Mar 13, 2020

Posted in What's New

It’s a foggy night in quarantine.  A perfect night! . . . for a mystery’ (THE CALLER ON LINE ONE)

Illustration of man with hand over his eyesIllustration of man with rope around a chairIllustration of rope around a frowning moonDecorative post for Cape Cod Radio Mystery Theater

‘The Caller on Line One’

Fellow fog-bound travelers in these fraught-prone times.  With the whole world seemingly going into quarantine and with economies now in free-fall, many people may find themselves stuck in their homes and with little money to buy entertainment.  Therefore, CCRMT for the foreseeable future is going to be providing daily free streaming of our mysteries and thrillers.

So, in an effort to whisk ourselves back to simpler times, we invite you to tune out the bad news and tune in to a free, stress-relieving radio mystery as you hand-dry dishes or churn butter or darn socks, or whatever it was that the simple folk used to do back during the Golden Age of Radio.

In the meantime, we will keep working on a new suspense thriller.  Keep your chins and your spirits up and your temperatures down.   Love, from the cast and crew of CCRMT

Cover art for The Caller on Line OneSteve Oney side viewArtistic illustration of blue sky background with contents of a room in foregroundPoster for The Caller on Line OneArtwork for the Caller on Line OnePhoto of the recording studio

Synopsis:    Tanya Macklin is host of ‘Talk Line’––the weekly, advice-on-the-air radio program.  Tonight, the problems of her listeners are about to take a back seat to one of her own.  A problem so large that it will transform her normally sane world into a nightmarish world of terror.  A real-time, suspense thriller in the tradition of ‘Sorry Wrong Number’.  When first aired, it prompted a flood of frantic phone calls to the police and radio station and created a traffic jam outside a post office in Hartford.

CAPE COD RADIO MYSTERY THEATER:   In October of 1982, following the broadcast premier the month before of the grassroots radio theater’s first Captain Underhill mystery, ‘The Legacy of Euriah Pillar’, the fledgling mystery writer (Steven Thomas Oney) had an inspiration for a different kind of mystery, this one a suspense thriller.  At that time on WOCB, there was a popular, radio call-in show hosted by local DJ, Michele Haines.  Oney’s idea for a thriller was to simulate a similar call-in show, wherein listeners were invited to phone in with their personal problems. During the course of which, one particular caller would exhibit strange behavior and turn out to be an escapee from a mental institution.  Once the germ of the idea was hatched, the script fell into place quickly, so quickly in fact that the group was able to finish recording it just in time for ‘The Caller on Line One’ to receive its initial broadcast on Halloween night. The show features a swirling Rachmaninoff-like musical accompaniment by composer and concert pianist, Mark Birmingham, perfect for this kind of program!  It also features fake radio ads for Guns-R-Us and the Ooo-La-La Hair Salon.  A stage version of ‘Caller’ was later mounted in 1992 at the Cape Cod Museum of Art (formerly the Cape Museum of Fine Arts) but with a different surprise ending.  Laine Davis, who had just finished her role as Audrey Pillar, took on the role of the talk show hostess, Tanya Macklin, and Kevin Groppe, who had just finished up being Leander Pillar, stepped into the role of a lifetime, as Dennis Luckhurst.  The result was what Publisher’s Weekly called ‘audio mystery at its finest’.


First broadcast:  WOCB , Halloween, 1982

Announcer . . . . Floyd Pratt

Tanya Macklin . . . Laine Davis

Ron, the Engineer . . . John Todd

Caller #1 . . . . . . . . . Grace Biggers

High school caller . . . . . Patience Martin

Dennis Luckhurst . . . . . Kevin Groppe

Caller #3 . . . . . . . . . Dave Margulis

Caller #5  . . . . . . . . . Debby Oney

Mrs. Epstein . . . . . . . Lee Olive

Caller #7 . . . . . . . . . . Jean Todd

Produced/written/directed by STEVEN THOMAS ONEY, Engineering by JOHN TODD, Sound effects by SCOTT DICKIE, Original music by MARK BIRMINGHAM

  1. jared mcnabb says:

    I was HOOKED the day my folks let me listen to this as a 6 or 7 year old. I would beg for them to play it over and over….memorizing all of “Dennis Luckhurt’s” lines 🙂 Then one day at breakfast my dad showed me a CCT article about a production being staged. We couldn’t get tickets fast enough and I was thrilled to be in the audience for that show…still a childhood highlight…albeit a bit strange 🙂

  2. Thank you for posting these!! These radio mysteries help with ny anxiety even a little bit. Thank you so much! :).

    P.s. the first time I heard this episode I thought Dennis was a woman. Not that it matters but I wonder if anyone else thought that at first?

    Anyways. Thank you again! I haven\\\’t checked how many Cape Cod mysteries there are or how many are available but I hope there are a lot!!


  3. Kristen says:

    Sleepless night and cable is out. Popped on to your site to see about another episode to download on my phone and excited to see you had done some quarantining sharing. Thank you! This episode is a favorite. Interestingly, I also thought Dennis was a woman when I listened the first time years ago.

  4. Rachel says: Yes of course I would not mind at all if you posted that to your website. I never did mention when I found out that my parents had hid a caller on line one instead of it being eaten by the car tape player which was the excuse I’d been given to its disappearance. It was on a cross country trip. My parents I suppose had finally had enough of listening to us fight and complain in the car. It was in the Utah desert my parents pulled the cassette out from underneath the car rug where they’d hidden it! Needless to say we stopped fighting. Thanks for the memories!

  5. Bill Marcario says:

    Anxious to hear the new Captain and New Doctor. Are there samples of their voices on the website?

  6. Hi Bill, Although we never planned to do anymore Captain Underhill mysteries following the deaths of Dave Ellsworth and Wally O’Hara. ‘The Final Case of Captain Underhill’ was intended to be the last of the series, just as Agatha Christie’s ‘Curtain’ was the last of the Hercule Poirot mysteries. However, I had a brainstorm for a new one that I just couldn’t resist. The result was ‘RIDDLE OF THE BONES or The Missing File of Captain Underhill’. A live performance of that radio play was presented at the Old Colonial Courthouse in Barnstable Village. Captain Underhill was played by the high versatile, Pete Milan. Doctor Scofield was played by Jay Stewart, who also appeared as the bumbling cop in ‘HALLOWEEN BRIDGE’.
    Later on, we recorded a more polished studio version of ‘Riddle of the Bones’ again with Pete Milan as Captain Underhill, but this time old hand, Stephen Russell carrying the part of the redoubtable Doctor Scofield. The studio version is available in the CCRMT store. Thanks for asking, Steven Oney

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