Appointment With Fear

1943 - 1949, & 1955

The Man In Black


Narrator: Valentine Dyall

Appointment With Fear was the British version of Suspense, complete with the same music theme. The host, however, was British actor Valentine Dyall. Other than the different host (referred to as the Man in Black) the series was the same as the American original. Appointment With Fear ran for a total of ten series. Valentine hosted nine of them except the second one (perhaps due to the war?). He was replaced during that series by his father, Franklin Dyall*.

Appointment With Fear ran sporadically from 1943 to 1949 (plus a revival in 1955). Sometime in 1949, the series was renamed The Man In Black, and had a very similar format to Appointment With Fear. (

Dyall starred in various movies in the 1940s and 1960s. He also played the Black Guardian in TV's Dr. Who in the early 1980s. He continued to work in radio, and played in many Halloween broadcasts of the '70s and '80s, sometimes nostalgically recreating "The Man in Black." In 1988, a series of twelve radio shows under the title Fear on Four recreated Dyall's character, but it was voiced by Edward de Souza. (Dyall had died three years earlier at the age of 77.) The program continued sporadically for a 2nd, 3rd and 4th series, ending in December 1992.

The Standard Intro:

(Music: Distant bell tolls, followed by muted trumpet and plucked strings.)

Announcer: "Appointment With Fear!"

An Opening Narration:

Host: "This is your story teller, the man in black, here again to bring you another story in our series, Appointment With Fear. Edgar Allen Poe's story, The Pit and the Pendulum, adapted for broadcasting, by John Dickson Carr...

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The Pit and the Pendulum (courtesy of

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