Now available for Android, Google Play, iTunes Podcasts, Stitcher, www.satanicstorytime.com, and www.radiofreesatan.com: Satanic Story Time presents episode 37 – "Marionettes, Inc.", from Dimension X.
The Devil’s Tuning Fork: A series of events has led me to the coincidental choosing of these particular tracks. I have selected “Symphony of Destruction” from Megadeth’s fifth album, Countdown to Extinction, which was released on July 6, 1992 through Capitol Records. Also on the track listing for this episode is AC/DC’s “TNT” from their second album, TNT, with the late Bon Scott which was released only in Australia on December 1, 1975. Last but not least on the lineup for “The Devil’s Tuning Fork” for episode 37 is King Diamond’s “The Puppet Master” from his 11th solo album, The Puppet Master, which was released on October 21, 2003.
The Devil’s Workshop: Keeping with the theme of this episode, I have selected an old time horror radio show for you entitled, “Marionettes, Inc."
The radio adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s “Marionettes, Inc.” was originally presented by Dimension X. Dimension X was an NBC radio program broadcast on an unsponsored, sustaining basis from April 8, 1950, to September 29, 1951. The first 13 episodes were broadcast live, and the remainder were pre-recorded. Fred Wiehe and Edward King were the directors. Norman Rose was heard as both announcer and narrator. “Marionettes, Inc.” was first heard on Dimension X and NBC radio on August 30, 1951 and was adapted for radio by George Lefferts. It served as Dimension X’ 46th episode.
The story itself was written by Ray Bradbury and first appeared in Startling Stories in March of 1949. It was later published in a collection of his short stories, The Illustrated Man. The story presents a conflict between man and machine and depicts human dependence on technology. Smith and Braling, both men of middle age, find themselves trapped in their marriages. Braling (whose wife is nervous and authoritarian) and Smith (whose wife is too dependent and constantly demands his presence and affection) both long for personal freedom. However, both characters fear the uncertainty of change and the possible consequences of their selfish desires, and thus endure their situation.
Smith learns about "marionettes", exact robotic duplicates produced by Marionettes, Inc. The manufacturer, whose motto is "No Strings Attached", markets the marionettes as temporary replacements for the customer. Braling reveals to Smith that he has been using a marionette to fulfill his obligations as a husband while he pursues his personal interests. His wife is completely unaware of the duplication, and he plans to visit Rio de Janeiro while his marionette is replacing him at home. Braling shows off his marionette to Smith. Smith, fascinated by this solution, decides to buy his own marionette to escape his domestic prison.
The story ends in the bedroom with Braling kissing Mrs. Braling, but Bradbury skillfully uses pronouns to make it unclear whether Braling is really Braling or his marionette duplicate. The reader's interpretation could indicate either that the duplicate has disposed of his former master, or that Braling has won out and subsequently found new appreciation for his wife.
- Citizen Aaron Mantle