Escape's "Present Tense" has similarities to "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" but takes the story in a more nightmarish direction. In the introduction to this episode, the story is billed as James Poe's "seething tale of violent death." That it is.
Vincent Price plays a poet turned ax murderer named Roger who escapes while being transported to prison. When he returns to his home, Roger finds his wife Mary and her lover. He thought he had murdered them, but clearly they had just tricked him into believing that he did! So, Roger grabs a cleaver and gets his revenge. Then, he is convicted again, sent to prison again, sentenced to death again, escapes again, returns home again...
"Present Tense" was written for Escape by screenwriter James Poe and was produced/directed by William N. Robson. Vincent Price starred as Roger, the cleaver-wheeling poet. Also appearing were: Charles McGraw, Joan Banks, Harry Bartell, and Ben Wright. This episode aired on January 31, 1950.
Seven years later, William N. Robson presented this radio-play again on Suspense. The peppy music that accompanies this episode is distracting and the pace of the story is much faster. Vincent Price again played the role of Roger. Also appearing were Daws Butler, Jack Kruschen, Peg La Centra, Ellen Morgan, Sam Pierce, Charles Lavalack, and Joe DiSantis. This episode aired on March 3, 1957.