We are continuing our marathon of The Shadow Old Time Radio series – with a 1938 offering entitled The Mark of the Bat. Another prime example why the Street & Smith publication character became an even larger pulp icon when he received his own radio show. This episode has a wonderful mixture of horror as well as pulp adventure of course – a mad scientist, giant vampire bats, a young woman in peril and even the rather heavy-handed justice that the Shadow is well known for dispensing. This episode, once again, features the incredible talent of Orson Welles as both Lamont Cranston and the Shadow. In the role of Margo Lane however, Agnes Moorehead is absent, with Margot Stevenson stepping in.
Stevenson would play the character of Margo Lane for 26 episodes – which I believe was for the 1938 Summer series of the show. She was actually dating a radio producer at the time, Clark Andrews, besides directing the likes of The Fat Man OTR programs he was also attached to The Shadow. As has been pointed out though online, Andrews was a firm believer of not showing any signs of nepotism – which is how Moorehead was originally cast as Lane, she apparently was the better actress at the time.
The Mark of the Bat finds both Lamont Cranston and Margo Lane driving out to a spot far from New York City. The reason is that Cranston – always in the know – has learned of the death of one Major Stevens, an apparently well regarded explorer. On one of the man’s last expeditions he managed to bring back some caged vampire bats – very large versions – and he has apparently been breeding them. When his death points to signs of extreme anemia and his Daughter begins to exhibit those same signs – it’s up to the Shadow to step in and remind criminals that the weed of crime bears bitter fruit!
So dim the lights if you are able and join us on Retro Radio Memories as we learn more of The Mark of the Bat with Lamont Cranston, Margo Lane…and The Shadow!
If you have any suggestions for topics you would like for us to cover in a future episode – or possibly you have comments on the current show itself, email them to me at VicSage@Retroist.com. You can also contact me on Twitter and on Facebook.
The theme used at the beginning of this episode was provided by Peachy, if you have musical needs why not contact him at Peachy@Retroist.Com. And be sure to “like” him on his Facebook Page.
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