Darker Musings Anthology, 30 October 2012
This disturbing tale, with more than a distinct echo of Orson Welles'
War of the Worlds, concerned Dan Cummings (John Bell), the self-styled 'Old-Tmey Man' of a local Canadian
radio station, who is about to retire after having spent a long career in broadcasting, and built up a loyal
One Hallowe'en night be begins his nightly programme as usual by exchanging platitudes
with a caller, even though it becomes slightly embarrassing when that caller refers to his wife. However the entertainment
is abruptly interrupted by a newsflash: an accidental crash in the locality of Halifax, Nova Scotia has caused widespread
panic. Cummings tries his best to make light of the news, and introduces
an archive broadcast of a 1980s radio classic of horror, especially for the occasion.
Despite his valiant attempts to create a nostalgic - and perhaps comforting ambience
- painful reality keeps intruding. The broadcast keeps being interrupted by worse and worse news; eventually
leading to panic and violent death.
One by One is a consciously intertextual piece, designed to remind listeners
that horror stories are not just for pleasure; they can intrude in our lives. We have to be vigilant and guard
against complacency so as to protect ourselves. John Bell gave a chilling performance as the elderly host, whose smooth-as-molasses
voice gradually became more and more panicky as he discovered the reality of what was happening around him. The
director/ writer was Jack J. Ward.