Thursday, March 05, 2009

Dark Fantasy, Pt. 4

Originally published in the February, 2009, Old Radio Times.(

Dark Fantasy: WKY’s Contribution to NBC Programming
Bret Jones
Copyright © 2008

The show continued to receive support from The Oklahoman with broadcast times published, as well as occasionally one paragraph blurbs over Friday night’s storyline. One such issue of the newspaper promoted the Friday the thirteenth episode from February 1942. According to the paper: “Who-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o is scared of Friday the thirteenth? Not the cast of ‘Dark Fantasy,’ that weird and grisly horror drama…” (Oklahoman, 2/13/42) The article continues:

When Author Scott Bishop and Producer John Prosser noticed they had to present the thirteenth in their series of blood-curlers on Friday the thirteenth, they determined to abandon caution entirely.

The episode’s title for this entry in the series was “W is for Werewolf.”

Unfortunately, the series didn’t capture a large enough audience and was cancelled by NBC in the early summer of 1942. This didn’t stop The Oklahoman from bragging about WKY’s achievement. In April 1944 the paper reminds readers of the twenty-six week run of Dark Fantasy. This is the last time that The Oklahoman wrote about the radio drama.

Although its run was short, Dark Fantasy is a solid program with interesting stories acted well and with high quality sound effects and music. The stories range in writing quality. Some of Bishop’s early yarns in the series are overly melodramatic and predictable. However, as the show progressed from week to week, so does the quality of the stories. The structure is tighter with unique plots, characters, and conflicts. For the horror connoisseur this is a good addition to the collection.


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