Theater of The Mind Radio Drama

FULL EPISODE

Frankenstein

Victor Frankenstein set out to create life – using corpses stolen from graveyards. During a raging storm, he is successful but, too late, realizes he has created a misshapen, inarticulate horror. And so begins a haunting tale of creature vs. creator, in KTWU’s local production - 1940’s radio-style drama from A.R.T.S., Inc.

AIRED: October 26, 2010 | 0:58:56
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
TRANSCRIPT

Broadcasting from the KTWU studios in Topeka, Kansas,

Arts, Inc. presents the Karen Hastings Players

inFrankenstein,

a radio dramatization by Philip Grecian,

based on his own stage play

and on the novel by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley.

We're live with a live audience.

Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear,

back in time to the 1940s and the golden age of radio.

Turn out your lights,

move in close to the glow of your radio dial,

hear the story of

Frankenstein!

(metal sheet imitating thunder)

Broadcasting from the KTWU studios in Topeka, Kansas,

Broadcasting from the KTWU studios in Topeka, Kansas,

(crackling)

Broadcasting from the KTWU studios in Topeka, Kansas,

CREWMAN: Fog on the horizon, Captain!

CAPTAIN ROBERT WALTON: Steady as she goes!

Aye, aye!

We set sail in June of that year, over the top of the world,

seeking the Northwest Passage from Russia

to the Pacific Ocean.

The ice made progress slow, but by early August

the Polar region was in sight.

CREWMAN: More ice floes, Captain!

Keep moving!

The fog, Captain!

She's rollin' in!

Steer for sea room while you can!

Aye, aye, sir!

Can't see, Captain!

Ice, captain!

The sails are lopping!

Ice against the port side!

We're dead in the water, Captain.

Ice has got us wedged in.

(organ sting)

We sat motionless for hours.

And then, the fog lifted and we beheld in all directions

an endless plain of ice, white and silver

against the dead gray sky.

Captain!

Aye!

Off the port bow!

What is it?

CREWMAN: We're breaking free!

WALTON: I ran to the rail and saw it-- a low carriage

fixed on a sledge and drawn by dogs.

The driver, a man, gigantic in stature,

visible but for a moment, and then embraced by the fog.

Nothing to do with us.

I'm going below to get a little sleep.

Wake me when the ice breaks.

Aye, Captain.

Broadcasting from the KTWU studios in Topeka, Kansas,

Cap'n! Cap'n!

Hmm?

Just a moment.

What is it?

Ice broke, sir.

Ah, good.

And another dog sled, sir,

drifted up against the ship

on a chunk of ice.

You're sure it's not the same one?

No, different one.

Dogs are all dead.

Any men?

One. Unconscious.

We're bringing him down.

In here.

Put him on that bunk.

(groaning)

A brandy! Bring brandy!

Yes, sir.

And blankets.

This is a ship.

The good ship

Cocytus.

Bound?

North.

To the pole?

And beyond.

Ah, good, ah, good.

I'm Robert Walton, captain

of the ship.

Frankenstein.

Victor Frankenstein.

Explorer?

I seek one who fled from me.

Blankets, sir.

And brandy.

On the table.

Anything else, sir?

Thank you, no.

Very good, sir.

The one you seek-- he travels

in the same fashion?

By sled, yes.

Then I fancy we have seen him.

When? Where?

Yesterday.

We saw a sledge with a man in it,

a giant of a man.

Traveling north?

Aye.

Good.

Good.

I have, doubtless, excited your curiosity.

A man's life is his own.

Were it that simple.

You have a family, then?

Once.

No longer.

Then you are responsible

to no one but yourself.

You think so, eh?

I will tell you my tale, then, and pray you find a moral in it.

Not if it pains you.

I am beyond pain.

Oh, but...

Listen.

In my boyhood I had an eager desire to learn

and was filled with a fervent longing

to penetrate the secrets of nature.

When the time came, I enrolled at the university in Ingolstadt

and was fortunate in attracting the attention

of Professor Waldman, who chaired

the Department of Surgery and ultimately became my mentor.

I graduated at the top of my class,

my head filled with ideas, my heart filled with little.

In the evening, after our graduation ceremonies,

I invited Professor Waldman and my dear friend Henry Clerval

to dinner at my chateau.

HENRY CLERVAL: Oh, an excellent meal, Victor!

Professor Waldman, you enjoyed the meal?

PROFESSOR WALDMAN: A fine dinner, Victor,

but this chateau!

You are alone here?

Not for long.

Victor and Elizabeth will be married soon.

I require room here for my work.

Just what is your work, Victor?

Speculative, mostly-- the nature of disease, the brain, the body.

Ah!

To eliminate all disease, cure the lame and halt,

and create a perfect world.

Such are the goals of all of my students

as they pass from the university.

And if we were to move beyond those goals,

could we not improve upon the original plan?

VICTOR: Achieve perfection?

Flawless creatures?

A new Adam?

A perfect Eve?

VICTOR: What then, Professor?

Why then, my boy, we would be gods.

VICTOR: Gods!

And bear the responsibility of gods.

Well, this would be an interesting discussion

for a rainy afternoon, Victor.

And your plans, Henry?

Find modest rooms in town,

fix my shingle over the door,

and establish a practice.

I wish you much success.

Well, good night, Victor.

Professor.

Professor.

Henry, you spoke of rooms in town.

Yes.

Move in here.

But earlier you said...

I need an extra pair of hands, another surgeon.

Oh, he needn't be brilliant.

Adequate would do.

I beg your pardon?

Henry, what I said to Professor Waldman...

CLERVAL: Oh, yes, yes, of course.

about creating the perfect man.

Oh, think of it, Henry-- a new race,

beautiful in form,

powerful in body.

I could do it, Henry.

CLERVAL: What?

Create a man?

I've already begun.

What?

No, no, no.

Wait, wait, wait, wait.

You're saying you've been building a...

Well, it's taken me nearly two years.

Two years!

But you can't...

Well, there's been no time to start at the cellular level,

so I've been forced to employ some preexisting components.

CLERVAL: What?

VICTOR: Don't look so shocked, Henry!

We've spent the last several years

dissecting cadavers and tossing about bones.

You'd be surprised how much can simply disappear

with no one the wiser.

But there are still things I need.

It will be necessary to spend time watching at churchyards.

Watching at... grave robbing?

Well, Henry, it would all

just rot, anyway.

Food for the worms.

Can it be a crime to steal from worms?

But there are families who...

The period of mourning happens whether there's a body or not.

And sooner or later there's

nothing but dust in the coffin, anyway.

CLERVAL: Victor...

And who's to know, Henry?

Who's to know?

They'll continue to weep over an empty grave.

The palliative effect is the same.

CLERVAL: That's a point, certainly, but...

And the dead-- the dead have another chance!

Another chance.

At life!

Henry, Henry, we... we could create

the perfect race-- free of disease,

impervious to age.

Put that way, it seems heroic.

Heroic!

Yes, yes, heroic!

Now, quickly, pull on your coat.

There's a fresh grave in the churchyard

and tools in the carriage.

CLERVAL: What?

When we've finished, we'll make the rounds

at the morgue and charnel houses.

We'll be heroes, Henry.

We'll be benefactors.

We'll be gods!

(crashing chord on organ)

CATHERINE FRANKENSTEIN: Mother?

BARONESS FRANKENSTEIN: In the parlor, Catherine.

Look, Mother.

Justine's taught me to... what is it called, Justine?

JUSTINE MORITZ: Crochet.

Justine's taught me to crochet.

You see?

It's for the back of a chair--

Victor's big chair in the library,

where he used to sit and frown over his books.

He always did frown poring over those old books, didn't he?

A letter's come today.

BARONESS: For Elizabeth, you see?

From Victor?

BARONESS: Well, from Henry.

Your brother never writes, but Henry keeps us posted.

I'm going to put this on Victor's chair.

I want him to see it when he comes home.

Oh, she's growing up, Justine.

You've done well with her.

I'm only her governess.

BARONESS: Well, you've had as much to do with raising her

as I have.

Perhaps more.

Oh, I wonder if I've given enough.

You've given everything to Catherine

as well as to me.

Oh, nonsense.

I was an orphan.

You took me in, provided me

with a home, an education.

I needed a governess for my child.

You could have found an older

and better one.

I was barely 13.

You were always older than your years.

She got her schooling from tutors,

her meals from the housekeeper

and the cook.

My duties have been little more

than big sister.

And excellent example.

She needed a governess.

JUSTINE: And I needed a family.

Justine, come see!

You had no duty toward me, Baroness,

and yet you gave me a future.

For that, I will always be grateful.

Justine!

Good morning, Baroness.

Here I come, Catherine!

All my little ones.

All my little ones.

Elizabeth?

Elizabeth, are you upstairs?

ELIZABETH FRANKENSTEIN: What is it, Baroness?

A letter for you!

A letter?

From Victor?

From Henry.

But I'm sure it's about Victor.

Here you are.

Thank you.

You have wedding plans to make.

You know, Victor has always been single minded,

but I cannot fathom how...

Oh.

What is it?

They won't be coming home next month.

Victor has some... some research,

and Henry's working with him.

The wedding?

Not a word.

Oh.

I'm... I'm sure he thinks of it every day and...

and he'll be home very soon.

BARONESS: Oh, of course he will.

If you'll excuse me, Baroness, I...

Certainly.

Oh, Victor.

What are you doing?

What in the world are you doing?

(thunder)

CLERVAL: The storm's nearly at its peak, Victor.

VICTOR: Come here, Henry.

CLERVAL: Very well.

VICTOR: Look at him.

CLERVAL: Victor, I've been looking at him for months now.

He's beautiful!

Perhaps, but with all that bandaging...

I selected his features to be beautiful--

noble high forehead, rich black hair,

strong jaw, broad shoulders.

Look, look, look.

Victor, the storm is rising.

VICTOR: Oh, yes.

We must move quickly.

The attachments?

In place.

VICTOR: The lightning rods?

CLERVAL: Connected.

VICTOR: Open the skylight!

CLERVAL: Victor, it's raining in through the window.

VICTOR: Let it rain!

Quickly now, raise the table-- send him up!

(chain clacking)

Up, up, up.

There he goes, up to the heavens

to steal life from the gods!

Ah, the lightning!

Switch on the generator!

Oh, look at it, Henry!

Look at it.

And there.

You see?

The lightning!

We collect lightning from the heavens!

We steal fire from the gods!

VICTOR: Like Prometheus, Henry!

CLERVAL: The batteries are full, Victor!

VICTOR: Transfer in three, two, now, Henry, now!

(crackling and snapping)

We are Titans!

We are creators!

We are gods!

(chuckling)

Switch off the machines.

VICTOR: Now bring it down.

Bring it down!

Quickly, quickly!

Easy, now.

Easy, easy.

Now quickly disconnect the electrodes.

Quickly, man, quickly!

I'm doing the best I can.

Out of the way! Out of the way!

Bring me that stethoscope connection.

Hurry, hurry!

No, no, no!

Connect it to the machine first,

so we can hear!

Hurry, man!

Here it is.

Give it to me!

Close that skylight.

CLERVAL: Victor, I don't see...

VICTOR: Shut up, quiet!

Listen, listen!

(dull thumping)

Hear that?

Oh my God.

Hear it?

I never imagined...

Quiet, damn you!

Quiet!

Oh, it's alive!

It's alive! It's alive! It's alive!

It's alive!

(organ music)

(knocking at door)

CLERVAL: Yes?

Ah, Henry.

Professor Waldman.

No shingle on the door in town, after all.

No, no. Not at present, in any case.

I wonder if I might come in.

I... I'm afraid that would be impossible.

Just now, we're very busy.

Doing what?

Research.

I'm helping Victor, you see, and we...

What sort of research?

I'm not at liberty to say.

Not at... very well.

Please tell Victor I was here.

Yes, of course, Professor.

I thought it might be diverting

to meet again, perhaps in my rooms.

Yes, yes, yes.

I've been thinking about the discussion topic

Victor brought up the other week.

Discussion topic?

Concerning the responsibilities of gods.

Hypothetical, of course.

Of course, yes.

But intriguing nonetheless.

A point to ponder, eh?

Well, good evening, Henry.

Good evening, Professor.

(door closes)

Who was it?

Oh, Victor, you startled me.

Who was it?

It was Professor Waldman.

What did you tell him?

Nothing. Would you calm down, Victor?

Calm down.

You haven't slept in days.

You're being completely...

Who can sleep with that?

He's not beautiful, Henry!

No, Victor, he is not beautiful.

I meant him to be.

The size of him, the physique,

the hair and brow, they were meant

for a god.

I know, Victor.

Instead, they form a horrible contrast

with those dead eyes.

Victor...

My God, Henry, his skin

scarcely covers the muscles and arteries.

And the scarring--

I never considered...

Victor, you must really...

He is not beautiful, Henry, he is not.

Victor, you're killing yourself.

He was to be articulate.

The brain--- I took the brain mere hours from interment.

You can't go on like this much longer.

Can't you see what you're doing to yourself?

Victor, you're making yourself ill.

Henry, do you remember Professor Krempe?

Of course.

Doctor of Natural Philosophy.

Brilliant.

Died last year at end of term.

It was his brain.

No, it was heart failure as I recall.

The creature has his brain.

Oh, good God.

Well, I didn't expect brilliance.

Oxygen deprivation would have taken

its toll.

But I hoped for something better

than a feeble- minded beast!

Krempe.

(a clock chimes)

Ah, time to feed it again.

I picked up some things

at the butcher's this afternoon.

I'll go extinguish my reading lamp

and join you at the cellar door.

(organ plays low notes)

(sniffing) Oh, my God, Victor,

what are you feeding it?

VICTOR: Carcass of a pig.

Got it at the butcher's.

At more than reasonable price, I hope.

That sack fairly reeks.

Well, it doesn't seem to mind.

Hold that torch close.

Can't see a bloody thing down here.

(creature breathing deeply)

He's asleep.

Maybe we can just leave the sack here and...

(grumbles)

(growls)

The instincts of an animal, too.

There's no creeping up on it.

Look at it, Henry.

What have I wrought from the creator's

discarded clay?

He's caught the scent of the food.

Well, here,

you misbegotten nightmare!

Catch!

(growling greedily)

Well, what now, Victor?

We can't leave him down here forever.

We're responsible for him.

We must find...

No, I shan't be responsible for it.

I shall destroy it.

Destroy it?

It's impossible!

Do you think it cannot die, Henry?

Oh, yes, Victor, it can die.

But it will not die easily.

You've seen to that with what

you've done to it at the cellular level.

Its healing factors are amazing.

I shall destroy it.

Then you will be a murderer.

The life it has I gave to it!

That does not give you the right to take it back.

His heart beats.

He breathes.

He lives independent of our machines!

Victor, it is a life, a living being.

Perhaps it even has a soul.

Rubbish!

I can provide an inventory

of everything I put into it.

I stitched in lungs, I stitched in muscles.

I stitched in no soul.

And that does not mean it hasn't one.

CLERVAL: What is it?

What's happening to him?

VICTOR: The food was drugged, Henry.

CLERVAL: You can't poison it, Victor.

VICTOR: No, but I can kill it with this.

CLERVAL: A pistol?

VICTOR: That's the plan, you see-- to weaken it

so that I could move in like this.

CLERVAL: Victor, no!

VICTOR: What say you, Henry?

Do you think a bullet through the brain will kill it?

About here, perhaps?

Just in front of the ear.

CLERVAL: Victor, please...

VICTOR: Another ten minutes and it will slake off

the effects of the poison.

But let it slake off a bullet to the medulla.

(pistol cocking)

Now hold very still--

this won't hurt a bit.

Broadcasting from the KTWU studios in Topeka, Kansas,

(monster growling)

VICTOR: Let go of me, let go! The torch!

CLERVAL: It's set the straw afire!

VICTOR: Let me go, you monster!

(gunshot)

(creature howls in pain)

VICTOR: Quickly, find the stairs!

CLERVAL: Here!

Victor, over here!

The creature!

Can you see?

Look out-- the ceiling's coming down!

VICTOR: Quickly, quickly!

(creature bellowing)

Broadcasting from the KTWU studios in Topeka, Kansas,

Victor, are you awake?

Elizabeth.

I dozed off while you were reading to me.

Professor Waldman's here to see you.

Hello, Victor.

Well, I shall leave you two

gentlemen alone.

A pleasure, Professor.

The pleasure is mine, Miss Lavenza.

So, how are you, Victor?

Better this last week, I think.

According to the doctors,

I should be able to get out of the bed

in the next couple of days.

I concur.

Self-diagnosis, eh?

VICTOR: Of course.

I was sorry to hear of the fire.

Were you able to save anything?

VICTOR: Nothing.

What a tragedy.

A tragedy, yes.

Henry was the hero of the hour.

I'd been overcome with the smoke.

He carried me out.

Saved my life.

I heard, yes.

Oh!

I'm sorry.

Come in, Justine, come in!

Professor Waldman, this is Justine Moritz.

Miss Moritz.

Professor.

Justine is my sister's governess

and, just lately, my nurse.

Herr Frankenstein, have you taken

your medicine?

Not yet.

Now would be a good time.

It would appear you are as proficient

a nurse as you are a governess.

Very well, here.

Pass me that water, please.

Here you are, sir.

And... (swallows)

There.

Thank you, sir.

A pleasure, Professor Waldman.

Victor, I'd best go as well.

Good to see you looking well.

Oh, Professor.

WALDMAN: Oh, Henry!

I understand you're something of a hero.

You saved Victor's life.

And the three of us still have a topic to discuss.

CLERVAL: We do?

VICTOR: Regarding?

WALDMAN: The responsibility of a god toward his creation.

VICTOR: I see.

CLERVAL: What prompts this topic, Professor?

WALDMAN: You don't remember?

Victor, you brought it up yourself

that evening at dinner.

I've been thinking of it ever since.

An excellent pursuit...

VICTOR: I don't...

...for discussion.

Well, I must go.

Be well, Victor, be well.

Good afternoon, Henry.

Professor.

Victor, do you think he knows?

No.

No, of course not.

How could he?

Sometimes it's uncanny

what he seems to know.

Henry, the house burned completely,

did it not?

Yes, of course.

Ashes, just ashes.

No furniture, no papers,

no laboratory equipment, no bones.

Correct?

No bones?

The chemicals in the lab

saw to that.

The fire was nearly white hot.

Nothing left but a pit of ashes.

My notebook was in my coat pocket

with all my notes about the creation.

CLERVAL: You had no coat, Victor.

You must have left it there in the cellar

with that poor creature.

Then it burned as surely as he did.

Still, it haunts me.

What if he survived,

suddenly free of that cellar?

After all, he has Krempe's brain...

Krempe's deteriorated brain--

erased of all knowledge.

Krempe was brilliant!

That mind in a massive,

nearly immortal body!

He could...

The creature did not survive.

But if he had?

If it had?

Why, then it would be like an animal!

An animal loose in a world

it could not possibly understand.

(ominous chord plays)

(sounds of moving through high grass)

(creature groaning)

(guitar playing)

DeLACEY: Who's there?

(snarls)

If you've come to rob me,

take what you like.

Look around inside my cabin, too.

The door is open.

I haven't much to steal,

and, as I am blind,

I make a poor witness to crime.

(growls)

No?

Well, if you haven't

come to rob me, perhaps you'd care

to sit with me for awhile, eh?

(guitar playing)

Oh, a music lover, then!

Is that it?

(grumbles)

DeLACEY: I don't understand what you're saying.

(creature grumbling)

DeLACEY: Oh, of course.

Forgive me.

You cannot speak.

Is that it?

(grunts)

Well, we are a fine pair,

are we not?

You cannot speak and I cannot see.

(chuckles)

(tries to laugh)

Has no one ever taught you

to speak?

Well, then, we can help each other.

You can be my eyes, and I will be

your tutor.

Agreed?

(mumbling contentedly)

We will help each other,

because we are friends.

Can you say that?

(tries to say "friend")

Friend.

(continues trying)

Can you say it?

Friend.

F...

Friend.

Friend.

Yes, yes.

(haltingly): Friend.

Oh, excellent, excellent, my friend!

Friend!

(organ playing)

CATHERINE: Victor, Victor!

Oh, hello, Puss.

Good afternoon, Justine.

Herr Frankenstein.

Victor, Justine's taking me

on a picnic.

We're going to catch butterflies

and find snails in the pond,

aren't we, Justine?

Yes we are.

Do you want to come?

I haven't the strength for long walks yet, Puss.

But it's been weeks.

Not much longer, Puss, and when I'm well enough,

that's the first thing I'll want to do:

a picnic and a snail hunting expedition.

Promise?

Promise.

Come, Justine.

Let's decide what to take

for our picnic.

Have we worn you out yet, Justine,

nursing me back to health

and seeing to Catherine?

My time with Catherine,

it makes up for what happened with my father.

He arose early one morning, put on tea and then

strangled my mother and sisters in their beds.

I hid where he couldn't find me.

He said angels told him to do it.

Yes.

They hanged him.

And I never will forget

being so alone and terrified

in the workhouse,

whipped and treated like an animal,

and your mother coming for me

and taking me by the hand.

The baroness, you and Catherine,

you gave me a life, and I'm forever

in your debt.

Justine?

I can repay only a part

of that debt by helping

to raise Catherine.

She is my responsibility

and my blessing, and I love her

with all my heart.

Justine?

Excuse me, sir.

Of course.

Coming, little cat!

A blessing.

A life. A life.

(organ sting)

"And the Lord God formed man

"of the dust and breathed

"into his nostrils the breath of life;

and man became a living soul."

Do you see those words in the book,

my friend?

Yes.

You know these words, DeLacey.

I do.

I have read our Good Book

many times.

You are blind.

DeLACEY: I was not always blind, my friend.

It seems we're in for a storm.

Yes, it is turning very dark.

We'll stay inside and build a fire

in the hearth.

You can read and I will recite.

Would you like to hear more?

Yes, yes.

"Therefore the Lord God

"sent him forth from the Garden of Eden

to till the ground from which he was made."

Can you find those words?

Yes.

DeLACEY: Then read, my friend.

"So he drove out the man, and he placed cheru... cheru..."

Cherubim.

"Cherubim at the east,

and a flaming sword to guard the tree of life."

Oh! Well done, my friend!

God made us, DeLacey?

He did.

Then I have seen God.

I suppose each of us

has seen God in his own way.

No, I have seen him.

I have seen God, DeLacey.

I remember, I was cast out into the burning pit by God

for my sins.

No.

Yes, yes.

I was driven from the garden

with a flaming sword, but I have no Eve.

Where is my Eve, DeLacey?

No man has ever seen the face of God.

I have.

His coat.

I have his coat.

(scraping, like a chair against floor)

Where? Where did I...

Ah, here.

I have God's coat.

I took it from the Garden.

CREATURE: Touch it, DeLacey.

Touch it.

It is God's coat.

DeLACEY: I'm afraid it is not God...

What is this?

CREATURE: What?

In the pocket, a book of some sort.

Here.

It is writing.

Handwriting?

Yes.

Not printing like in the other books.

Then it is a diary.

Whoever wore this coat...

God.

Whoever wore this coat

kept a diary, a record

of his thoughts.

Here!

Here is a drawing.

A drawing of... of...

DeLACEY: Of what, my friend?

Of me, DeLacey.

It is a drawing of me.

(thunder)

And more drawings.

Yes, yes, God has made drawings

as he has created me, DeLacey.

And there are words!

It is another book of God's words!

Like our Good Book.

My friend, you do not...

Oh.

What is it?

DeLACEY: What have you read?

God does not love me.

DeLACEY: God loves all of his children.

He loves you.

"I saw the dull yellow eyes

"of the creature open.

"It breathed hard, and a convulsive motion

agitated its limbs."

What sort of book is this?

"The beauty of my dream has vanished.

"Only horror and...

"disgust fill my heart

as I behold this monster I have created."

God does not love me, DeLacey.

This is not about you.

It's about a monster.

Yes, a monster.

DeLACEY: Remember our Good Book.

God loves all his children.

Your god loves his children, DeLacey.

My god does not love me.

There is only one God, my friend,

and he loves us...

"I have purchased a pistol.

"I will destroy it.

"As it has no soul,

I will not have sinned."

Have I no soul, DeLacey?

Of course you do, my friend.

These are not the words of God.

On the inside front cover,

is there a name?

There is.

What is it?

Frankenstein.

(sudden loud pounding on door)

MAN: Anyone home?

(creature growls)

Be calm, my friend, be calm.

Yes?

Good day to you.

Good day.

We've been hunting in these woods.

We're thirsty and wondered...

My God, Hans! What is that?

Peter, look out! Be careful! It's a monster!

Look at the size of him!

DeLACEY: No, wait-- please, don't!

Leave him be!

(rifle shot)

(creature screams in agony)

MAN 1: He's getting away!

MAN 2: There he goes!

(organ sting)

Oh, look, Justine,

I've found another snail.

See how big!

Be careful, little cat.

These rocks are slippery.

I can swim.

Besides, you're right behind me.

You'll catch me.

Watch the thorn bushes.

They'll spring back and...

Oh!

Justine, I've scratched your cheek.

Here, my handkerchief.

It will heal.

We'd best climb up the bank

and go home before it rains.

It's turned very dark, hasn't it?

(thunder)

Justine, I'm caught!

Hold still, we don't want to tear your dress.

JUSTINE: There.

Now, be careful.

Give me your hand.

And up we go!

Oh!

It's really going to rain!

Let's gather up our picnic things quickly.

There goes the tablecloth!

Go catch it!

CATHERINE: It's blowing into the forest!

JUSTINE: Get it, quickly!

CATHERINE: I'm afraid of the forest.

JUSTINE: It won't go far, the trees will stop it!

I don't see it!

Hurry!

All right.

Can't have gone far.

Funny, it's not here.

I don't understand how...

I have it.

Who's there?

Show yourself!

First you must promise that you

will not be frightened.

I can't promise that.

I'm already frightened.

JUSTINE: Did you find it?

You see?

I'm not alone.

Where are you?

Let me see you.

CREATURE: First you must...

You keep the tablecloth.

I'll just...

No!

Let go of me!

Don't... what are you?

Please, I will not harm you.

Catherine?

Your face!

Help!

Help!

Help! Justine!

No, please.

Shh!

Let me go!

CREATURE: I want...

Let me go!

My brother Victor will put you in jail.

(thunder)

Victor? Victor Frankenstein?

Yes! Justine!

You are blood of my creator?

My father? My enemy!

(screams)

(growling)

Broadcasting from the KTWU studios in Topeka, Kansas,

JUSTINE: Little cat?

Catherine, where are you?

CREATURE: Woman!

Does the blood of the house of Frankenstein

flow through your veins?

No. No, it does not.

Tell him I did not die in the fire.

I return sorrow with sorrow,

despair with despair.

Where is Catherine?

She awaits you in the clearing.

Catherine?

Little cat?

I will bring you a thousand miseries, my creator.

A thousand miseries, to the day of your death.

(screams)

Broadcasting from the KTWU studios in Topeka, Kansas,

WALDMAN: Henry...

CLERVAL: Professor Waldman.

I came as soon as I heard.

Professor Waldman.

Oh, Baroness, my condolences.

Yes, thank you.

BARONESS: Please, come in.

I was just preparing to have tea.

Will you have some with me?

Of course.

I'll tell Birgitta that we have got

a guest for tea.

Please, have a seat.

Oh, this is a terrible tragedy.

Do they know who could have done such a thing?

They have arrested Justine Moritz.

Impossible.

Justine loved Catherine.

She could never, never...

BIRGITTA: Tea, Baroness.

Thank you, Birgitta.

Please, put it here.

Will there be anything else, Baroness?

No. No, Birgitta, thank you.

Yes, ma'am.

Why have they arrested

Justine Moritz?

Well, she was with Catherine...

But still...

She had Catherine's handkerchief

in her pocket, covered with blood.

Oh, come in, Henry.

Sit here.

There were deep scratches

on Justine's face and hands.

So then that would explain

the blood on the handkerchief.

Catherine had skin and blood

beneath her fingernails.

She'd scratched her assailant.

Motive. There must be motive.

Justine's father went mad

and killed Justine's mother and sisters.

He told the police that angels had told him to do it.

Is there any proof

that Justine has inherited this madness?

Not until now.

The police believe...

The police are wrong!

Justine could never, never... Justine loved Catherine.

And Catherine...

Has anyone spoken with Justine?

Victor and Elizabeth have gone to the jail to see her.

What does Justine say?

She told the police

that Catherine was murdered

by a giant demon.

She was hysterical.

She thought she saw...

But she told... told me

something quite different.

What did she tell you, Henry?

She told me she had killed Catherine.

(organ music)

(heavy door opening)

GUARD: You've got visitors!

Justine!

Elizabeth!

Justine.

Herr Frankenstein, it is good of you to come.

What's this?

Chains?

I won't have it!

I don't mind.

They are my punishment.

Justine, they say

you confessed to Henry.

I confessed my guilt.

I sent her into the woods to retrieve our picnic cloth.

Had I gone for it myself...

And they believe that you did this thing

and have confessed to it.

No! No, never!

Oh, you must believe me, I...

Of course we believe you.

We'll tell the magistrate

to release you.

I will go to the magistrate myself.

I shan't let this happen to you.

Catherine loved you with all her heart.

And I loved her with all of mine.

I have no fear of the gallows.

I know I shall see Catherine again.

Is there anything, dear,

anything you can tell us that

might help bring the murderer to justice?

I saw him.

Well, then, there it is!

We'll give a description

to the magistrate and...

Justine, tell Elizabeth

what you saw.

No one believes me.

She saw a demon.

Twice the size of a man, with a horrible face

and eyes like death.

ELIZABETH: A demon.

You believe my father's blood has driven me mad.

But I saw it, a giant demon, and he spoke to me.

He asked if I was of the blood of Frankenstein,

and then he said... he said, "Tell him....

Tell him I did not die in the fire."

What?

"I did not die in the fire," he said, "and now I will return

sorrow with sorrow, despair with despair."

VICTOR: Oh, dear God.

ELIZABETH: What is it, Victor?

VICTOR: Tell me more.

He had dark... dark hair. Black.

A high forehead and scars, deep scars on his face and wrists.

And his skin was like...

Was like parchment?

Yes, exactly, but how did you...

VICTOR: Oh, dear God.

ELIZABETH: Victor...

My dear God, forgive me.

He lives.

He lives yet.

(knocking at door)

Good evening, Birgitta.

Good evening, sir.

The family is in the parlor.

Thank you.

Henry, good of you to come.

Of course.

Baroness.

Henry.

Victor.

Oh, yes.

Good evening, Henry.

Have you had any success?

No. No, I'm sorry.

I spent all day in the judiciary.

I tried, but Justine will...

will be executed tonight at 8:00.

Justine didn't do this thing, Henry.

You understand that, don't you?

Yes, I do.

Whoever has done this is a monster.

Do you understand?

Yes.

A giant demon with eyes like death.

What are you saying?

An ugly, soulless monster,

escaped from the fiery pits of hell.

Oh, Lord.

What is it, Victor?

Henry?

Oh, nothing, Elizabeth.

Victor, are you certain?

We have to tell, we have to...

And who would believe us?

Well, we can't just sit...

(clock begins to chime)

The clock!

I had no idea it was so late.

The Lord is my shepherd...

What's that? Do you hear that?

I don't hear anything.

There, there! Hear it?

Well, maybe just someone passing by outside.

Can't you hear that?

Doesn't anyone hear that?

Am I the only one?

ELIZABETH: Victor, are you all right?

VICTOR: Is this my punishment for stealing fire from the gods?

Am I to be spared nothing?

Must I bear witness to this?

What do you hear?

Oh, not this! I implore you!

Something's wrong.

Let eagles tear at my flesh, but please!

VICTOR: Please spare me this!

PRIEST: And may God have mercy on your soul.

(trap door springing suddenly)

(rope snapped taut)

(Victor screams)

Broadcasting from the KTWU studios in Topeka, Kansas,

CLERVAL: It's beautiful up here, Victor.

Yes. Yes, it is.

You can see the whole valley.

You know, we must go to the authorities.

VICTOR: They'd never believe us.

But we are responsible for...

VICTOR: He spoke to her, Henry.

He spoke.

He's not just a mindless animal.

He is a man.

I am a god after all.

Yes, and at what cost?

Too high.

There is blood on my hands.

It must be destroyed.

I curse the day I created him.

(wind blowing)

Victor, do you remember that position I spoke of?

The hospital in Scotland?

I've heard from them.

The position is mine.

Excellent, Henry.

I must leave at the end

of the week, but I will

be back for your wedding.

I have weapons, Victor.

We could scour the mountains for him.

We'd tell Elizabeth and the Baroness

that we were hunting.

It would, in its own way, be true.

They'd be busy preparing

for the wedding.

Precisely.

It's a good plan, Henry!

Good.

The sun is preparing to set.

Nearly time for dinner.

You go on ahead.

I'll sit here for a bit.

Very well.

Don't be too long!

Broadcasting from the KTWU studios in Topeka, Kansas,

CREATURE: Frankenstein.

VICTOR: You!

How dare you approach me, killer of children?

She might have survived our meeting.

But when she said her name, Frankenstein,

I suddenly felt a rage-- a rage I could not master.

It was the rage killed her.

How do you know of me?

The diary in your coat pocket.

Ah! I thought the coat had burned.

You thought I had burned as well.

You thought me dead.

VICTOR: I prayed it.

And if you give me the chance

I'll do you that favor of killing you.

I will not have you kill me,

Victor Frankenstein, but I will bargain with you.

Fulfill the bargain and I will leave you and yours in peace.

Refuse and I will let you live,

but I will glut the maw of death

until it overflows with the blood

of your family and friends

until you are wretched and alone,

as I am.

Fiend!

Have a care, my father!

Father!

I am superior to you

in every way but beauty.

I am your creature.

I would have served you

if only you loved me,

if only you had been fair to me.

Fair?

When I first came to myself

in a cottage in the forest,

I was benevolent and good.

It was misery made me a fiend.

Give me what you owe to me

and I will be benevolent and good again.

I'll give you nothing but death.

That would not be so easy

as it may seem, for I have tried

to make myself a present of death,

and it will not come.

If you had loved me, Father, if any being had loved me,

I would have returned that love a hundred and a hundredfold.

For that one creature's sake I would have made peace

with the whole of mankind.

I do not owe you love.

No, Father.

I would welcome it, but I do not expect it.

What then?

A mate!

What?

A creature as hideous as myself.

Never!

Is this not owed to me?

"Did I request thee, Maker,

"from my clay to mould me man?

"Did I solicit thee from darkness

to create me?"

You quote Milton to me?

It was one of the books

by which I learned of language and life.

Paradise Lost.

It is appropriate.

And now you want a mate.

She shall be my Eve, and I her Adam.

Consent and the world will never see us again.

You would go?

You promise this?

I do.

Then I will do it.

When?

After the wedding.

I must have time to...

Before!

No, I must have time to...

Before!

How long were you engaged in my own creation, Father?

Two years.

(growls)

But I learned much.

This I could do within six months.

Begin now!

That would put completion within

days of my wedding.

And you would begin your marriage

clean and new again.

Very well, I'll do it.

I will watch from the shadows.

And, Frankenstein, have a care--

if you do not do this thing,

I will be with you on your wedding night.

(organ chords)

(knocking on door)

Victor? Victor?

Ah, Elizabeth!

What have you been doing in there, Victor?

Oh, you know, research.

My work.

I've barely seen you

these last few months.

ELIZABETH: Do you think you could find

the time to be married tomorrow evening?

VICTOR: I think so, yes.

Henry's just arrived from Scotland.

Ah, good, good.

I thought perhaps we could all have dinner together.

I'm sure Henry has wonderful stories to tell us.

(thunder)

Was that thunder?

Are you paying any attention at all to me, Victor?

I have work to do.

Excuse me.

But Victor, I thought we could...

CLERVAL: There you are, Elizabeth!

Tomorrow, before the wedding, we should all...

Oh, Henry, I don't know

that there will even be a wedding!

What? Elizabeth, surely...

ELIZABETH: Oh, please excuse me, Henry, I...

Broadcasting from the KTWU studios in Topeka, Kansas,

I'm not ready!

Too many preparations to make.

Damn, too early.

Have to hurry, or I won't...

So this is what you've been up to

all these months.

Henry, how did you...

You neglected to lock the door.

Ah, well, good to see you again.

And what is this shrouded form

on the table, Victor?

Another one?

Another one!

A bride for him.

Have a look.

See?

A woman!

It's hideous!

Well, a parent is often oblivious

to his child's shortcomings.

Victor, how could you?

Henry, he's promised me he will

take his new bride and leave forever,

never to be seen again.

And what makes you think he will keep his word?

Did you stitch honor into that collection

of corpses, Victor?

And has she made the same promise?

What if she refuses to comply with the contract, Victor?

Well, I think that...

What if she turns away from him?

Oh, how angry might he be then, Victor?

Then there would be two of them!

No, she will be his mate.

Oh, children then!

A race of devils.

Oh, will they honor your pact as well?

I never thought of...

And therein lies your problem.

You never thought.

For Elizabeth's sake, Victor,

I will attend your wedding

on the morrow.

But then I do not want you troubling me ever again,

do you understand?

Yes, Henry.

I... I understand.

Good evening, Victor.

(angry footsteps retreating)

Broadcasting from the KTWU studios in Topeka, Kansas,

in Scotland now, Henry?

Yes, I have a position at a teaching hospital.

Professor Waldman.

This is a surprise.

I wouldn't miss your wedding, Victor.

Henry.

Victor.

Well, I see by this exchange

of significant looks you have issues to address.

Another of our ongoing philosophical debates,

Professor.

Sharpens the mind.

To quote the poet,

"The mind is its own place,

"and in itself can make

a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven."

(thunder)

Stormy times ahead.

Let us thank our creator, gentlemen,

that we have a roof over our heads, hmm?

Well, I shall see you at

the dinner table.

Victor, I thought you were going...

VICTOR: Shh, shh.

Wait 'til he's turned the corner.

There.

I thought you were going to...

That quote, what is it from?

Which? What Waldman said?

Milton.

Paradise Lost.

Odd.

That evening when I encountered the creature,

he, too, quoted from

Paradise Lost.

Waldman knows more than he says, Victor.

He's no fool.

Well, of course not,

but he's no mind reader, either.

Coincidence, that's all it is.

Coincidence.

The storm is rising.

Shouldn't you be getting back to your work?

No.

I beg your pardon?

Well, you were right, Henry.

I came very close to loosing

another great monster on the world.

It shan't happen now.

I'm proud of you, Victor.

You're starting a new life.

Now's the time to break with the sins of the past.

The creature threatened my life.

Promised to be with me on my wedding night.

I have a pistol.

Yes, I remember that pistol.

I'll carry it with me.

We'll leave for Marseille

directly after the ceremony.

I'll come back to Geneva

upon your return and we'll go

on that hunting expedition we've talked about.

Thank you, Henry.

What about your project?

I took an axe to it.

Later tonight, while the household sleeps,

I'll row out to the middle

of the lake, and that's where I'll...

WALDMAN: Victor, Henry, Elizabeth has sent me

to inform you that dinner is ready.

The creature?

He has been watching my progress from the shadows.

When he discovers what it is that I've done...

(creature roars)

ELIZABETH: What in the world is that?

VICTOR: Doubtless some animal.

Or some doomed soul.

I beg your pardon?

(high-pitched ringing)

Ah! The baroness awaits us at the dinner table.

Elizabeth, my arm.

Come, gentlemen, an excellent meal

this evening, and tomorrow, a wedding.

(organ playing)

(both laughing)

Now just stop that, Victor Frankenstein!

I told you I wouldn't be long.

You can't expect me to travel

dressed like this.

And why not?

Victor! This is my wedding dress.

The cinders from the smokestack would ruin it.

Oh, it's a very modern railway,

Elizabeth.

Yes, and the last time I traveled

on that very modern railway,

I counted 16 little holes burned in my dress.

I have traveling clothes.

Now, unfasten me in the back.

Oh! So many buttons!

Why do women put the buttons

in the back where they can't be reached?

Why not put them in the front

like a man's shirt?

Stop for a moment.

I want to turn around.

VICTOR: Very well.

Now, you see this effect in the front?

Oh, yes.

It was the first thing I noticed

about that dress.

Well, my darling, in order to make the front look the way

you men seem to like it, we must put the buttons in the back.

You see?

Then I vote we keep the buttons

in the back.

You vote in the majority, darling.

Now finish the buttons.

(chuckling): 131, 132...

No such thing!

There.

Finished?

Finished.

Turn around now

and throw your arms out the way you did before.

Not until we reach Marseilles.

Stay here. I shan't be long.

Well, you might want to pack

that dress, you know,

so we can study the effect in Marseilles.

Victor, what are you doing here?

Your train leaves in 20 minutes.

I take it you still have the pistol.

Yes. But I didn't need it, you see.

And in less than 20 minutes we'll be...

(Elizabeth screams)

CLERVAL: What's that?

VICTOR: Elizabeth!

My God, Elizabeth!

CLERVAL: Open the door, Elizabeth!

Are you in there?

VICTOR: Where is she?

On the floor, there!

Elizabeth!

Oh my God, Elizabeth! Wake up, darling, wake up.

Elizabeth, please...

Victor, it's no use.

She's gone, Victor.

(sobbing)

Victor, I am so sorry.

VICTOR: I have been such a fool, Henry.

I thought it was my life he threatened.

It was her life.

Oh, my dear, sweet, innocent Elizabeth, please forgive me.

We heard a scream.

Victor, what...

(gasping): Oh!

Baroness!

Oh, she's fainted.

Henry, help me get her into the other bedroom.

Carefully now, carefully.

In here, yes.

(crying): How can you be gone, Elizabeth?

How can I live without you, my love?

Broadcasting from the KTWU studios in Topeka, Kansas,

You monster!

I curse the day I made you!

As do I, Frankenstein, for I am

the most wretched creature on earth.

Shall you be allowed the joy of love and companionship

while I grovel in my wretchedness, alone and unloved?

Why did you not kill me

half a year ago when you had the chance?

Because then I had hope,

Frankenstein, hope, with you at the center of it.

Now I have only revenge.

And again, you stand at the center.

I abandon hope and replace it with revenge.

I abandon love and seek revenge.

You may blast all other passions, but revenge remains.

I may die, but I promise you will pray for death.

You shall curse the god who gave you life, just as I curse mine!

And finally, this shall be my revenge.

Monster!

I will destroy you.

Then you must pursue me and bring me to ground.

CREATURE: I head north.

North to the Baltic Sea and ever northward

to the frozen wastelands of the pole.

(gunshot, creature cries out)

WALDMAN: The window! CLERVAL: Look out!

(glass breaking)

VICTOR: He's getting away!

(wind blowing)

CLERVAL: Oh, he's gone, Victor.

You'll never hit him from here.

Victor...

Oh, professor, how is my mother?

A heart attack.

The shock was too much.

I'm sorry.

Oh, revenge.

He promised revenge.

Victor...

Professor, that creature is...

I know who he is, Victor,

and I know what relationship you bear to him.

You know?

Yes, Henry.

I know.

I am an old man and have had time to make many alliances.

I know the people at the charnel houses,

the living who haunt the churchyards and bear witness,

the professional mourners who will weep for a fee

and deliver a corpse for a few pennies more.

Yes, I know.

I have known for a very long time.

You said nothing.

Would it have made a difference, Victor?

No.

For those who would play God, there is always a reckoning.

I will find him and destroy him.

This shall be my life's work!

And I am with you, Victor,

to the ends of the earth.

Good, for that is where

we must go, Henry-- to the pole,

to the ends of the earth.

(organ playing)

Henry! Up here!

Snow's coming down harder, Victor.

We can see for miles from up here, Henry.

CLERVAL: I see nothing but snow and ice.

That's all we've seen for the last three weeks.

He's leading us on.

He doesn't want to lose us.

Do you have any idea where we are?

Very near the pole itself.

I've just had two more dogs die.

We'll combine both teams

on one sledge.

(deep, ominous rumble)

There it is again.

It's the ground sea under the ice, causing it to shift.

Yes, but the snow is on top of the ice

and we are on top of the snow.

What happens if the ice breaks?

Well, he can't be more than a mile

or two ahead of us now.

Wind's coming up now.

Look there!

Snowstorm!

It's a snowstorm coming straight for us.

Quickly, Henry, down the hill

to the dogs before it hits.

If we lose sight of each other now, we may never...

Look out!

(dogs barking)

Henry? Where are you?

Henry?

Victor!

Victor, can you hear me?

Victor, Victor!

(cracking)

The ice is cracking!

Where are you, Victor?

Is that you?

I can't... Yes!

Yes, yes, yes.

Give me your hand, Victor!

Here, here, give me your hand!

(cracking)

Wait, don't... Oh, let go!

You're... you're you!

(screams)

Broadcasting from the KTWU studios in Topeka, Kansas,

Henry!

Where are you?

Henry! Henry...!

Broadcasting from the KTWU studios in Topeka, Kansas,

The ice broke, and I found myself

drifting on a diminishing raft of ice

for I cannot say how long,

watching the dogs die one by one.

I have seen so much death.

Nor can I say what happened

to my faithful friend, Henry Clerval.

I fear my creation may have found him.

I... I haven't much time left.

Nonsense.

The ship's surgeon says...

Do not try to deceive me.

I know more intimately than most

of the workings of the human body.

But my task is unfulfilled.

Must I die while he lives?

No, I must...

Don't try to rise, my friend.

Ah, look who has joined us.

WALTON: What?

Captain, this is my... my dear friend Henry Clerval.

WALTON: Oh.

And there's my mother and Justine and...

Ah, Catherine, it's so good to... (gasps) Elizabeth.

Oh, Elizabeth, I thought I had lost you.

WALTON: Victor...

My hand?

Of course, my darling.

Here is my... (breath fading)

At last, my friend, you have found peace.

Broadcasting from the KTWU studios in Topeka, Kansas,

How is he, Captain?

Prepare for a burial at sea on the morrow.

Aye, sir.

I see the ice floes have thinned out.

Yes, sir.

Clear waters ahead.

Good, good.

I'll go back below deck.

Perhaps catch some sleep in a spare bunk.

Aye, Captain.

What?

Oh, my God!

Please, do not fear me.

I mean no harm.

Strange words from a murderer.

He has told you, then.

He has told me everything.

I have murdered him

as I have murdered everyone he loved.

If only he had loved me as well.

Loved you?

Oh, Frankenstein, forgive me

my trespasses!

WALTON: You feel remorse?

CREATURE: I do.

WALTON: Would that you had felt it sooner.

CREATURE: You believe that I did not?

My heart was fashioned for love and sympathy,

and when it was denied these, it turned to hatred.

WALTON: And murder.

Murder was the only instrument I had

to engage my creator, my god,

my parent.

But with each death I loathed myself more.

And yet you did not stop.

I could not.

If I could not have his love,

I would settle for his hatred.

Each death made me more miserable,

and here lies my last victim.

You are a devil.

Yes. I am.

Still, I am the same creature

whose heart was fashioned for love

and goodness, a fallen angel turned malignant devil.

But even Satan had company in his desolation.

I am alone.

Don't look for sympathy from me, monster.

I long ago gave up hope for sympathy,

just as I have abandoned hope for love.

But if he had loved me, if there had been

a single being who'd loved me, what might I have been?

What might I have done?

Broadcasting from the KTWU studios in Topeka, Kansas,

I shall leave your ship now,

on the ice raft that brought me here.

And then?

I shall seek land and build a raging funeral pyre.

And when the flames have reached the heavens,

I shall step within,

exult in the agony of the torturing flames,

and be consumed.

All my evil deeds and memories

will die with me,

but so will the glorious ones.

CREATURE: I will no longer see the sun

or feel the cheering warmth of summer.

I will never again hear the birds sing

or see the glittering stars

or feel the breeze play on my cheeks.

All the images I hold within my heart

will die with me.

All those moments will be lost

like tears in rain.

Time to die.

In one leap he reached the steps.

In another he was on the deck.

Then he vaulted overboard to the ice raft,

which lay close beside my vessel.

We gathered at the rail and watched

as he was borne away by the waves and lost forever

in the darkness and the distance.

Signed, Robert Walton.

Captain's log, November 5, 1818.

Broadcasting from the KTWU studios in Topeka, Kansas,

You have been listening toFrankenstein

by Philip Grecian,

based on the novel by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley.

Presented by the Emmy Award winning Arts, Inc.,

and the Karen Hastings Players and broadcast live

from the KTWU studios.

And now, good night and pleasant dreams.

Broadcasting from the KTWU studios in Topeka, Kansas,

DVD copies of this program ar

e available online at:

Broadcasting from the KTWU studios in Topeka, Kansas,

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