Generic Radio Workshop Script Library (BACK)

Series: Superman
Show: Dr. Dahlgren's Atomic Beam Machine, Episode 7
Date: Feb 26 1940

CAST:
ANNOUNCER
CLARK KENT/SUPERMAN
LOIS LANE
PERRY WHITE
THE YELLOW MASK
DR. SVEN DAHLGREN
MICHAEL, lab assistant
OPERATOR
and other VOICES

ANNOUNCER:

Presenting -- SUPERMAN!

SFX:

RUSH OF WIND AS SUPERMAN FLIES OVERHEAD ... THEN IN BG

MAN #1:

Up in the sky --- LOOK!

MAN #2:

It's a bird!

WOMAN:

It's a plane!

MAN #1:

It's SUPERMAN!

SFX:

RUSH OF WIND OUT

ANNOUNCER:

And now, Superman, amazing figure from another world with powers and abilities never before realized by mortal men.

When we last saw Superman, in his disguise as young Clark Kent, reporter for the Daily Planet, he and his editor, Perry White, had just received a warning telephone message from a mysterious voice which identified itself as The Yellow Mask.

In exactly twenty-four hours, said The Mask, the Daily Planet would be blown to a thousand fragments. Horror-stricken, Kent and his chief stared at each other in the humming office. Then, pandemonium!

SFX:

SIRENS WAIL

ANNOUNCER:

Sirens wailed in the streets! Police searched the building for bombs!

SFX:

SIRENS OUT

ANNOUNCER:

Today, as our story opens, we find ourselves far from the doomed offices of the Daily Planet. Dr. Sven Dahlgren shows an unexpected visitor about his laboratory, explaining its wonders. And also explaining his latest invention. Listen--

DAHLGREN:

Please! Please, do not touch that window frame.

MASK:

(SLIGHT ACCENT, AS SCHMIDT) So? It is not clean, perhaps? It looks clean.

DAHLGREN:

Oh, yes, quite clean, but it is wired. It carries a powerful electric charge.

MASK:

Most interesting. Are you also experimenting in electricity, Dr. Dahlgren?

DAHLGREN:

You have come to see my latest discovery, have you not, Professor Schmidt?

MASK:

Indeed.

DAHLGREN:

And so have others. You are not the first. Others would not only like to see it, but gain possession of it.

MASK:

No, I cannot believe it.

DAHLGREN:

Oh, it's quite true, I assure you. For weeks past, ever since word got out of what I was doing, I've - I've been annoyed, even threatened.

MASK:

Threatened, Dr. Dahlgren? By whom?

DAHLGREN:

I don't know. Queer voices over the telephone, mysterious visitors in the dead of night. Yes, that is why I had the laboratory wired.

MASK:

But what do they want?

DAHLGREN:

They want my invention! They realize that whoever owns it, controls a practically unlimited power.

MASK:

Unlimited power? Is that true?

DAHLGREN:

Certainly, Professor Schmidt. Unlimited power for destruction. Which is why I am determined to keep the discovery a closely guarded secret. In the world today, my friend, there is destruction enough. Men are at one another's throats like dogs gone mad. No, I will never be a party to war and bloodshed. Ah, but come, I waste time. Into this room, Professor. Er, don't brush against the metal-work.

SFX:

FOOTSTEPS

DAHLGREN:

There it is -- on the table, Professor.

MASK:

That is the machine? So small?

DAHLGREN:

My latest development. Small, light, compact -- but deadly. Er, now then, please stand exactly where you are, and watch closely what happens to that glass on the edge of the table. Watch!

SFX:

CLICK! ... WHIRRING BEGINS ... REACHES A HIGH PITCH (LIKE AN ELECTRIC MIXER) ... THEN CRASH! AS GLASS SHATTERS ... WHIRRING STOPS

MASK:

It's - it's amazing. The glass was shattered!

DAHLGREN:

Now! Watch that small steel ball.

SFX:

CLICK! ... WHIRRING BEGINS ... REACHES A HIGH PITCH ... THEN CRASH! AS STEEL BALL SHATTERS ... WHIRRING STOPS

MASK:

Why-- Why, it's gone!

DAHLGREN:

Vanished! Blown into atomic dust.

MASK:

Then, it's true! I didn't believe, but it's true!

DAHLGREN:

Certainly, it's true. Based on the power of atomic force. Everything in the universe has a certain vibration point, Professor Schmidt, and my machine focuses a beam of vibrating infra-gamma rays wherever I choose to direct it.

MASK:

And then?

DAHLGREN:

Any object in the path of the beam begins to vibrate. At a certain point, depending on the object, atomic force is overcome and the object simply -- disappears. Explodes, if you like, into nothing.

MASK:

Doctor, you say any object?

DAHLGREN:

Any object whatsoever, at distances up to a mile.

MASK:

Unbelievable, my dear doctor. Let me be the first to congratulate you.

DAHLGREN:

Thank you, thank you.

MASK:

(DROPS ACCENT) You have done me a great service, Doctor. You have placed in my hands an instrument of destruction that will at last give me what I have been seeking. Absolute control of the world and every living thing in it.

DAHLGREN:

What?! What do you mean?

MASK:

You have been horribly mislead, Dr. Dahlgren. I am NOT Professor Schmidt of Hawthorne University. Mere men who work under me know me by quite another name. I am destined to become Supreme Ruler of the Universe, and with this deadly machine!

DAHLGREN:

Get out of my laboratory! Get out before I--!

MASK:

You won't do anything, Doctor. Not if you value your life. This gun I hold in my hand is fully loaded. Take care.

DAHLGREN:

You're mad! Utterly mad! How far do you think you'll get with that machine? The police will--

MASK:

Beyond the reach of the police, I assure you. I have laid my plans with great care, Doctor. First, I shall destroy the building which houses one of your great newspapers, because a reporter on that paper foiled my plans in the West and succeeded in jailing two of my men. When that is done, I will go about the task of creating for myself the position I rightfully deserve -- Emperor of the World! And now, I must go.

DAHLGREN:

Put that machine down! Put it down, I tell you! (CALLS) Michael, stop him!

MASK:

(EVIL LAUGH) Ah, no. No living thing can stop me now! Goodbye, Doctor.

DAHLGREN:

(CALLS) Don't let him get away! Michael!

SFX:

THE MASK'S RUNNING FOOTSTEPS

MICHAEL:

Doctor! What's happened?

DAHLGREN:

Go catch him, Michael! Catch him!

MICHAEL:

Doctor, what's the matter? You're pale!

DAHLGREN:

He got away with the Atomic Beam, Michael. Do you know what this means? That lunatic! He has in his hands the power of life and death! He is a walking symbol of death!

SFX:

TRANSITIONAL PAUSE ... THEN FADE IN DAILY PLANET NEWSROOM ... TYPEWRITERS, BUZZ OF WORKERS, ET CETERA ... THEN IN BACKGROUND

PERRY:

Where is Clark Kent? Minute he gets back, send him in!

KENT:

(FADES IN) Here I am, Mr. White.

PERRY:

(RELIEVED) Ohh, Kent, Kent, where have you been?

KENT:

Down in the cellar, helping the police.

PERRY:

Turn up anything? Any sign of a bomb?

KENT:

Not a thing, Mr. White. We combed the building from top to bottom. Anything turn up here?

PERRY:

No, not so far. What's the time?

KENT:

It's - four o'clock. If that fellow really meant business, we've only got about two hours to go.

LOIS:

Call in your office, Mr. White.

PERRY:

Oh, thanks Lois. Oh, by the way, Kent, I don't think you know Miss Lane. Lois, this is Clark Kent.

LOIS:

(COOL) Oh, how do you do?

KENT:

(OVERLAPS WITH ABOVE, MEEK, MILD-MANNERED) Uh, how do you--?

PERRY:

You wait here till I get back, Kent. (MOVING OFF) I won't be a minute.

LOIS:

(UNIMPRESSED) Eh, the boy wonder, huh?

KENT:

(INNOCENT) Why, Miss Lane, what do you mean?

LOIS:

They tell me you talked yourself into a job, went out west, and came back with the biggest story of the month. All in less than a week.

KENT:

Well, uh, I guess I was pretty lucky.

LOIS:

(SARCASTIC LAUGH) I'll say you were lucky. Now you're the white-haired boy, eh?

KENT:

I'm afraid I don't quite understand.

LOIS:

Got the old man hypnotized. He thinks you're Horace Greeley.

KENT:

(CHUCKLES) I'm afraid I don't--

LOIS:

Oh, don't act so dumb. All this nonsense about a time bomb in the cellar. What's the big idea?

KENT:

Miss Lane, I only wish I knew.

LOIS:

You mean to tell me you didn't make it up out of your head?

KENT:

I certainly did not.

LOIS:

I don't believe it. (BEAT) Well, now what's the matter?

KENT:

Listen! Don't you hear something?

LOIS:

Well, I hear the presses in the basement.

KENT:

No, no. Outside. Pardon me a minute. Come to the window.

SFX:

BEAT ... THEN WINDOW OPENS

KENT:

Now-- Don't you hear anything?

LOIS:

What do you think you hear?

KENT:

A plane! There's a plane out there, flying low.

LOIS:

Well I'll be d---!

SFX:

WINDOW SHUTS

LOIS:

Now, look, Mr. Kent, this is a big town. You'll find quite a few planes flyin' around here all day and all night. (CHUCKLES) If it bothers ya, you'd better go back to the farm.

KENT:

No, no. Really, I - I mean it.

LOIS:

Yes, really, I mean it, too. Tell the old man about your big discovery. Here he comes now.

PERRY:

(FADES IN) Well? Well? Anything new?

LOIS:

(HEAVY SARCASM) Yes, your "Star Reporter" heard a plane.

KENT:

It was flying pretty low, Mr. White.

PERRY:

Well, what of it? Oh, I've got a job for you, Lois.

LOIS:

(EAGER) Yeah? A good job?

PERRY:

No. Go out and interview a scientist. Human interest stuff.

LOIS:

(WITH DISGUST) Who is he and where?

PERRY:

Doctor Sven Dahlgren. Got his own laboratory out on Haven Avenue. Look the number up in the book.

KENT:

Who is he, Mr. White?

LOIS:

What's on his mind?

PERRY:

Leading American investigator in the field of atomic energy.

LOIS:

Must we, Chief?

PERRY:

Yeah, come on, get goin', Lois, get goin'. This paper's always been tied in with science. We've been after Dahlgren for a long time, and now he comes to us.

KENT:

Why?

PERRY:

Well, he said somebody stole a new machine he invented. I couldn't make much sense out of it, but he seemed pretty worried. Wanted me to rush his story into print.

LOIS:

Well, what's the matter with the police?

PERRY:

I suggested that, but he said he needed more than the police. Sounds cracked, but it may make a yarn. On your way, girlie.

LOIS:

(SIGHS) Oh, all right. If you say so, Mr. White. I'll get right out there. (MOVING OFF, IRONIC, TO KENT) So long, Mr. Star Reporter.

PERRY:

You come with me, Kent; into the office. I can't stand much more of this.

SFX:

OFFICE DOOR SHUTS ... CUTS OFF NEWSROOM BACKGROUND

KENT:

I know, Mr. White. It's nerve-wracking, this Yellow Mask business.

PERRY:

Worse than that. I don't know whether to believe it or not.

KENT:

If we could only get a lead.

PERRY:

Ordinarily, I wouldn't give it a second thought. Just another crank. But I don't know, Kent. I swear I don't know. Well, what's the time now?

KENT:

Uh, five after four. Don't keep thinking about the time, Mr. White.

PERRY:

Confound it! What else can I think of?! Two hours more and we may get blown to glory. What do you think?

KENT:

About the Yellow Mask?

PERRY:

Can he do what he says?

KENT:

Well, let's hope he can't, Mr. White.

PERRY:

Yeah, but you're afraid he can. And the devil of it is, so am I. Well, if it hadn't been for that business out West--

KENT:

Well, maybe you ought to empty the building.

PERRY:

No. No. You want us to be the laughing-stock of the city? Suppose nothing happens.

KENT:

On the other hand, suppose something does.

PERRY:

Well, they can't intimidate me! If the Yellow Mask means business, he'll find us right here at six o'clock!

SFX:

PHONE RINGS, RECEIVER UP

PERRY:

City room, White.

DAHLGREN:

(FILTER) Mr. White, this is Dr. Dahlgren speaking.

PERRY:

(HUMORS HIM) Yes, yes, Dr. Dahlgren. One of our best people is on the way to your laboratory right this minute.

DAHLGREN:

(FILTER) No, no, no. That is not why I call. I wanted to tell you--

PERRY:

(IMPATIENT) Yes, yes?

DAHLGREN:

(FILTER) The man who stole my Atomic Beam Machine mentioned a newspaper. He said-- He said--

PERRY:

Yes? What did he say?

DAHLGREN:

(FILTER) Something about destroying a newspaper.

PERRY:

What's that again? Listen, Doctor-- Doctor?!

SFX:

CRADLE RATTLES ... CONTINUES BEHIND--

PERRY:

Hello? Hello? Hello, Dahlgren? Hello? Hello?

OPERATOR:

(FILTER) Yes, Mr. White?

PERRY:

I was cut off. Get me Dr. Dahlgren at his laboratory! Quick!

OPERATOR:

(FILTER) Sorry, Mr. White. I'll call you.

SFX:

RECEIVER DOWN

PERRY:

We were cut off.

KENT:

(TENSE) No. He was cut off. I'm sure of it!

PERRY:

You heard all that?

KENT:

Mr. White, that scientist; what was he working on?

PERRY:

I don't know. Some kind of a gadget to release atomic force.

KENT:

A machine?

PERRY:

I imagine so. Why?

KENT:

Don't you see, Mr. White? There's our lead! The man who broke in and robbed him was The Yellow Mask!

PERRY:

Kent, I think you're right! Dahlgren just said the burglar mentioned destroying a newspaper!

KENT:

Then I must be right. Now, look here. We've searched the building and haven't found a thing -- no packages, no wires. If the Daily Planet is going to be blown up, it's got to be done outside! Maybe up above-- (REALIZES) That airplane!

PERRY: Airplane?

KENT:

It was flying too low for a transport. Mr. White, that plane was spying out the lay of the land. And at six o'clock, with Dr. Dahlgren's machine, they'll come back again and--

SFX:

PHONE RINGS, RECEIVER UP

PERRY:

Hello? Dahlgren?

OPERATOR:

(FILTER) I'm sorry, Mr. White. Dr. Dahlgren's telephone is out of order.

SFX:

RECEIVER DOWN

PERRY:

Kent, do you hear that? Dahlgren's line is dead!

KENT:

Cut! That settles it, Chief. I'll be seeing you later!

SFX: OFFICE DOOR OPENS ... NEWSROOM BACKGROUND

PERRY:

Kent! Kent! Where are you going?

KENT:

After Miss Lane! Something's wrong at Dahlgren's! If it's The Mask, well, there's not much time to stop him! So long!

SFX:

OFFICE DOOR SHUTS ... KENT HURRIES THROUGH NEWSROOM

CO-WORKER #1:

Hey, kid; what's your hurry?

CO-WORKER #2: Yeah. Got another front page scoop, Kent?

SFX:

QUICK OPEN-AND-CLOSE OF LOCKER ROOM DOOR ... NEWSROOM OUT

KENT:

Oh, thank heaven -- the locker room's empty. Quickly now-- (CHANGES TO SUPERMAN VOICE) --out of these clothes. It's Superman's turn now. Oh-- Someone's coming! The window!

SFX:

SHADE UP, WINDOW OPENS

SUPERMAN:

Out!

SFX:

RUSH OF WIND AS SUPERMAN FLIES INTO THE AIR

SUPERMAN:

And up! Up!

SFX: RUSH OF WIND FILLS A PAUSE ... THEN IN BG

SUPERMAN:

Not much time left! Got to find Miss Lane, find out what's happened at Dahlgren's, and stop the Yellow Mask!

Higher we go! Higher!

And faster! Faster!! Faster!!

SFX:

RUSH OF WIND REACHES A PEAK BEFORE FADING OUT

ANNOUNCER:

Deadly peril hangs over the offices of the Daily Planet.

Already, the Yellow Mask is in possession of a mighty and terrible weapon.

Time is growing short.

But Superman is on the way!

Powerful form streaking through the night sky! Red cape whistling in the wind!

Can he arrive in time?

And what new, unforeseen danger is already creeping in on the laboratory of Dr. Dahlgren, with Lois Lane about to enter, all un-knowing?

Tune in next time, and follow the story!

Remember, be with us again for the next startling transcribed installment of SUPERMAN!

SFX:

RUSH OF WIND AS SUPERMAN FLIES OVERHEAD ... THEN IN BG

MAN #1:

Up in the sky --- LOOK!

MAN #2:

It's a bird!

MAN #1:

It's a plane!

MAN #2:

It's SUPERMAN!

SFX:

RUSH OF WIND UP AND OUT

ANNOUNCER:

SUPERMAN is a copyrighted feature appearing in Action Comics Magazine.