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Recap / Dimension X 50 Nightfall

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First aired on 29 September 1951 and adapted from Isaac Asimov's "Nightfall". This episode was written by Ernest Kinoy and directed by Fred Weihe. Norman Rose is the Narrator, reading the Epigraph and introducing us to the planet Lagash.

Theremon (Lyle Sudrow), a newspaper reporter, tries to get an interview with Aton (Cameron Prudhomme) and the other astronomers at Saro University, but they refuse and threaten him with the police. Instead, he goes back to Saro City to interview the Cult of the Revelations. Head priest Sor recites from the Book of Revelations while the rest of the cultists chant in the background. Next, he goes to speak with Sheerin (John Mc Govern), a psychologist, who introduces him to the concept of Darkness and how it has driven people insane.

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Afterwards, Theremon goes interviewing random people to get their opinions on the recent news reports and doomsayings. He speaks with an agnostic laborer and an old cultist. These interviews bolster his courage and he goes to the observatory for Saro University, since Sheerin had mentioned that everyone else had gone into hiding.

It is at the observatory where the characters finally see the eclipse, and the world of Lagash is covered in total Darkness, except for the Stars...


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"Nightfall" contains examples of:

  • Adaptation Deviation: Because radio stories are usually very dialogue-driven, "Nightfall (1941)" was changed by removing most of the third-person narration and adding new scenes where Theremon would talk to more people about their opinions on the upcoming eclipse. Due to the small cast, they also have to remove many of the characters as well.
  • Adaptation Name Change: In the original story, "Nightfall (1941)", the characters have a name and a number. In this broadcast, however, characters only use their first name.
  • Audience Murmurs:
    • While Theremon talks with high priest Sor, the other cultists chant incoherently in the background.
    • When the astronomers look out to see the cultists on their march to attack the observatory, you can hear shouts from the mob.
    • Once the eclipse has begun, there is screaming in the background from various characters, even as their final lines are being said. The shouting doesn't end until the music indicates a transition to the Narrator's perspective.
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  • Audio Adaptation: An adaptation of Isaac Asimov's "Nightfall (1941)", adapted by Ernest Kinoy.
  • Canon Foreigner:
    • The Latimer from this adaptation is a brand-new character that Sheerin, the psychologist, introduces to Theremon, the newspaper reporter, so that he can interview one of the victims from the Tunnel of Mystery.
    • Everyone that Theremon meets during his Vox Pops scene is invented purely for this broadcast. We hear from Pellet (who is a power technician) and a nameless cultist.
  • Composite Character: The original Sor was never on-screen. This adaptation merges him and the cultist who attacks the observatory into one character, then reuses Latimer's name for a Canon Foreigner.
  • Dramatization: The third-person omniscient narration is severely decreased to emphasize the dialogue between characters, who were assigned to specific actors. Music and sound effects were also added to take advantage of Radio's aural medium.
  • Filling the Silence: The music between scenes is mostly stringed instruments (and woodwinds) being played in a way to heighten the tension as the time for the eclipse gets closer.
  • Grumpy Old Man: The second person Theremon interviews during his Vox Pops interviews is an old fundamentalist member of the Cult of the Revelations. He talks about how he's given away all his money because the doctrine teaches that today will end with the eclipse. He grouses that everyone has to get their souls ready for the coming of the Stars.
  • Narrator: To quote the Epigraph and to describe the various settings, an announcer is added to the cast. They primarily help with scene transitions and character exposition.
  • Only One Name: None of the characters are referred to by more than one name, a change from the original. This implies everyone has only one name and that confusion between people is rare.
  • To Be Continued: At the end of this episode, the announcer says that the series is over, but to check newspapers and radios for when new episodes would begin.
  • Vox Pops: After talking with Sheerin, the psychologist, Theremon goes out into the streets of Saro City and interviews random people about what they plan to do about the upcoming eclipse. We hear from two people; Pellet (who is a power technician) and a nameless cultist.

The night has come again.

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