EP0901: Yours Truly Johnny Dollar: The Radioactive Gold Matter

John Lund

Johnny races to find a deadly gold radioactive isotope.

Original Air Date:  July 27, 1954

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  1 comment for “EP0901: Yours Truly Johnny Dollar: The Radioactive Gold Matter”

  1. Tim Szeliga
    March 23, 2013 at 7:11 am

    Radioactive Gold reminded me of that great novel of the Cold War,
    “Alas, Babylon” by Pat Frank. It is Swiss Family Robinson, set in 1959
    Florida, after a total nuclear war, with the Bragg family determined to survive.

    I read it in the sixties in middle-school and watched it remain in print and
    slowly drift from the fiction section over to the classics. It is better
    than Fail-Safe, or Top Secret or some of the Fletcher Knebel novels.

    There is a scene where the now-secure small town must
    repel a wave of looters travelling north from Miami. They
    will kill for a tankful of gas, then strip the town clean.
    Their women are bedecked in gold bands and rings,
    plucked from smashed and abandoned jewelry stores in
    the contaminated city.

    The Braggs drive off or kill the looters, through their superior
    military tactics and outstanding moral character. The Doc recognizes the
    gold is “hot”. Examination of the floozies, jezebels and strumpets
    show severe radiation burns under their bracelets. The whole mob
    had two, maybe three weeks to live, tops. Randy just cut off their
    crime spree a little early, before nature could.

    Yes, the lessons are written with a thick, broad brush. The emotional feel is very close to Gunsmoke: Character counts, civilization survives when the
    “right people” band together and fight outsiders.

    All the diabetics die within the first month, anyone
    on “life-support,” be it medical or support on a spouse
    or just a pension expected from a city that isn’t there anymore.
    You’re all on your own.

    Blacks and whites work together, there’s no room
    for race prejudice in a town where
    Preacher has the only working automobile and takes Doc on his rounds.
    Anyone willing to work and contribute is welcome.

    “Alas, Babylon” fits right into the Golden Age of Radio timeframe.
    Wikipedia says it was adapted as a Playhouse 90 episode with
    Don Murray, Rita Moreno and Burt Reynolds.
    Hmmmm…. never heard of it, but that would
    be interesting! Yes, Don Murray played the junior Senator
    from Utah with the shameful secret in “Advise and Consent”,
    he’d be perfect as Randy.

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