Pilot

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Pilot[1]
Series
WBAI And NPR Playhouse
Original Broadcast Date
4/19/1983
Cast
Tim Jerome, Larry Block, Arthur Miller, Barbara Sohmers, Clark Gordon, Paul Mantell, Irene Wagner, Joe Frank
Format
Improv Actors, 28 minutes
Preceded by: The End
Followed by: Questions

"Once, uh, I went alone to the Yucatan to go diving."

Pilot is a program Joe Frank produced as part of the series WBAI And NPR Playhouse. It typically airs together with The End. It was originally broadcast in 1983.

Synopsis

'The Dawn', from Jazz Brakes, Volume 5[1]

1:00: Skylar (Tim Jerome) was diving in the Yucatan when he had a terrible toothache. The local dentist had gone out of business, so Skylar decided to become a pilot.

3:10: An old man (Clark Gordon?) complains that the revolution has ruined everything; his wife, Eleanor (Barbara Sohmers?), agrees with him. Skylar joins the discussion, then another man (Arthur Miller).

5:10: Eleanor tells Skylar that he has a passion for destruction, that he enjoys bombing people.

5:40: They listen to a report of a bombing on the radio. A reporter (Larry Block?) on the scene consults an expert (Arthur Miller) who explains that the natives spread pomegranate juice and see how far they can slide. Then he explains the native ceremony enacted in song and dance that celebrates a stranger who has the power of flight. The head concubine tries to get him to teach her the secret of flight. He doesn't.

12:30: The old man begins talking, then babbles, to Skylar. He takes out a map; they discuss the weather, apparently planning a bombing raid.

14:20: The radio reporter describes the aftermath of the attack on the village. The old man, Eleanor, and (Arthur Miller) reminisce about their old croquet games. The old man asks Skylar where he came from; Skylar avoids answering.

17: Eleanor asks Skylar why he sleeps on the floor. They talk; Eleanor flirts. Eleanor observes that he's been here for months and done nothing but tinker with his airplane and go on bombing runs. Skylar asks why she isn't concerned with her larger interests. She tickles him; he breaks down and sobs. Eleanor tells him he's weak.

21:20: The head concubine figures out that the flying man won't teach him to fly, so she curses him to fly all the time, never land. The king's wise men predict the flying man will return, lay them waste.

24:10: Skylar tells of his mother bringing men home, telling her children to call them father.

24:50: Skylar says that Marcia told him (as a child) to play a game: she lay down, told Skylar to do what he wanted, so Skylar buried her.

25:30: Skylar tells of when he was bad so his mother punished him by throwing him against the wall. Skylar vowed never to be bad again.

Legacy Synopsis
  • Skylar (Tim Jerome) experiences a terrible toothache while diving in the Yucatan. He goes to the local dentist, who is unable to help. So he decides to become a flier.
  • A colonial couple complains about how the tennis court and other amenities of the club have gone downhill since the revolution began
  • The local natives chant all night long. Skylar believes they are perhaps invoking a protective angel to guard them.
  • A newsman interrupts on the radio to describe the aftermath of an aerial bombing. Huts are on fire, and villagers are trying to douse the flames. The arsenal explodes in a huge ball of flames. Escaped animals, some in flames, stampede through the village.
  • As villagers chant and dance, Professor Simon Wexler (Arthur Miller) explains the proceedings. The natives are doing the Pomegranate Slide. He translates the natives' tale of the Curse of the Concubine:
  • A man appears who is capable of flight. He is taken to court, where the king makes him the chief soldier. The man flies off to fight the king's battles
  • The head concubine calls the flying man to her chambers. She, too, wants to fly and must learn his secret.The flying man refuses to help, he cannot teach her, he does not know how he achieved flight. She thinks he is being coy, and sings and dances seductively, and offers sweets to entice him, to no avail.He falls asleep
  • Back at the compound, the older gentleman is worried about the night prowlers and has some sort of episode. Skylar pours him a drink. They plan an aerial assault on a bridge in the B463 quadrant.
  • Newsman Larry Block reports that a strange kind of stillness lurks over the village
  • The couple laments how the nice croquet mallets are gone, the servants stole everything when they ran away.
  • Skylar is asked where he comes from, but refuses to say. "I'm not being secretive.. Where do any of us come from?" Skylar sleeps on the floor, he likes the hard surface.
  • Woman attempts to seduce Skylar, but he resists. It turns out he's very ticklish. After laughing hysterically he breaks down sobbing and can't gather himself back together.
  • We return to Professor Wexler's tale of the Concubine, who delivers her curse to the flying man after not being taught to fly. "You will never find fulfillment as long as you are on the ground. You are cursed forever to only find freedom above the earth, in the air, when you fly". He flies off.
  • The King calls his wise men who predict that the flying man wiki return to lay waste to his kingdom.
  • Professor Wexler concludes: "That is the story of the Curse Of The Concubine. It is a terrible story and yet a beautiful story..."
  • Skylar's mother used to play a game with her children "This is your father"
  • When Skylar is a child Marcia comes to play, and he buries her in the dirt, "You are a tree, and I'm planting you".
  • Once when Skylar was bad his mother threw him against the wall, so he would never be bad again.

Music

This is an incomplete record of the music in this program. If you can add more information, please do.

Additional credits

The original broadcast credits state: "Directed by Arthur Miller, with sound by David Rapkin. Performers were Barbara Sohmers, Clark Gordon, Paul Mantell, Larry Block, Irene Wagner, Joe Frank, Arthur Miller, and Tim Jerome."

Miscellanea

"Pilots, problems, and what happens when you reach the end" [according to the NPR announcer on the original broadcast.]

Footnotes

  1. Released in 1994, Joe added it later
  2. Joe added music to several of his shows when they were rebroadcast or digitized. The updated versions are available at Joefrank.com