Tarzan -- "Rays of Death"

Saturday, 16 July 2016 15:00 Dave Truesdale

Tarzan (1932-36, 1951-53) aired "Rays of Death" on May 1, 1952. In this techno-thriller set during World War II and the Nazi threat, Tarzan finds himself thrust into espionage and intrigue centered around an experimental ray weapon whose secret testing site near an abandoned oil producing facility (known as the ghost town) in the depths of the jungle--and using captured animals as test subjects--is something he cannot abide. There are some surprises to be sure, among them just what separates the Good Guys from the Bad Guys. How the Lord of the Jungle makes sense of this complicated situation in time to stop a test of the deadly new weapon and thwart the spies makes for a fast-paced, tension-filled episode.

Since March of 2015 we have run but a single Tarzan episode and that one came this past March. For Tarzan fans visiting here for the first time, we note that Tarzan first hit radio from 1932-36 in serial format. Three multi-part stories were aired in short 10-12 minute episodes running every few days, and Tarzan and Jane were actually played by Edgar Rice Burroughs' daughter and her husband. For more of this fascinating behind-the-scenes story (with photos) we direct you to our last Tarzan episode from the 1930s here.

Enjoy now "Rays of Death," starring the greatest creation of Edgar Rice Burroughs (1875-1950), Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle.

(I swear I have no idea how Cheetah snuck the following photos in here, but I was made an offer I couldn't refuse if I would allow them to remain. If I supplied the booze, Cheetah would supply the women. So what a party it's going to be tonight; a Tarzan episode, beautiful women, and a drunken monkey! And remember, what happens in the OTR jungle stays in the OTR jungle.)


Play Time: 26:08

{Early May of 1952 found the boundless enthusiasm of our neighborhood SF fans at full throttle as they headed for the corner newsstand with hard-earned nickels and dimes jangling in their pockets with every step. Among the many selections from which they had to choose, the following trio caught their collective eye. Astounding was rock solid as always with its monthly schedule. A brand new magazine, fantastic, hit the stands with its first issue, dated Summer 1952 and could not be passed up. It published three issues in 1952 and then went bi-monthly from 1953 through 1957. Skipping its Janaury 1958 issue, from February on it became a monthly through 1964 at which time its schedule soon reverted to its original 6 issues a year, then cut back in 1975 to 4 issues per year until its demise in 1980. Beginning in 1939 as a bi-monthly, Startling Stories--except for a few years due to World War II--would remain a bi-monthly through 1951. 1952 opened with a surprising monthly schedule (see the cover of the May issue below), but alas this lasted but 18 issues, with only two more 1953 issues (Aug. & Oct.) published following the June 1953 issue.  1954 saw but 4 issues as did 1955, at which time the magazine folded with its Fall 1955 issue.}

[Left: Astounding, May 1952 - Center: fantastic, Summer 1952 - Right: Startling Stories, May 1952]


To view the entire list of weekly Old Time Radio episodes at Tangent Online, click here.