Mercury Theatre: The Man Who Was Thursday (Encore) (EP4272)

Orson Welles

In G.K. Chesterton’s classic, Gabriel Syme (Orson Welles) is a police detective infiltrating the anarchist council of Europe.

Original Air Date: September 5, 1938

Originating in New York

Starring: Orson Welles; Eustace Wyatt; Edgar Barrier; Joseph Cotten; George Coulouris; Ray Collins

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Join us again tomorrow for another detective drama from the Golden Age of Radio.

  1 comment for “Mercury Theatre: The Man Who Was Thursday (Encore) (EP4272)”

  1. Raymond Cabana, Jr.
    December 28, 2023 at 4:55 am

    The 1938 radio version of “The Man Who Was Thursday” was excellently produced and enacted by the Mercury Theatre, and the quality of Adam Graham’s airing excellent — too bad the story itself, although very well-written by G.K. Chesterton (1874 — 1936) in his 1908 novel of that title, suffers from a surfeit of anticlimactic plotting, enigmatic predicaments, and pervasive whimsy, none of this unusual to Chesterton’s longer fictions rivalling the similarly foolish works of Harry Stephen Keeler! Ironically enough (and adroit irony being a Chesterton hallmark), these very elements served him so incredibly well in his mystery short stories, perhaps better than as used by any other author. Such plot devices as a severed head employed to confuse a murder, and someone seen every day being, in effect, invisible, were brilliantly employed in the hands of G.K. Chesterton in his famous “Father Brown” short stories — as also in so many short stories featuring detectives other than his little Catholic priest. Oddly (more irony!), I’ve never found Chesterton’s other writings — novels, poetry, criticism, religious tracts, et al. — of much interest, despite his incredible talent. Nor have I ever viewed a motion picture or TV series featuring Father Brown that I considered well-done (more often than not employing new material rather than the original works). And I’ll close this by responding to Adam’s mention of a thirteen-part BBC online presentation of “The Man Who Was Thursday”, just thinking of such, with the overladen metaphors and similes presented at such length, being enough to give me the itch!

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