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Northern Lights

Episode #85
Aired 1949-01-30
Length: 28:48
Size: 6.59 MB

Listen: Northern Lights
Download: 85.mp3
Read: Script

Wyllis Cooper on the aurora borealis: "A sound, a humming, a crackling somewhere inside your head. And there are times when you'd swear it's a voice talking to you -- talking in some kind of strange language you can almost understand, filling your whole being with a kind of desperate, inescapable terror."

Two scientists have developed a device to move objects about in time. They test the process on a cigarette lighter, sending it ten seconds into the future. After the ten seconds have elapsed and it reappears, they discover that it has come back to them freezing cold. They wonder what place it could have been for those ten seconds, to make it so cold. A few seconds later, they also discover a brown and black caterpillar in the laboratory, in the middle of winter -- freezing cold but perfectly healthy.

A very creative concept for a plot, "Northern Lights" is also one of the most horrifying episodes of Quiet, Please. The world has never seen a more terrible threat than hoards of singing caterpillars conspiring with the aurora borealis. Chappell's opening narration, describing the aurora, is uniquely gripping. The episode makes especially interesting listening during a cold snap.

"Cold? You've never been cold, friend. Dark? You wouldn't know how dark it can get."
- the scientist Paul