Tuesday, October 28, 2008

OTR Tuesday: Lights Out, Everybody!

With Wyllis Cooper's departure from the series, the edgy creativity that made the show the success it was would be hard to replace, and the likelihood the show would slowly whither and die would be a reasonable expectation. But such was not the fortune of the Lights Out series. While Cooper was still submitting scripts from California, another writer was found and the studio promptly severed ties with the shows creator. And under the creative control of a young and ambitious Arch Obler the series would thrive and in many ways surpass it's former incarnation. While Obler retained the essence of the series with his often bizarre tales, he indeed placed his own stamp on the series. Obler's odacity took the series by whirlwind with his first script in June of 1936 with a tale of a young girl burried alive that drew the outrage of the audience. He would then fiollow it up with the highly acclaimed Cat Wife, cementing the confidence of the NBC studio executives that they had made the right decision inselecting a new writer. The shows were less graphic in nature, they did tend to be more fantastic and outlandish with tales like the Chicken Heart, Oxychloride X, and Revolt of the Worms to name but three. Obler's scripts typically made use of the first person narrative, a technique he was very adept with. Additionally he also was not too subtle with presenting his own anti fascist views.

However this marriage was to be short lived. Obler would leave the series in the Summer of 1938. NBC was this time unable to find such a serindipidious match with tallented writing and the show would be cancelled in 1939.

Obler would later revive the series in 1942-1943 for the CBS studio, using many of his former scripts and more science fiction oriented scripts from his series Arch Obler's Plays. With the audience taking a new delight in horror based entertainment, other highly popular and fantastic series such as Inner Sanctum and Suspense would take over where Lights Out left off keeping horror alive on radio.

So now please turn down your lights and enjoy three episodes of Arch Obler's Lights Out!, Cat Wife, and two of my personal favourites, Revolt of the Worms and Murder Castle.

G. Macabre

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