Eye of Evil -- Escape

Saturday, 26 June 2010 12:10 Dave Truesdale

"Eye of Evil" was written by Kathleen Hite (1917-1989). It aired on Escape (1947-1954) on July 17, 1954 as episode 231 of this long-running, highly regarded radio show. Graduating from the University of Wichita in 1938, Hite moved to California in 1950 where she would go on to become CBS's first female staff writer. She would be duly recognized for her outstanding work and win numerous awards in her long and distinguished radio and TV career, including the prestigious Women in Communications Headline Award in 1964. She would write numerous episodes for many of TV's most popular shows, including (among many others) Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Wagon Train, Laramie, 41 episodes of Gunsmoke (photo at right shows Hite and Gunsmoke star James {Matt Dillon} Arness), 25 episodes of The Waltons, and several episodes of the 1980s night-time dramatic soap Falcon Crest.

"Eye of Evil," however, has nothing to do with the Wild West; rather it takes place in Burma (now Myanmar) during the time of British colonial occupation of much of Southeast Asia. A British Historical Society adventurer has gone missing and has left a cryptic note to the fellow society member he was to meet. Rife with the atmospherics of that time and place--steamy jungles, ancient, ruined temples, and centuries-old religious curses--the main character comes to a startling revelation when he eventually tracks down his missing friend and discovers the dark secret of the "Eye of Evil." Setting and maintaining the mood is the always classy musical score, which ably serves the satisfying, and most rewarding, denouement.

Play Time: 29:30

(This fantastic, other-worldly image is an actual photo of centuries-neglected Burmese pagodas/temples dotting a wide valley, as they fade into and through the mist-shrouded jungle landscape with rolling mountains rising in the background. A Planetary Adventure/Romance landscape ala Leigh Brackett {and a few others} of a decadent, Ancient  Mars, anyone?)