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Radio Drama: "The Thing from the Darkness" (1942)

Thing from the Darkness"The Thing from the Darkness"

Original air date: April 3, 1942, from the series Dark Fantasy.

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Thoughts Before Listening

I am excited to hear this because the words ‘thing’ and ‘darkness’ are very promising. Things in darkness are often menacing except maybe things like bananas but I am confident this will not be about a banana in the darkness because they didn’t fuck around in 1942, this is probably going to be about something with teeth that eats people. Also, Dark Fantasy is the name of a chocolate biscuit in India and it’s really gross but I will not allow that to ruin my listening experience.

Thoughts While Listening

The announcer takes a long time to say the words ‘Dark Fantasy’. Is it scarier when we say things slowly? He could also just be falling asleep idk.

Oh noes, weird accent happened. It sounded like he was saying Eating In the Darkness.

Judging by the accent, I think we are meant to understand that the Other in this story, who are probably affiliated with the aforementioned Thing in the aforementioned Darkness, will be of the “Latin” persuasion, as they used to say back in the day.

We have met the Dude. Dude is a pilot and he is going to fly to a place called Mantella which is a scary place because creepy organ music. Mantella is not to be confused with Santilla, which is an even worse place because this creepy organ music is not fooling around.

Drums. Please don’t let this be about cannibalistic tribal people who are so evil they speak English with an accent.

Dude has kindly informed us that he is no longer in his plane and those are actually war drums and then another dude comes in and says that the first dude will be placed before the king and also a leopard because it is their custom to feed uninvited guests to the leopard. Gosh.

The dude who found the first dude just said “You have come where white man is forbidden.” I am going to incorporate this into everyday conversation from now on.

I think the dude who found the first dude is named Yvonne or maybe it’s Avon. It’s probably not but whatever.

So much information just happened! The king’s daughter is named Eeyana? And she is rebelling and hoping to avoid marriage by running through a desert storm that has been storming in the desert for three days. And there is mention of Tanamahasi (sp?) which is, I think so, an evil spirit that changes people into leopards.

I almost wrote ‘an evil spirit that changes people into leotards’ lol.

We can safely assume Dude has flown into some strange, exotic land, maybe it’s Iowa????!!!!! It’s probably not BUT WHAT IF IT IS OMG

Yvonne has an American accent but the king has some kind of Cuban type thing going? And the daughter also speaks Cubanese but perhaps with stronger Mediterranean hints mingled with subtle shades of Speedy Gonzales. This is indeed a strange and exotic land.

Wow, so apparently white people can’t look on the face of the princess or everyone will die or something SO RACIST AGAINST WHITE PEOPLE WTF

Some strange sounds are happening. I think they are called Naomi. They are probably not called Naomi.

So now the Dude is outside (I’m not sure how that happened. Also I don’t think I’m paying attention anymore) and there’s something in the bushes! Maybe it’s the Thing! PLEASE BE AN ALIEN MAGICAL UNICORN BEING!

It’s just the daughter. She’s calling the Dude Americano and sometimes Donaldo.

Ok ok I got it, so there are leopards that are driven mad by moonlight and they can only be appeased by the ‘flesh of human’ and there are wise men and footprints. Maybe this will make sense later.

Magic people of colour always say ‘flesh of human’. This is how we know they are magic and people of colour.

Still waiting for the Thing. What if it really is a banana? How will we know if it’s on the radio?

Donaldo just said “Look! Your father! He’s a white man!” and the daughter just said “I too am white. But I am not his daughter.” MAYBE IT REALLY IS IOWA

So that thing that sounded like a mournful cow is actually the moonlight making the leopards mad and possibly giving them indigestion also.

These leopards sound very unhealthy.

The moon is gone! I have no idea what's happening!

The leopards still sound very sick but apparently they are eating the king now because why not.

Aaaaaand it’s over. Ok then. 

Thoughts After Listening

That was kinda fun though I’m not clear what happened to Yvonne but maybe we’re not supposed to care because Yvonne was a jerk. And I don’t know what the Thing in the Darkness was. Maybe it was a banana.