"The Man Who Liked Dickens" is a classic tale of jungle terror that was written by Evelyn Waugh and first published as a chapter in the novel A Handful of Dust (1934). The story was adapted for radio by Suspense and then later by Escape. Of the two, Escape's version is better because it stayed true to the original work.
Tony Last was on an expedition in Brazil, but after it ran into difficulties, he ended up alone and sick in the jungle. While in a fever-ridden stupor, Tony was found by Mr. Todd and taken to his home in a remote jungle village.
When Tony recovered from his illness, he was grateful to Mr. Todd for his help. He was also happy to comply with Mr. Todd's request to read aloud to him for a couple of hours each day. However, as the days went by, Tony realized that Mr. Todd had no intention of allowing him to leave...ever.
"The Man Who Liked Dickens" was adapted for Escape by John Meston and directed by Norman MacDonnell . Terry Kilburn, who played Tiny Tim in the 1938 MGM film A Christmas Carol, starred as Tony. Joseph Kearns played Mr. Todd, a role he had played previously on Suspense. Also appearing were Ramsay Hill and Joe Cranston. This episode aired on December 21, 1952.
Suspense had presented their version of this story five years earlier. Although dangerous jungle adventure wasn't what they were best at, Suspense's adaptation seems to be just as good as Escape's...until you get to the happy ending.
"The Man Who Liked Dickens" was adapted for Suspense by Academy Award winning screenwriter Richard Breen and produced/directed by William Spier. Richard Ney played Tony and Joseph Kearns played Mr. Todd. This episode aired on October 9, 1947.
(Image of Charles Dickens from Wikipedia )