Nightfall (radio series)

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Nightfall is the title of a radio drama series produced and aired by CBC Radio from July 1980 to June 1983. While primarily a supernatural/horror series, Nightfall featured some episodes in other genres, such as science fiction, mystery, fantasy, and human drama. One episode was even adapted from a folk song by Stan Rogers. Some of Nightfall's episodes were so terrifying that the CBC registered numerous complaints and some affiliate stations dropped it. Despite this, the series went on to become one of the most popular shows in CBC Radio history, running 100 episodes that featured a mix of original tales and adaptations of both classic and obscure short stories.

Nightfall was the brainchild of producer Bill Howell, who was best known at the time for his work on CBC Playhouse and the cult favorite adventure series, Johnny Chase: Secret Agent of Space. (Howell later went on to be executive producer of CBC Radio's highly-popular series, The Mystery Project, which ran from 1992 to 2004.) When CBC Radio was revamped and given an expanded budget in 1980, Howell approached the newly appointed head of radio drama, Susan Rubes, about his idea for a supernatural/horror anthology series that would push the envelope. Though not a fan of the horror genre, Rubes recognized a hit when she saw one and gave Howell the green light to begin production.

Bill Howell served as executive producer of Nightfall at CBC Toronto for the first two seasons. The reins were passed for the third season to veteran CBC Radio producer Don Kowalchuk (Doctor Bundolo's Pandemonium Medicine Show) at CBC Vancouver.

Nightfall featured two hosts during its run. The Toronto years (1980–1982) were hosted by "the mysterious Luther Kranst", a character created by Bill Howell's devious imagination and played by character actor Henry Ramer. For its Vancouver run (1982–1983), Don Kowalchuk worked with voice actor Bill Reiter to develop the character of Frederick Hende.

Production locations and people[edit]

Though series production was controlled from a central location, the anthology nature of Nightfall made it possible for episodes to be produced at CBC Radio facilities all over Canada:

CBC Toronto[edit]

No. of Episodes: 74
Frequent Actors: Elva Mai Hoover, John Stocker, Frank Perry, Sandy Webster, Ruth Springford, Marian Waldman, Neil Dainard, Hugh Webster, Chris Wiggins, Budd Knapp, Michael Wincott, Graham Haley, David Calderisi, Colin Fox, Arch McDonnell, Nicky Guadagni, Neil Munro, Mary Pirie
Recording Engineers: John Jessop, Ray Folcik, John Hollinger, Jan Wright, David Hoyle, Tom Shipton, Brian Wood, Keith van der Clay, Brian Pape, Derek Stubbs, John McCarthy, Greg Fleet
Sound Effects: Bill Robinson, Matt Wilcott, Kathy Perry, Stephanie McKenna, Jerry Fielding
Production Assistants: Nina Callaghan, Doris Buchanan, Nancy McIlveen, Peggy Este
Producers: Bill Howell, Paul Mills, John Douglas, Stephen Katz, Fred Diehl, Peter Boretski, William Lane, Scott Swan

CBC Vancouver[edit]

No. of Episodes: 9
Frequent Actors: William Samples, Otto Lowy, Norman Browning, Anna Hagan
Recording Engineers: Gerry Stanley, Chris Cutress, Gene Loverock, Bill Seebach
Sound Effects: Joe Silva, Jay Hireen, Chris Cutress
Production Assistants: Ann Elvidge, Dagmar Kaffanke, Loretta Joyce, Joyce Tinnion
Producers: Don Kowalchuk, John Juliani, Robert Chesterman

CBC Edmonton[edit]

No. of Episodes: 7
Frequent Actors: Brian Taylor, Graham McPherson, Nicole Evans, Gordon Mariott, Bill Meilan, Stephen Walsh, Blair Haynes
Recording Engineers: Al Lamden
Sound Effects: Eric Wagers, Deane Purves
Production Assistants: Barbara Gault
Producers: Lawrie Seligman

CBC Montréal[edit]

No. of Episodes: 4
Frequent Actors: Vlasta Vrana, Philip Akin, Timothy Webber, Earl Pennington
Recording Engineers: André Fleury, Giles LaRoche
Sound Effects: Pierre Lucie, Rene LeVois
Production Assistants: Jane Lewis, Nancy Carter
Producers: John Juliani, John Jessop

CBC Halifax[edit]

No. of Episodes: 3
Frequent Actors: Joseph Rutten, John Fulton
Recording Engineers: Rod Sneddon, Keith DeLong
Sound Effects: Dermot Kenny, Harold Porter
Production Assistants: Claire McIlveen
Producers: Elizabeth Fox, Ewan "Sudsy" Clark

CBC Calgary[edit]

No. of Episodes: 1
Frequent Actors: David Ferry, Heather Lea McCallum
Recording Engineers: Rick Fenton
Sound Effects: Norm Hurley
Production Assistants: Elaine Farner
Producers: Bill Gray

CBC St. Johns[edit]

No. of Episodes: 1
Frequent Actors: Frank Holden, Pat Vern
Recording Engineers: John Foster
Sound Effects: Wayne Hayes
Production Assistants: Noreen George
Producers: Glen Tilley

Clack Sound Studios, NYC[edit]

No. of Episodes: 1
Frequent Actors: F. Peter Lee
Recording Engineers: Tom Courtenay-Clack
Sound Effects: Tom Courtenay-Clack
Production Assistants: n/a
Producers: Tom Courtenay-Clack

Episode guide[edit]

Season 1[edit]

#   Title   Written by   Air Date
1   Love and the Lonely One   John Graham   July 4, 1980
2   The Monkey's Paw   Len Peterson   July 11, 1980
3   Welcome to Homerville   Don Dickinson, Allan Guttman   July 18, 1980
4   Hands Off   John Graham   July 25, 1980
5   The Telltale Heart   Len Peterson   Aug. 1, 1980
6   Late Special   Clint Bomphray   Aug. 8, 1980
7   Future Fear   John Graham   Aug. 15, 1980
8   How Did You Get My Name?   Don Dickinson, Allan Guttman   Aug. 22, 1980
9   The Body Snatchers   Frank W. McEnaney   Aug. 29, 1980
10   The Willoughby Obsession   George R. Robertson   Sept. 5, 1980
11   No Admittance/No Exit   Don Bailey, Milo Ringham   Sept. 12, 1980
12   Wind Chill   David McCaughna   Sept. 19, 1980
13   The Repossession   Arthur Samuels   Sept. 26, 1980
14   The Stone Ship   Len Peterson   Oct. 3, 1980
15   Special Services   Martin Kinch   Oct. 10, 1980
16   Buried Alive   John Graham   Oct. 17, 1980
17   Last Visit   Ray Will   Oct. 24, 1980
18   Ringing the Changes   P. Norman Cherrie   Oct. 31, 1980
19   The Devil's Backbone   Silver Donald Cameron   Nov. 7, 1980
20   The Blood Countess, Part 1: Blood Red   Ray Canale   Nov. 14, 1980
21   The Blood Countess, Part 2: Blood Blue   Ray Canale   Nov. 21, 1980
22   Deadly Developments   Arlene Ezrin   Nov. 28, 1980
23   Where Does the News Come From?   James D. (Jimmy) Morris   Dec. 5, 1980
24   Where Do We Go From Here?   Max Ferguson   Dec. 12, 1980
25   On Christmas Day in the Morning   Don Dickinson, Allan Guttman   Dec. 19, 1980
26   The Appetite of Mr. Lucraft   P. Norman Cherrie   Dec. 26, 1980
27   The Guest of Honour   Len Peterson   Jan. 2, 1981
28   A Short Wave Good-bye   George R. Robertson   Jan. 9, 1981
29   They Bite   Len Peterson   Jan. 16, 1981
30   Dark Side of the Mind   Max Ferguson   Jan. 23, 1981
31   Wildcats   Otto Lowy   Feb. 27, 1981
32   The Room   Graham Haley   Mar. 6, 1981
33   Angel's Kiss   John Graham, George R. Robertson   Mar. 20, 1981
34   The Book of Hell   Mavor Moore   Mar. 27, 1981
35   Mkara   Graham Haley   Apr. 3, 1981
36   The Fatal Eggs   Arthur Samuels   Apr. 17, 1981
37   Breaking Point   Max Ferguson   May 1, 1981
38   All-Nighter   Graham Pomeroy   May 15, 1981

Season 2[edit]

#   Title   Written by   Air Date
39   Carmilla   John Douglas, Graham Pomeroy   Nov. 20, 1981
40   In the Eye of the Beholder   Burke Campbell   Nov. 27, 1981
41   Cemetery Stop   Margery Stewart   Dec. 4, 1981
42   In the Name of the Father   Janet Bonellie   Dec. 11, 1981
43   Baby Doll   Larry LeClair   Dec. 18, 1981
44   Reunion at the Victory Café   Tom MacDonnell   Jan. 1, 1982
45   Gerald   Bill Gray   Jan. 8, 1982
46   Mindrift   F. Peter Lee   Jan. 15, 1982
47   Your Fortune in Twenty Words or Less   Larry LeClair   Jan. 22, 1982
48   Teddy   Stephen Freygood   Jan. 29, 1982
49   Child's Play   Arthur Samuels   Feb. 5, 1982
50   The Club of Dead Men   John Douglas   Feb. 12, 1982
51   The Thinking Room   Tim Wynne-Jones   Feb. 19, 1982
52   The Porch Light   Randy Brown   Feb. 26, 1982
53   Volcano   Roy (T. E.) Sallows   Mar. 5, 1982
54   The Monkey's Raincoat   Charles Tidler   Mar. 12, 1982
55   From My Appointed Place Below   John Douglas   Mar. 19, 1982
56   The Old Post Road   William Lane   Mar. 26, 1982
57   The Debt   John Richard Wright   Apr. 2, 1982
58   Harris and the Mare   John Douglas   Apr. 9, 1982
59   The Jogger   Tony Bell   Apr. 16, 1982
60   The Screaming Skull   Guy Babineau   Apr. 23, 1982
61   Mr. Agostino   Janet Bonellie   Apr. 30, 1982
62   The Road Ends at the Sea   Tim Wynne-Jones   May 7, 1982
63   The Maid's Bell   John Douglas   May 14, 1982
64   A Glimpse of Eternity   Ian Weir   May 28, 1982
65   Beyond the Law   Steve Petch   June 4, 1982
66   The Turn of the Blood   Paul Bettis   June 11, 1982
67   Reverse Image   Arthur Samuels   June 18, 1982
68   Teig O'Kane and the Corpse   John Douglas   June 25, 1982

Season 3[edit]

#   Title   Written by   Air Date
69   This One Will Kill You   Arthur Samuels   Oct. 1, 1982
70   Footsteps   Larry LeClair   Oct. 8, 1982
71   Lifeline   Frank Moher   Oct. 15, 1982
72   The Tie That Binds   Nika Rylski   Oct. 22, 1982
73   The Dentist   Bill Gray   Oct. 29, 1982
74   Assassin Game   John G. Fisher   Nov. 5, 1982
75   Lazarus Rising   John Douglas   Nov. 12, 1982
76   Young Goodman Brown   John Douglas   Nov. 19, 1982
77   But, Oh, What Happened to Hutchings!   Roy (T. E.) Sallows   Nov. 26, 1982
78   Daddy's Girl   Janet Bonellie   Dec. 3, 1982
79   The Cruel Husband   David Leicester   Dec. 10, 1982
80   The Signalman   Otto Lowy   Dec. 17, 1982
81   Watching   Bryan Wade   Dec. 31, 1982
82   The Strange Odyssey of Lennis Freed   Tim Wynne-Jones   Jan. 7, 1983
83   Weather Station Four   Arthur Samuels   Jan. 14, 1983
84   The Brides of Olivera   Larry Gaynor   Jan. 21, 1983
85   The Contract   John Richard Wright   Jan. 28, 1983
86   Beauty's Beast   Burke Campbell   Feb. 4, 1983
87   The Angel of Death   Raymond Storey   Feb. 11, 1983
88   Semi-Detached   Shawn Selway   Feb. 18, 1983
89   A Glaze of Perfect Beauty   Stephen Freygood   Feb. 25, 1983
90   No Quarter   Phil Savath   Mar. 4, 1983
91   The Undertaker   John Douglas   Mar. 11, 1983
92   Private Collection   Warren Graves   Mar. 18, 1983
93   The Hit   Laurence Gough   Mar. 25, 1983
94   Walter's Dog   Larry LeClair   Apr. 1, 1983
95   Safe in the Arms of Jesus   Martin Kinch   Apr. 8, 1983
96   The Wedding   Phil Savath   Apr. 15, 1983
97   Hypnotized   Jesse Bodyan   Apr. 22, 1983
98   After Sunset   Brian Taylor   Apr. 29, 1983
99   Servants of Cerberus   Mary Humphrey Baldridge   May 6, 1983
100   Waters Under the Bridge   Gaëtan Charlebois   May 13, 1983

External links[edit]