A criminal mastermind known as The Crimson Ghost is out to steal a device called the Cyclotrode, which can short-circuit all electrical current on the planet.
The Crimson Ghost
Chapter 12: Invisible Trail
Oh thank the heavens! I went back and reviewed the previous episode and realized that it wasn’t Ash that got killed by Duncan. Ash is still alive! The bad guys can still win!
So back to the recap… Diana pulls her second “Duncan” and escapes the runaway truck seconds before it smashes through the warehouse wall and plummets into the ocean. Unfortunately, they must have forgotten about Professor Van Wyck, because he was still in the truck. Way to show compassion, Duncan! While this is going on, the Crimson Ghost escapes again. But at least Diana is alright, I guess. Screw Van Wyck. Back at the new Crimson Ghost hideout, a new character is introduced. He is apparently going to build the Cyclotrode for the Crimson Ghost. At the same time, Duncan, who is now back at his lab, tells Diana about his new plan to bring in a psychologist who will observe the two remaining professors and determine which one is the Crimson Ghost. But Duncan, you fool! You allow the cleaning lady to come in, only to find out that she has stashed a recorder in the trash can and the Crimson Ghost has heard your entire plan. He then replaces the real psychologist, Dr. Cushing, with an imposter who must have the widest-set eyes I have ever seen. He looks like a frog. But he is quickly foiled when he falls for Duncan’s trick questions about his middle name and which hand he signs a copy of his book with. Things you should know before you impersonate someone. A fight breaks out and before Duncan can get any information from him, he pulls his collar off and is quickly turned to mush. Meanwhile, Diana is sent over to Duncan’s secret apartment to retrieve the Cyclotrode plans. But two of the Crimson Ghost’s goons are there to get her. One goon even pulls a move the Sopranos would be proud of. The old “Give Me The Plans to the Cyclotrode, Or I’ll Smash Your Hand in This Drawer” trick. She opens the safe, but throws the plans out the window. And during this time, Duncan is quickly on his way to save the day yet again. He arrives just in time to have a three-way dance with the goons. Fists fly and one goon escapes, leaving the other high and dry. Duncan and goon number 2 brawl it out, and one of the two gets a fist to the face and falls out of the window, plummeting to the ground below. I’m going to go ahead and say that it probably wasn’t Duncan, based on ever single episode so far…
One of the most entertaining serials to be released by Republic Pictures, this mystery employed yet another inscrutable invention, a counter atomic device known as Cyclotrode X, sought after by yet another cloaked villain, The Crimson Ghost of the title. But just like the well-known criminologist Duncan Richards (Charles Quigley) and his lovely assistant Diana Farnsworth (Linda Stirling), the Saturday Matinee kids had a tough job spotting the person hiding behind the hideous disguise. The studio took no chances this time and ingeniously cast stunt-man Bud Geary to embody the villain while several actors supplied the voice, including I. Stanford Jolley, whose role was minor but who received fourth-billing and was therefore highly suspect. When The Crimson Ghost was unmasked in the 12th and final chapter, he proved to be yet another actor, Joseph Forte, who had enacted a character seemingly above suspicion. Instead of feeling cheated, however, the young target audience subconsciously enjoyed the above-average writing and fine direction by the talented William Witney and Fred C. Brannon, and no one complained. Quigley and Stirling were at the top of their serial game, and to the bemused surprise of more recent viewers, television’s Lone Ranger, Clayton Moore, played one of the master villain’s henchmen, a cold-hearted gangster. The Crimson Ghost was also released in an edited feature version, retitled Cyclotrode. In 1966, yet another edited version was given the title Cyclotrode X.
Cast and Crew:
* Charles Quigley
* Linda Stirling
* Clayton Moore
# Writers: Albert DeMond, Basil Dickey
# Director: Fred C. Brannon, William Witney
Production Company: Republic Pictures
Original Air Date: 1946
Audio & Video: Mono – Released in Black and White (Colorized version)
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Filed Under: The Crimson Ghost