RADIO'S MISSING MASTERS: "Action Eighty" and "Operation Danger"

Larry Maupin

The label on the cassette containing Action Eighty has the notation "03-26-52 Audition."  The episode is in the OTRR Library Collection under the letter 'A'.

Episode Title: "Project Sailfish"

Network: CBS

Cast: Includes William Conrad, Ed Begley and Larry Dobkin

Sponsor: None, but program is intact and is 30 minutes in length.

Plot: The show is announced as "scientific fiction," and the drama centers on the capture of the first United States nuclear submarine by eight well trained enemy agents.  A full complement of nuclear warheads is on board, and a Navy Admiral and his staff set about preventing an attack on New York City which they fear is the intended target.  They decide to sink the ship, which will not only involve the loss of a 50 million dollar ship but also the deaths of about 100 U.S. Navy sailors who are on board.

Notes: (1) The sound quality is very good throughout; (2) the plot is well conceived and suspenseful; (3) The series had the ill fortune to be launched (as did the sub) in 1952, when television was well on its way to replacing radio as the primary medium of home entertainment.

The label on the cassette containing Operation Danger reads "06-25-50 Audition"

This episode is in the OTRR Library Singles & Doubles Collection, but is virtually inaudible.  Peter Nuro's encode should be much better.  There is not much information about this one.  It has no episode title and no sponsor, but is a full half hour in length and the announcer identifies CBS as the network.

The cast features Howard Culver as Captain Rogers, a Special Agent of U.S. Counterintelligence with Joan Banks, Paul Fries and Ben Wright in supporting roles.

The plot involves a group of Nazis who evaded capture at the end of World War II and have discovered a method of converting cheap commercial stones into diamonds.  Rogers is sent to Europe to break up the operation, and his quest takes him to Paris, Berlin and Lisbon.  In Berlin he learns that Margaret Steiner, who works for a section head there, has just left on a flight to Lisbon to escape capture for having supplied the Nazis with critical information.  Rogers follows her there and discovers that the Nazis are on board a Norwegian freighter at the Lisbon waterfront.  He and Lieutenant Hopper of British Intelligence board the ship and discover that Otto Klein, "the most wanted man in Europe," is one of the smugglers.  Not everyone escapes the ensuing confrontation alive.  

This is an interesting program, and I think the series might have succeeded on its merits, but apparently never found a sponsor and CBS was unwilling to sustain it.  Another episode was planned for next week which was to have been set "in the suburbs of Belgrade."

One final note of general import.  If someone from the group posts a message, please don't delete it without reading it.  The message might contain a link to episodes of a series that you would really like to hear, and if you delete the message you may never get the chance.  

Larry Maupin