by well-known writers. Often cited as the finest OTR adventure series ever broadcast.

Significance

Often cited as the finest OTR adventure series ever broadcast
Episodes adapted classic and contemporary stories and novels in many different genres by well-known writers
Listeners were exposed to a variety of literary experiences through listening

Background

Tired of the every day grind?
Ever dream of a life of . . . romantic adventure?
Want to get away for it all?
We offer you—ESCAPE!
Escape! Designed to free you from the four walls of today for a half-hour of high adventure!

The Columbia Broadcast System (CBS) first considered an adventure series to be called Out of This World. The audition, with the same title, was broadcast 28 February 1947, but the proposed series never materialized.

A second audition was broadcast 24 March 1947. Based on "The Ventriloquist's Dummy" in the British horror anthology movie Dead of Night (1945), this episode was titled "Dead of Night." With this episode, the Escape! series was launched.

Plot

Many episodes placed protagonists in impossible situations from which they had to escape.

Cast

The cast changed with each episode, and frequently included well known actors.

Resources

Escape! Radio Logs at Jerry Haendiges Vintage Radio Logs website
Plot summaries and credits at Radio Gold Index website
OTRR certified episodes at Internet Archive website
Episodes at Internet Archives website
Escape at Digital Deli Too website
Scripts available for some episodes of Escape!

Episodes

Totals

Total episodes: 228 (230 counting the two auditions; 237 counting East Coast versions of seven shows)
Surviving episodes: perhaps 227 (several episodes redone for Suspense)

Timeline

7 July 1947-25 September 1954
Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS)
First episode was Rudyard Kipling's "The Man Who Would Be King," last episode was science fiction drama "Heart of Kali."

Exemplary Episodes
  • Episode 131

    Earth Abides (part 1)
    Episode 131, 5 November 1950
    Adapted from the novel by George Stewart

  • Episode 132

    Earth Abides (part 2)
    Episode 132, 12 November 1950
    Adapted from the novel by George Stewart

  • Episode 3

    The Diamond as Big as the Ritz
    Episode 003, 23 June 1947
    by F. Scott Fitzgerald. With Jack Edwards, Jr. Script available here.

  • Episode 13

    Evening Primrose
    Episode 013, 5 November 1947
    A poet takes shelter in a department store over night and finds night dwellers and horror. With Elliott Lewis. Script available here

  • Episode 16

    Country of the Blind
    Episode 016, 26 November 1947
    by H.G. Wells. With William Conrad

  • Episode 23

    Leinengen vs. the Ants
    Episode 023, 17 January 1948
    Man-eating ants. With William Conrad. Script available here

  • Episode 40

    The Time Machine
    Episode 040, 9 May 1948
    By H.G. Wells. With Jeff Corey. Script available here

  • Episode 96

    Present Tense
    Episode 096, 31 January 1950
    Explores a condemned man's mind. With Vincent Price.

  • Episode 102

    Three Skeleton Key
    Episode 102, 17 March 1950
    Three men trapped in a lighthouse overrun by rats. With Vincent Price. Script available here

  • Episode 121

    Poison
    Episode 121, 28 July 1950
    The poison of racial prejudice. With Jack Webb and William Conrad. Script available here

  • Episode 200

    The Abominable Snowman
    Episode 200, 13 September 1953
    With William Conrad