In "Funeral Fires," an American doctor in Malaya must solve the mystery of who has stolen his supply of plague serum.
The episode opens in the British colony of Malaya, where funeral fires are burning in a river town, and the Malays are mourning those who have died from plague. A World Health Organization doctor, Mark Donovan has just arrived with a case of plague serum, and he is met by the local lieutenant. He also meets Mr. Oscar Forbes, a loud and arrogant plantation owner, who is upset that his workers are taking time off to mourn.
Next, Dr. Donovan finds Miss Randall, the nurse who has been caring for the sick because the town doctor is a drunk. He asks her to help him set up a serum station, and then goes out to find Dr. Grimes and sober him up.
After all of that, he returns to his room to find...the serum is missing! Who would have a reason to steal it?
The sound quality of this episode dips in a few places, particularly during the part where Dr. Donovan injects his suspects with plague to ferret out which one has stolen the serum.
This episode stars actor/director/producer Lamont Johnson, who started his career on radio, but went on to work in film, television, and on the stage. He also went on to win a number of prestigious awards as a television director. You can read about Lamont Johnson's remarkable career on the website of the Museum of Broadcast Communications. His radio credits include Suspense, Lux Radio Theatre, Let's Pretend, Tarzan, and others.
"Funeral Fires" was written by Charles Israel and produced/directed by Norman MacDonnell. Georgia Ellis played Miss Randall. Also appearing were Don Diamond, Ben Wright, Wilms Herbert, and television actor Leon Lontoc. This episode aired on November 26, 1950.
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