Sunday, January 17, 2016
Suspense, one of the premier drama programs of the Golden Age of Radio, was subtitled "radio's outstanding theater of thrills" and focused on suspense thriller-type scripts, usually featuring leading Hollywood actors of the era. Approximately 945 episodes were broadcast during its long run, and more than 900 are extant.
Suspense went through several major phases, characterized by different hosts, sponsors, and director/producers. Formula plot devices were followed for all but a handful of episodes: the protagonist was usually a normal person suddenly dropped into a threatening or bizarre situation; solutions were "withheld until the last possible second"; and evildoers were usually punished in the end.
In the earliest years, the program was hosted by "The Man in Black" (played by Joseph Kearns or Ted Osborne) with many episodes written or adapted by the prominent mystery author John Dickson Carr.
"This is The Man in Black, here again to introduce Columbia's program, Suspense. Our stars tonight are..."