The Chase

1952 - 1953

Above image courtesy of Tune In For Terror © 1992


The Chase was a thriller series with different themes, but it usually involved someone on the run. Since the listener identified with the main character, they too, were desperately trying to escape the police dragnet, or elude the menace-of-the-week. The most common sound effect was a gunshot, so it’s safe to say this was one series that had as much action as it did suspense. Some the scripts used on the series were previously heard on The Clock and Inner Sanctum Mysteries (Grams, 2000, 91). Several of the guest stars were horror hosts of sci-fi show announcers, including Maurice Tarplin (The Mysterious Traveler), Paul McGrath (Inner Sanctum Mysteries), and Norman Rose (X Minus One). The Chase announcer, Fred Collins (also of X Minus One fame), didn't have much to say on this series other than to give the standard introduction. However, the constant chase theme provided a sense of continuity for each passing week. The writers clearly had fun with the different characters and situations. It was also interesting that several of the resolutions were implied, rather than played out for the audience. It was a clever way to cram more action into a story than the 30 minutes would otherwise allow. A murdering husband might be climbing the stairway to confront his hateful wife, or a suicidal man might be climbing over the boat rail to tempt a submerged sea monster back to the surface to eat him and then—the end theme would play. Like the old showbiz adage sez, “Always leave the audience wanting more!” If only television could learn that lesson...

The Standard Intro:

(SFX: Music: Trumpets sounding, similar to what one might expect to hear at a medieval jousting contest.)

(SFX: Hounds barking, as if a fox hunt.)

Announcer: "The National Broadcasting Company invites you by transcription to join The Chase!"

(SFX: Hound howls, dramatic music.)

Announcer: "In the animal world, there is the hunter and the hunted. Hounds and fox. Hawk and sparrow. Chicken and worm. We in the top most species have also joined the hunt. But who is to judge precisely which of us are the hounds or foxes as we enter... The Chase!"

Alternate Intro (used later in the series)

(SFX: Footsteps start slowly, start to run.)

Announcer: "There is always the hunter and the hunted. The pursuer and the pursued. It may be the voice of authority, or a race with death and destruction, the most relentless of the hunters! There are times when laughter is heard as counterpoint, and moments when sheer terror is the fuse!

(SFX: Gun shot. Running footsteps stop as body falls down.)

Announcer: "But always there's The Chase!"


A Typical Opening

Man (with British accent):"It's all very simple really, yet so complex. A nightmare that fashioned overtones. The laughter I'm afraid was on me. I must confess, I failed to find it amusing. I remember meeting Noreen in a Sand Hill pub. Our reunions were brief at that time and clandestine. We were very much like two frightened mice, snatching moments of comfort together when the tom cat slept, and scurrying to cover when the beast would stir. It's degrading, unwholesome, and I had made up my mind to put an end to it..."


The Standard Closing

(Repeat of the standard intro.)

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Sample Shows

“Tales” - A milquetoast husband becomes emboldened to murder after a large man-eating cat escapes from the zoo.

“Reporter After The Germans” - A drunken reporter in South America is on the run from assassins who don’t want him snooping around. Others who were curious wound up in the river… with the piranhas.

“The Monster” - An older professor takes his young wife to investigate the Loch Ness monster, and why the Scottish lake never freezes like the others, nor gives up its dead. The matter is further complicated by the appearance of black goats, a harbinger of bad luck, and soon the professor is contemplating murder.

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