Attempted Murder (Aired July 15, 1951)
The Whisperer was an American old-time radio show broadcast from July 8 to September 30, 1951 on NBC. The premise of the series was as improbable as its storylines. The protagonist was Philip Gault (Carleton G. Young), a lawyer who, due to some unexplained accident, lost his voice and could only speak in an eerie whisper. Gault infiltrates "the syndicate" in his native Central City to bring down organized crime from within; to the underworld, he becomes known as the Whisperer. Later, his voice is restored through surgery, but he continues to lead a double life as the Whisperer, relaying instructions from the syndicate bosses in New York (who don't know he's a mole) to their lackeys in Central City, whom Gault is actually setting up. By today's standards, the stories are dated and their message-mongering usually criticized as ham-fisted, the product of what might be considered the unenlightened attitudes of the time. The first episode ("Tea Time for Teenagers") is typical, an overwrought "it can happen here" melodrama about a syndicate plot to create "200 regular marijuana addicts" among high school students. The episode makes a blatant appeal to the moral indignation of its audience, ending with Gault advising PTA's to "show some of the fine educational films available on marijuana and how it leads to a worse addiction." Carleton G. Young, who played Gault, is sometimes confused with the actor Carleton Young. Betty Moran portrayed his girlfriend Ellen, the only other person who knew Gault's double identity. Moran had to deliver lines like, "But marijuana means broken lives, heartbreak for parents!" To collectors today, the series is considered an amusing time capsule of a long gone period of America's past.