Appointment with Fear (radio)

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Appointment with Fear was a horror drama series originally broadcast on BBC Radio in the 1940s and 1950s, and revived on a number of occasions since. The format comprised a dramatised horror story of approximately half an hour in length, introduced by a character known as the Man in Black. The plays themselves were a mixture of classic horror stories by writers such as Edgar Allan Poe, M. R. James and W. W. Jacobs, and commissioned stories by new or established writers. Many of the stories in the early series were written or adapted by John Dickson Carr.[1]

Appointment with Fear (1943-1955)[edit]

Appointment with Fear ran for nine series between 1943 and 1955, initially on the BBC Home Service and from September 1945 on the Light Programme. The Man in Black was played by the British character actor Valentine Dyall, except in the second series where he was portrayed by Dyall's father Franklin Dyall. Only four episodes are known to survive.[1][2]

Series 1[edit]

Series 2[edit]

Series 3[edit]

Series 4[edit]

Series 5[edit]

Series 6[edit]

  • 'He Wasn't Superstitious' adapted by John Dickson Carr from Ambrose Bierce, 23 October 1945
  • 'The Man With Two Heads' by John Dickson Carr, 6 November 1945
  • 'The Case of the Five Canaries' by John Dickson Carr, 13 November 1945
  • 'And The Deep Shuddered' by Monckton Hoffe, 20 November 1945
  • 'The Case' by John Slater and Roy Plomley, 27 November 1945
  • 'Death at Midnight' by Robert Barr, 4 December 1945

Series 7[edit]

  • 'The Nutcracker Suite' by E Crowshay-Williams and J Leslie Dodd, 26 March 1946
  • 'Black Mamba' by Hugh Barnes and AR Ramsden, 2 April 1946
  • 'The Cask of Amontillado' adapted by Laidman Browne from Edgar Allan Poe, 9 April 1946
  • 'A Watcher by the Dead' adapted by John Dickson Carr from Ambrose Bierce, 16 April 1946
  • 'The Man Who Knew How' adapted by Ronald Cunliffe from Dorothy L Sayers, 23 April 1946
  • 'Dead Men's Teeth' by Charles Hatton and Richard Fisher, 30 April 1946
  • 'Experiment With Death' by Harry Bunton, 7 May 1946
  • 'Death Takes a Honeymoon' by Mileson Horton and WL Catchpole, 14 May 1946
  • 'Renovations at Merrets' adapted by Rankine Good from Honore Balzac, 21 May 1946
  • 'The Monkey's Paw' adapted by Louis N Parker from WW Jacobs, 28 May 1946
  • 'Cottage For Sale' by TJ Waldron, 4 June 1946
  • 'A Mind in Shadow' by Kenneth Morgan, 11 June 1946

Special[edit]

  • 'Escape to Death' by Mileson Horton, 25 December 1946

Series 8[edit]

  • 'Mrs Amworth' adapted by Charles Hatton from EF Benson, 25 February 1947
  • 'Sink or Swim Together' by ???, 4 March 1947
  • 'The Last Pilgrimage' by TJ Waldron, 11 March 1947
  • 'The Bell Room' adapted by Lester Powell from Edgar Allan Poe, 25 March 1947
  • 'The Diary of William Carpenter' adapted by Patric Dickinson from John Atkins, 1 April 1947
  • 'The Treasures' adapted by Charles Hatton from Gilbert Frankau, 8 April 1947
  • 'The Hands of Nekamen' adapted by Lester Powell from Kathleen Hyett, 22 April 1947
  • 'All Cats May Snarl' by J Vernon Basley, 29 April 1947

Special[edit]

  • 'The Clock Strikes Eight' by John Dickson Carr, 14 January 1948

Special[edit]

  • 'The Diary of William Carpenter' adapted by Patric Dickinson from John Atkins, 23 January 1948

Series 9[edit]

Series 10[edit]

There was no tenth series in 1957, it was merely a repeat broadcast of Series Nine.

Tie-In Publication[edit]

  • Appointment with Fear(Fenmore Publications, 1948. Ed. Ronald Flatteau

The Man in Black (1949)[edit]

The Man in Black was broadcast for one series of eight episodes in 1949, also on the Light Programme, and again presented by Valentine Dyall in the title role. No episodes are known to have survived.[1][2]

  • 'Markheim' adapted by John Keir Cross from Robert Louis Stevenson, 31 January 1949
  • 'Oh, Whistle and I'll Come to You, My Lad' adapted John Keir Cross from MR James, 7 February 1949
  • 'The Middle Toe of The Right Foot' adapted by John Keir Crfoss from Ambrose Bierce, 14 February 1949
  • 'Our Feathered Friends' adapted by John Keir Cross from Philip Macdonald and 'Thus I Refute Beelzy' adapted by John Keir Cross from John Collier, 21 February 1949
  • 'The Judge's House' adapted by John Keir Cross from Bram Stoker, 28 February 1949
  • 'The Yellow Wallpaper adapted by John Keir Cross from Charlotte Parkins Gilman, 7 March 1949
  • 'The Beast With Five Fingers adapted by John Keir Cross from WF Harvey, 14 March 1949
  • 'The Little House' by John Keir Cross, 21 March 1949

Fear on Four (1988)[edit]

Fear on Four ran for five series on BBC Radio 4 between 1988 and 1992, the part of the Man in Black being played by Edward de Souza.[2][3] A fifth series was broadcast in 1997, this time without a narrator.[4] An anthology of stories from the first two series was published by BBC Books in 1990.[5]

The Man in Black (2009)[edit]

The series was revived again in 2009, on BBC Radio 4 Extra, this time as The Man in Black, with Mark Gatiss in the title role. It ran for four series between 2009 and 2011.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Appointment with Fear/The Man in Black". Retrieved 2014-07-16.
  2. ^ a b c Tony Lang. "The Man in Black". The British Drama Website. Retrieved 2014-07-16.
  3. ^ "Fear on Four". BBC Radio 4 Extra. Retrieved 2014-07-16.
  4. ^ "Fear on 4/The Man in Black". Retrieved 2014-07-16.
  5. ^ The Man in Black. BBC Books. 1990. ISBN 0563209046.
  6. ^ "The Man in Black". BBC Radio 4 Extra. Retrieved 2014-07-16.