during this summer, CHOM ran a strange radio drama series
called 'The Fourth Tower of Inverness'...
everything2.com, August 14, 2005:
do you mean? There is no north tower!"
when I was walking up the road, up from the bay, I could see
the tops rising out of the fog - four distinct towers."
assure you. There is no fourth tower of Invernes
broadcast as a series of fifteen minute episodes in 1972,
"The Fourth Tower of Inverness" was the first full-length
radio production of ZBS Media and the series that introduced
the world to Jack Flanders, the man who seems to hitchhike
between dimensions for a living.
concept behind the Fourth Tower (or behind any Jack Flanders
adventure for that matter) is hard to pin down, but here goes:
Jack is an adventurer in the old colonial style, just through
the astral realms, also known as the invisible world. He starts
his travels by accepting an invitation to visit his aunt,
the heiress of a massive mansion known as Inverness (not the
one in Scotland - its location is indeterminate but it's specifically
mentioned that this is a different Inverness). Located on
top of a mountain, the mansion is home to a crackpot assortment
of eccentrics and social misfits. There's the mildly deranged
alchemist trying to catch a dragon with divine flypaper (dragon
flypaper, geddit?), a little girl with pigtails who smokes
Havana cigars and has no pupils in her eyes and a vampire
who lives in the walls and feeds off of the energy of the
guests, to name a few. Oh, and Ram Dass lives in a wurlitzer
jukebox in the east tower.
turns out that the fabled fourth tower that Jack insists he
saw on the walk up does exist, in a way - over Inverness'
two hundred year existence only seven people have claimed
to be able to see the tower and all of them vanished without
a trace. Jack's Uncle was the seventh; Jack is the eighth.
He ends up in the fourth tower in a realm completely disassociated
from our reality, trying desperately to rescue his uncle without
losing himself in the process.
the guys behind this project took it at all seriously it would
probably be painful to listen to, but they don't. The writer,
a man by the name of (I shit you not) Meatball Fulton, made
sure the show was loose enough to make fun of its predecessors
without insulting them - there's plenty of lightning and hooting
owls when the characters say something odd, and there's a
fantastic, pseudomystical slant to the whole endeavor that
grounds it firmly in the absurd. And the puns. My god, the
puns. Even better, the editors decided to throw a wrecking
ball into the fourth wall by leaving gaffes and out-takes
in the broadcasts. It brings the audience closer somehow,
as if being in on the joke makes the serial feel like a group
of friends telling stories around a fire. It's endearing,
also something charming about the fifteen minute scene lengths
- since it was designed to be broadcast there had to be a
bit of repetition to keep people up to date on what the hell
was going on and that format perfectly fits my fractured attention
span - I can listen to hours of this stuff without becoming
even remotely bored].
I believe also that CBC TV broadcasted an epic Soviet version
of "War and Peace" this summer. I remember a scene
where a man and woman sat by a shell shaped fountain, and
all you could hear was the water...
also was an Italian version of "The Odyssey" (dubbed
and Judy came over, sat in the basement. Tried to figure out
something to do. Watched 'Wild Wild West' in the reckroom.
Judy left at 5:30, Lesley and I made dinner for Florabell
and the brat [my mother and Karen], and played cards in the den while it was cooking. We left
at 6:30 and walked along the 2&20 to Lesley's. At 7:30
had hamburgers in the backyard. At 8 went to Lakeside Park,
and got Judy at the pool. We walked to Judy's, sat in the
backroom and talked. Sandi came. We left at 10:30.
written August 1, 1972 by Chris from Valcartier, Quebec
Alan & Everyone Else Present:
I'm really sorry that I haven't written you until now. It's
really tough & I haven't had much time to write. I have
to rush this letter because I have to be somewhere for a lecture
(woopee!). There is some goodies in camp but it is very expensive.
The camp itself is a hole but I won't be here for much longer
Please tell everyone that I miss them and give them my regards.
Sorry but I have to go Chris
writing on a pillow is very hard to do.
my History exam mark in the mail, got 70.
a letter form Chris, wrote a letter to him, mailed letter
to Chris and Ralph.
about 1:45 walked to Lesley's, Gillian and Alan there. Redid
the basement, Judy came. Went in the backyard and ate and
fed peanuts to the squirrels, then watched 'Bugs Bunny' in
the kitchen. Got a drive home with Gillian.
1 Lesley came over, then Judy, then Manny, then Diane. Lesley
left. We made strange tapes on the reel to reel . Judy and
Diane left, Manny and I played chess. About 7 Judy came back,
taped more. At 8:30 Lesley came back, made a tape of short
bits of records [in response to questions]. Judy and Manny left at 10, Lesley at 11.
came over, sat in the den. Talked, wrote a letter to Chris
[which we never sent]. Watched 'Wild Wild West'
in the livingroom.
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