Friday, 22 September 2017


The opium fields of Tibet, the cutters hard at work slicing the un-ripened pods to allow the gum to ooze out. A 1936 Buick makes its way through the dirt road winding between the fields, guards on horseback keeping a watchful eye on its progress. Ahead, a fortress-like temple guarded by four stone lions on plinths. Three men emerge from the rear of the Buick; one, Li Peng is dragged into the building by the others. 

They take him into a large chamber in which a multitude of people, both occidental and oriental lounge around, smoking opium. 

The man looks around, his gaze settling on the shadowy occidental figure seated behind an imposing table, smoking.

Wu, an oriental man bearing a book of some description comes up, accusing the newcomer and his brothers of murdering three of their men. Gesturing towards the smoking man; Li Peng insists he would have done the same too. 

Send three more, he says and they will die too. His tone suggests his defiance is losing to his fear. As the seated man's long-nailed fingers select a scrap of meat for his favourite dog, Li Peng continues his defence – that he already controls the opium trade across Asia... may no-one prosper, but Ying Ko?. His fields are tiny by comparison!. Gathering all his courage, Li Peng points a finger of accusation at Ying Ko directly – if he kills him, he promises his brothers will avenge his death. Leaning forward, the seated Ying Ko makes him a promise by way of return; he will bury them beside him.

'Kill him.' At Ying Ko's command, his men move to carry it out, but a desperate Li Peng strikes out, snatching the dagger from his would-be assassin and taking Wu hostage. 

Ying Ko's bodyguards draw their heavy Webleys, their boss striding out from behind his desk menacingly. Li Peng threatens to cut Wu's throat, warning Ying Ko's bodyguards aren't marksman enough to shoot around his hostage. Suddenly conciliatory, Ying Ko raises his hands in a gesture of supplication; Li Peng is right – Wu is a wonderful friend, like a father to him... turning away, he orders his men to shoot through him. The .455 Webley rounds tear through the hapless Wu, killing him and Li Peng instantly, Ying Ko making a joke in Tibetan, much to the amusement of the assemblage.

That night, sleep does not come easy to Ying Ko. Lying in bed with three of his concubines, he is woken by a mysterious vision, then a shadow passing overhead. 

Arising, he faces the open window, curtains billowing, to be felled by a single blow from an intruder's fist. He finds himself tied to horse, kidnapped by agents of the Tulku. Taken to the Tulku's encampment, he is told the Tulku wishes to see him at his temple. All he sees is a spartan ger, a tent, but the mists behind it clear mystically to reveal a splendid sight – a fantastic gilded temple, steps leading up to the entrance, itself styled as a golden cobra's mouth. 

Fascinated, Ying Ko asks where it came from, to be told 'The clouded mind sees nothing.'

His hands untied, Ying Ko is pushed towards the inner sanctum of the Tulku, a phalanx of monks in attendance, rhythmically beating their drums and spinning their mani wheels. 

A shaking of bells – these guys must have great parties – and the monks depart, leaving Ying Ko alone with the barely-visible figure behind a fine silken screen. Ying Ko asks who this is, to be told 'I'm your teacher.' The voice that comes to him is deep, remote, as if speaking from the depths of a well. 

Does he have any idea who he's just kidnapped?. Unexpectedly, the answer comes from behind him; Cranston... Lamont Cranston. Far from being an aged wizard, the Tulku has the appearance of a mere boy. Ying Ko is amazed to discover he knows his real name, but there is more. The Tulku knows that as long as he can remember he has struggled against his own black heart.

As the Tulku speaks, he steps back into the shadows, anticipating the crude attack that Ying Ko... Lamont Cranston now launches, the mystical figure transposes his form to stand across the room. Defiantly, Cranston asserts that he isn't looking for redemption – but the Tulku has chosen him. He has no choice; the Tulku will teach him to use his own black shadow to fight evil. 

Reaching for a ceremonial phurba dagger, Cranston is amazed to see it begin to spin in his hand, before flipping away as if of its own accord to hover in mid-air. 

Leaping desperately for the dagger, Cranston is left sprawling as it rises into the air out of reach, before spinning and flashing down to bury itself into his left thigh. Again the phurba darts, missing his groin by inches. Seizing the dagger, Cranston is terrified to see the face of the Bhudda transformed into a snarling demon, razor-sharp teeth bared in a snarl. Bending at the pommel, the teeth sink into Cranston's hand, drawing blood!. 

Again the phurba attacks, the terrified American dashing to a pillar for safety. At last, the Tulku calls the dagger off and, reluctantly, the weapon flies back into his hand.
Exhausted, Cranston asks if he is in hell. The Tulku's reply is not promising; 'Not yet...'

A Ford V8 De Luxe pulls up on a bridge at night, the Gangster Duke Rollins climbs out, orders his men to fetch his terrified victim from the car. 

Dr. Tam's feet are encased in concrete, as he is dragged to the rail he swears he will keep his mouth shut – but it was his bad luck he happened to look down that alley when he did...

Petrified, Dr. Tam insists he won't talk. Striking a match on his victim's chin, Rollins agrees; 'Oh, I know you won't.' Blowing the flame out, the Duke turns his back as his men carry out his orders, Dr. Tam pleading for his life. 

As they heave him over the side, he hangs, screaming in terror over the dizzying drop to the waters far below. Just then, a strange, sinister laugh comes echoing through the night; from everywhere and nowhere. 

Panicked by this uncanny intrusion, the Duke's henchman set Dr. Tam back down on the bridge and pull their pieces as their boss pulls his gun, to the sound of manic laughter. By now seriously un-nerved, the Duke tries to point his revolver everywhere at once. 

The voice coming through the night air is resonant, ethereal;

'You murdered a Policeman.'

'The Weed of Crime bears bitter fruit.'

'Did you think you'd get away with it?'

'Didya think... I wouldn't know?.'

Desperately, the mobster empties his pistol into the night, into thin air. Again that mocking laugh!. Tossing the piece, Duke Rollins dashes to the car for a bigger weapon; a Thompson. Unloading the tommy gun into the darkness, everyone else ducks as the rounds fly, richocheting and sparking off of everything in sight. 

The Duke hoses down the whole area; even raking his own car. Nothing is going to survive a burst from a 'piano.' Nothing. One of his stooges thinks he got him; so does the Duke. Right until the night opens and the fist smashes into his jaw.

'You committed murder, Duke – now you're going to confess to it.'

Like hell!; again the wraith materialises from nothingness, again the fists crash into Duke's flesh and blood body.

'You will Duke, because if you don't – I'll be there.'

The ghostly figure hauls Duke clean off his feet, throwing him onto the roadway.

'I'll be there... around every corner, in every empty room – as inevitable as your guilty conscience.'

Defiance, still; the Duke shouts he isn't scared, but again the blows come. The eerie voice commands him to turn himself in at the 8th Precinct House and surrender himself. And he will do it now... the gangster is lifted over the rail, to dangle as his victim did so recently. Hysterically, the Duke agrees to turn himself in and is unceremoniously flipped over into his own windshield for his troubles. 

Subdued, his two thugs watch in fear as a spectral shadow looms above them, cast by the figure now standing in the road before them. In trenchcoat and cloak above high boots, large brimmed hat, pearl-handled automatics sitting in their twin shoulder holsters, the man wears a crimson scarf to conceal his features, of which all that are visible are a prominent nose and a pair of glittering dark eyes below bushed brows. Not unwisely, the two wise guys make a run for it.

Alone with the weird interloper, Dr. Tam lies helpess, his feet encased in the concrete block, face contorted in fear as the strange figure approaches and draws the two massive automatics from their holsters. 

The barrels lower towards him... and a volley of fire rings out!. Instead of death, however, Dr. Tam looks down to find the concrete in pieces, his feet freed. A be-ringed and gloved hand reaches down as a Sunshine Radio cab pulls up, its rear door opening as if by magic.  

At the simple command 'Drive' the car pulls away, Tam thanking his saviour than asking to be dropped off. As if he had never spoken, the unearthly voice states that he is Dr. Roy Tam, a Professor in the Science Department at NYU.

'I saved your life, Roy Tam – it now belongs to me.'

As the bemused Dr. Tam listens in the back of the speeding cab, the stranger tells him he will become one of his agents, like dozens of others all over the World. Can he ask his wife about this?; no!. He goes on; Mr. Shrevnitz here – the Cab Driver – will instruct him in the ways in which he will contact him should he need his help. 

When he hears one of his agents say 'The Sun is shining.' he will respond; 'But the ice is slippery.' 

This will identify them to each other. To make sure he understands, the mysterious figure goes through it with him. Dr. Tam has one question; how did he know what was happening to him?, who he was?. This elicits a ring of laughter from both the man in the scarf and the Cabbie, as if it were a joke.

'The Shadow knows... hahahahahaha!.'

Finally, the cab skids to a halt and Dr. Tam alights, Moe Shrevnitz exiting with him. Tam is amazed to have met the Shadow – there's always talk of him in the papers, on the radio, but he never thought he existed. Slipping a ruby-coloured ring onto the scientist's finger, Shrevnitz tells him he does'nt – geddit?. The Cabbie taps his own head in emphasis, revealing he is wearing an identical ring and cautioning Tam to never remove his. So who is he?. Showing the ring he wears, Moe replies he's somebody who owes the Shadow his life, somebody just like you...

Leaving Dr. Tam to consider the bizarre turn his life has just taken, the cab speeds off through the city at breakneck speeds. This is clearly no ordinary hack. As he drives, concern shows on Moe Shrevnitz's earnest features.
'Boss, you okay?.'
The sweating, haggard face of Lamont Cranston answers him; 'The Cobalt Club.'

The Cobalt Club is class all the way; from the cobalt-blue silk lining the stage to the torch singer on it. 

An Art Deco temple. Dancers fill the floor, elegant, refined. The club is hopping, full of the beautiful people, lit tastefully with touches of cobalt blue everywhere. 

Lamont Cranston walks in, dressed for the occasion. Spotting his Uncle Bartholomew 'Barth' Wainwright, the Police Commissioner alone at his table, he joins him, apologising for his lateness. An accident on the bridge. 

His Uncle hasn't wasted time getting around his prime ribs, however. A waiter brings Lamont his favourite drink and Uncle Wainwright has a bone to pick; he invites him to dinner and shows late. Lamont apologises, but his attention is captivated by the dream that has just breezed in. 

Tall, blonde, silk dress. His Uncle hasn't noticed her; he wouldn't mind if Lamont had something to do, a job for instance. It's unseemly – a man of his age – and why is he talking to the back of his neck?.

His Uncle has never meddled in his affairs, even when he went missing for those seven years after the war. Just then, an urgent message is handed to Barth; is the cops and robbers business slowing down?. It's another report about that Shadow character. His Uncle is sick of the Shadow meddling in Police affairs. This time tomorrow, he'll put a task force on him. Suddenly, Lamont is engulfed in shadow and The Shadow's resonant, hypnotic tones ring out.

'You're not going to appoint a task force...'

As if dismissing the idea himself, Uncle Barth agrees; he's not going to appoint a task force.

'You're not going to pay any attention to these reports of The Shadow...'

Chewing his food, Barth is in favour; 'Ignore them entirely...'

'These aren't the droids...'

Sorry. (I'm never sorry.) The Shadow convinces his Uncle that there is no Shadow and he comes out of it as if shaking off a headache. Where were they?; cheekily, Lamont jerks a thumb over his shoulder towards the girl – you were telling me who she is, he tells him. 

Handily, Barth knows she's Margo Lane, her father is a scientist working for the War Department. Miss Lane sits elegantly, smoking. Also, she's smoking a cigarette... calling a waiter over, Lamont whispers something in his ear. Uncle Barth warns Lamont off her, she's strange – hears voices. Miss Lane is ready to order, but before she can say 'Mouton Rothschild '28.' the wine waiter has produced a bottle. As the label's laughably wrong and it's already been uncorked I'd avoid it like the plague... but did they ask me?. They did not. She asks and is told who it came from. Miss Lane lets the man pour, looking up to see Lamont standing there. 

Introducing himself, he sits and, reading her thoughts sees she has a craving for Peking duck. He suggests the same and she is amazed. Does she care to join him?...

Lamont orders in Mandarin, his fluency impressing Margo. They are seated in a Chinese restaurant he happens to know. Isn't he full of surprises?. Then, something strange*; she thanks him for the complement – she had the dress made at Adrian's. He didn't make any complement, but he was thinking it. Taken aback, Margo states that hasn't happened to her for a long, long time. When she was a little girl she could read her cousin Harry's thoughts, pick them right out of his head. 

The look on Lamont's face tells her something might be wrong, but he denies it. After all, what harm could a mind-reader do to someone with his secrets?. Gaily, he dismisses the thought, reaching for his glass.
*It's all relative.

The Sunshine cab drops Margo off at her place. Standing on the pavement, the two elegant people take their leave after their night out. She thanks him for a wonderful time, whilst he can't recall an evening as – stimulating. As they drive away, Moe tells his boss he likes her; she's different to his usual dames. More than she knows... She has abilities she's completely unaware of. Sadly, that makes it too dangerous to see her again.

The Cranston mansion; think the Chรขteau de Blois in New York. 

Lamont Cranston lies dozing in a comfortable chair before the fire, his glass of brandy still in hand. 

Suddenly, the fire billows out to take the form of a man's face, laughing in defiance. The brandy in the glass is set afire and the glass explodes, Lamont bursting into wakefulness as the fiery apparition retreats into the fireplace. The omen is clear; Someone's coming...

The New York Museum of Natural History. 

The curator is called to the loading bay to find an unusual delivery; what looks to be a metal Tibetan mummy case. His harassed assistant thought it might be a sarcophagus, but Tibetan sarcophagi are made of stone. Along with a security guard, the two examine the ornately-worked case. 

Clearly a mistaken delivery as nothing is known about it. The curator is taken aback to find the coffin is made of solid silver. Ordering the sides of the packing crate removed, the curator translates a Latin inscription now visible.  

The power of God on Earth, the seal of the Emperor of mankind. This is the silver coffin of Temujin!. The assistant asks the question for us, to be told he was the man who nearly conquered the globe eight centuries ago. And how come we've never heard of Temujin?; because it was the birth name of Ghengis Khan. The Curator must make some calls, find out where it came from – un-nerved, the assistant offers to come with him. The curator's parting instruction to Nelson, the security guard; don't open it.

Once he is alone, Nelson begins to whistle, himself somewhat nervous. Sitting at his little desk, he hears a noise from inside the coffin. Approaching it, he is startled when one of the clasps securing it pops open. Drawing his pistol (!) he reaches a hand out to close it, but it snaps shut of its own accord. Then it happens again, then another clasp opens and, before he knows what's what, all of them are manically opening and closing. Its as if the damned thing were alive. Shaking ominously, the coffin suddenly opens, an armoured figure standing challengingly within. 

Reaching a hand up to the faceplate, the sinister figure pulls it away and savours its first breath of American air. A pair of dark eyes, mesmerising, hypnotic. This is Shiwan Khan.

'Join me... or die.'

Handy he speaks English, eh?. He repeats the words and, nervously the guard informs him he's on private property. Khan can tell his mind is weak* and commands him to fall to his knees, which he does. (Don't panic, it's not an 18 Certificate) Next, the Mongol warlord commands him to put his gun to his own temple.
*So could my neighbour's cat, to be fair.

'Sacrifice yourself – to me.'

With the words 'Yes, my Khan.' The guard pulls the trigger (Well, it was for the best) and the Curator and assistant hear the shot, at which they come running. Khan has cleverly concealed himself in plain sight among the exhibits. Turning his head as if on some sixth sense, the Curator sees nothing, but mannequins. Khan is gone.

The Federal building. Inside, two Marines, one smaller than a house, guards the office of Reinhardt Lane, War Department Research and Development. Inside, Farley Claymore paces the laboratory, while Lane sits at his bench working. 

Claymore insists he's through with the beryllium sphere apart from underwater pressure testing. Lane insists he is doing energy research; he's not interested in any military applications. So why did he let the War Department pay all the bills?; because he let Farley talk him into it. Claymore says Lane doesn't think big – if he'd listen to him the world could be their oyster. Professor Lane tells him Oysters give him a rash. Undaunted, Farley leaves, snapping the two Marines a jaunty salute. As he walks towards the elevator it discharges Margo Lane, in her silk number again. All smarm and oily charm, Farley tries to waylay her, but she adroitly evades his clutches. 

Ducking back in front of her, he asks when she's going to come down to look at his beryllium sphere. She's not interested in his spheres. Trying yet again, he wags a finger in mock admonition; she doesn't return his calls any more. Well, that's not true, she says – she never returned them in the first place. Taking him by the chin, the dazzling blonde tells him sweetly; 'It's because... I don't like you.' With that, she sashays off to her father's office.

Inside, father and daughter greet each other, Reinhardt offers her a sandwich, but she's eaten; it's two a.m. Noticing his red shirt, she asks where he got it. He reminds her she always said he looked good in green; he's colour blind – she picks up his green cup to emphasise. Going to slouch in a chair, she asks him if he believes in telepathy. 

Mind-reading?; he's a scientist. Idly playing with an apple from her dad's uneaten dinner, she says she's always felt an indescribable connection out there, just waiting for her. And suddenly tonight, there it was. Distractedly, Reinhardt replies; 'That's nice. What was it?.' A man, and she's probably never going to see him again. But why not?. She just knows – it was if she knew what he was feeling. And now, she's completely and utterly depressed. Without looking up from his work, her father responds; Well, that's nice, dear.

The taxi pulls up in a quiet part of town, by an empty site. All that's left is the sign. the cabbie noting down the destination. His passenger, Shiwan Khan demands to know why; Taxi Commission rules. Looking over to see a small gas station is taking a delivery, the Mongol warlord uses his fluence on the cabbie, suggesting he needs fuel. Looking without seeing, the mesmerized man looks at the full fuel gauge and sees empty. 

Thanking Khan, he puts his pencil behind his ear and drives into the gas tanker with a smile. It must be his lucky day, he thinks, as the cab hits home. With a roar of laughter, the Mongol strides across to the empty lot; standing as if admiring it.

Daylight. The Museum of Natural History. Cops and a photographer do their jobs, Barth Wainwright arrives to be told Inspector Cardon is in charge, the Sergeant pointing the way, his hand sporting a rather attractive and familiar ring. 

Ambling over to the empty case that until recently houses a silver coffin, the Sergeant slips away un-noticed, through the busy crowds to a nondescript building housing offices. In a plain-looking hallway, he goes to a door marked 'B. JONAS' and slips a note into the letter box. 

This is no ordinary letter box; the note slides into a Lamson tube mounted on the other side, the capsule whizzing through the pipe, round a bend and out of the building. 

Dizzyingly, we see the progress of the capsule through what turns out to be an improbably long and convoluted pipework running between and around buildings, until it pops out into the tray at the end. It has come to rest in a control room, of sorts. 

The be-ringed operative manning the message tubes extracts the message and presses a button to summon The Shadow.

In his dressing room, Lamont Cranston's ring begins to glow (Keep your minds out of the gutter, kids) and he leaves the room, galvanised by the alert. Across town, Moe Shrevnitz is in his cab with a fare; a well-heeled couple in back sitting, rigid with fear. His ring is glowing; he's needed. Screeching to a halt, he orders them out; the man actually thanks him, pleased to be in one piece.

Trotting down his steps, Lamont tells Moe to go to the Sanctum. Alighting in Times Square, Cranston checks he isn't being followed as he walks into an alleyway. Going around the corner, he walks up to a steel stair way and casually pushes a girder angle to activate a hidden mechanism. 

A grating drops away in sections to form steps, the wall sliding back suddenly to form a doorway. Inside, he flips another lever to close the whole ingenious contraption behind him. 

Descending an iron staircase into his sanctum, the iron shutters guarding its secrets rise to admit him. Going to a sophisticated control panel, he activates a fantastic device, a tele-viewer, enabling him to speak to the agent at the control room.

The agent reports; their agent in the 26th Precinct reports a murder at the Museum of Natural History and advises inquiry. Shutting off the futuristic gizmo, Lamont considers the information carefully, but then notices he is not alone; Temujin stands on his stairs. He introduces himself as Shiwan Khan, last descendant of Ghengis Khan. 

He tells the confused Cranston not to feel obligated to introduce himself; he knows who he is – and not this, temporary version of himself. He knows who he really is; at the name Ying Ko, Cranston, startled, cannot help but stare. Shiwan Khan is, he declares, a great admirer. Lamont doesn't know what he's talking about. Khan smiles at this; it was no more difficult for him to invade his mind than this room. Striding through to the comfort afforded by a roaring fire and comfortable leather chairs, Khan seats himself and Cranston follows suit.

Shiwan Khan claims his feelings are hurt – he would have thought Cranston would welcome the opportunity to meet another with the ability to cloud men's minds. Lamont realises he is talking to another student of the Tulku. Khan tells him the Tulku spoke of Lamont constantly, but wasn't as able to turn him so easily. Affably, Khan asks if Lamont happens to have some American bourbon. He is happy to pay... but Lamont won't hear of it. , going to get the drinks. 

Genially, he asks if his guest happened to pay a visit to the museum last night. Yes, a wonderful collection of Tibetan tapestries. They clink glasses and Khan continues his reminisce; grown men still shudder at the name Ying Ko; he is, he confesses, his idol. He studied his raid on the village of Bargo. Lamont confesses, it rings a bell. It was a masterstroke insists Khan. Swift, vicious and sudden!.

So, asks Lamont, what brings Khan to the Big Apple?. His destiny; Ghengis Khan conquered half the known world in his lifetime. He intends to finish the job. If he told him how it wouldn't be a surprise. He travelled to this country in Ghengis Khan's holy crypt, absorbing his power. In three days, the world will hear his roar – and willingly subject to the lost empire of Sianking. The would-be conqueror's thoughts turn to the sartorial with a question on where Lamont got his tie; Brooks Brothers, 45th and Madison. When Lamont calls Khan a barbarian, he takes it as a compliment. They both are – inside him Khan knows beats a heart of darkness. 

Grabbing Lamont to pull him closer, he says he dips into that heart every time he dons the hat and cloak. Join me, he says – you are Ying Ko, the butcher of Lhasa. You and only you deserve to be by my side... wrenching away, Lamont is confronted by Khan, who has used his training from the Tulku to good effect.

Suddenly, Shiwan Khan reaches for something, something metallic. With his heel, Lamont presses a hidden switch at which a tray pops from the wall, an automatic in his hand in a flash. Instead of a weapon, a Chinese coin spins in mid-air, to be caught by Cranston. Of Khan there is no sign save his voice; For the bourbon. We will meet again, soon. Closing his fist around the coin, Lamont feels it to be charged with mystical energy.

An elaborate floor seen from above, patterned with gilded Chinese mozaic. Almost part of the pattern, Shiwan Khan's ornate cloak as he prostrates himself, rising to his knees to proclaim the day of the Mongol warrior is again at hand. 

Surrounding him are such warriors, armoured, kneeling Samurai-style. (Well, it looks good on the screen; go with it...) Soon, with wings outstretched – we fly to our destiny!. This prompts much roaring and spinning of swords.

At the Tam home, Mrs. Tam pours coffee as her distracted husband listens to the news on the radio; another report of the elusive Shadow. 

She thinks it's all a gimmick dreamed up by the radio people, but he eyes the ring Moe gave him and knows better. The doorbell gives him a chance to evade her questions and there, standing on his doorstep is Lamont Cranston, face veiled in shadow.  

The sun is shining. But the ice is slippery. Dr. Tam thinks this to be an agent of the Shadow, but Lamont merely replies 'Who?.' and Dr. Tam gets it, winking to show he's on the same page. Lamont needs a metal analysis of the Chinese coin he got from Shiwan Khan. 

At Dr. Tam's lab, he pours a liquid onto the coin, which fulminates and bubbles dramatically, breaking the petri dish. Bronzium – the metal is Bronzium, he didn't believe it even existed. Setting the disc under his microscope, he explains the ancient Chinese thought Bronzium the fabric of which the Universe was formed. 

The Doctor asks after its origin, to be told Sianking. This makes sense; Tam reveals according to the legends, Sianking was called the birthplace of the World. Lamont asks if it could conceivably be used to make some sort of a weapon, which sparks a fear in the doctor's mind; theoretically, yes... he rushes to one of his weighty textbooks. Bronzium is unstable at the molecular level, constantly given to expansion. Only the cell bonds hold this expansion back, but if this bond was ever to be breached... an explosion?; no, says the Doc, but if the power of the cell was to be turned back on itself in an implosion, there would be an explosion. How Big?; Dr. Tam cannot say, but the breakdown would spread to all levels of the cell's atomic construction. Fashioned into a bomb, the effects would be – catastrophic. An implosive-explosive sub-molecular device. Grimly, Lamont has another name for it; an atomic bomb. Hey, says the Doc – that's catchy... but the bomb would have to have a beryllium sphere to contain the apparatus – no other metal would be able to contain the blast. None of this is possibly anyway, unless some genius figures out how to design and make it. Going to his blackboard, he erases his workings to draw a crude representation of the very sphere Reinhardt Lang is working on at this very moment.

In his own sanctum, Shiwan Khan kneels before an altar, incense burning. Closing his eyes, he claps his hands, once, uttering an incantation as old as the planet. As the words assume their magical aspects, the very fabric of the tapestry behind the altar begins to change, move to assume new form. 

The very design of the tapestry now released, it floats out above him, wraithlike, ethereal, before returning into place. A name has come through to Shiwan Khan; Reinhardt Lane. Projecting his consciousness into the night, he repeats the name over and over, sending his influence out through the city until it settles upon the laboratory of Reinhardt Lane himself. 

He is still at work, pacing the lab, working to perfect the beryllium sphere. Finally, he hears the preternatural voice and, under its spell, opens the doors to the balcony outside the lab. 

It is as if Lane were sleepwalking as he goes out along the terrace to stand facing a cigarette advertisement on the roof of the building opposite. 

The happy smoker depicted on the billboard blows rings of real smoke and, as if on cue, Reinhardt reached for a pack of Llamas, lights one. Suddenly, the happy smoker is gone, replaced by the image of Shiwan Khan, calling his name. Deep under, Lane responds as if drugged. Yes, my Khan...

The band is playing up a storm at the Cobalt Club. Over his steak, Uncle Wainwright is back on subject number one; why a man with nothing to do is constantly late for every little engagement. Practice, replies an amused Lamont – lots and lots of practice. Ever the playboy. Just then, Margo Lane comes storming up; demanding to know what the Commissioner is doing about her father. 

His secretary made it clear; there's nothing they can do unless... unless what?, he blows himself up?. On the ropes, the old man introduces his nephew. They've met. 

Politely, Lamont takes her coat and invites her to their table. She's in a rather fetching velvet number. Dark green, emerald and diamond ear-rings setting it off to perfection. Again, Wainwright tells her it's not a police matter. She says her father has decided suddenly to take no visitors, even her. Chances are, Barth thinks, it's something Top Secret for the Government. No, she says, his research is harmless; some kind of implosive device. At the magic word 'implosive', Lamont is all ears. That's why, she continues she knows something wrong. They spoke on the phone and he seemed distant, confused. He spoke to her in Chinese. He doesn't even speak Chinese!. Defeated, the Commissioner promises to send a Policeman over tomorrow to check things out. Margo asks Cranston's opinion. Cranston is gone. 

Spotting Lamont leaving, Margo chases after him as the familiar Sunshine Radio Cab pulls up outside. As he turns, she pulls back, something in his gaze un-nerving her. He has to go. Desperately, out of nowhere at all, she cries out a name; Ying Ko. Even as she speaks the name, she doesn't know it. 

Going back across the pavement, Lamont takes the girl by the arm and at once his face is in shadow. You will forget about me. Why would she do that? She replies, bemused. You will give me no further thought. Is he drunk?. Unsettled by the failure of his ability to cloud minds, Cranston gets in back of the cab and orders Shrevnitz to take him to the Federal Building.

As he drives, Moe watches in the mirror as his boss transforms into The Shadow. The taxi rushes onward through the rain-flecked night.

Ahead, in the laboratory, Reinhardt Lane carefully places the beryllium sphere into a box marked War Department. Outside, the two Marine guards debate food choices when the unexpected arrival of the lift at the far end of the corridor has them reaching for their holsters. The lift appears empty and their conversation continues. 

Right up to the part where the crossbow bolt thuds home into the larger Marine's chest. Before he can comment or react, the Sergeant has one in his too. Both men fall, dead, to the floor. Lane is preparing to leave when a fully-armoured Mongol warrior steps into the lab, demanding the sphere in Chinese. Dazed and robot-like, the scientist obeys, but a sudden peal of laughter interrupts proceedings. 

Going out to the balcony, the Mongol searches for the source of the uproarious laugh, but sees nothing. 

A gloved hand slaps down on the warrior's helmet and he is hauled up by his chinstrap. Desperately, the warrior flips the Shadow over his shoulder – the latter rolls to his feet. 

Drawing his sword, the Mongol attacks furiously, but the caped crime-fighter manages to knock the weapon from his grasp. The two grapple desperately. Possessed of immense strength, the warrior forces Lamont over the parapet and he gets a good look at the street far below. Heaving with all his strength, the Shadow sends them both over the edge, falling together, the Mongol below – until a stone eagle checks their descent, crushing the warrior and saving the Shadow, who jokes Next time, you get to be on top.

Meanwhile back in the lab... Reinhardt stands statue-like as a group of Mongol warriors enter, searching for their colleague. They ready their weapons, aware something isn't right. Moving around the lab and its stupefied occupant, the largest (And most Caucasian) of the Mongols suddenly gets a fist in the face as the Shadow materialises then vanishes into the air itself. 

Another thug goes flying onto an equipment bench, then a third... three down... two more take back-fists to the face and yet more are down (More in fact than were there in the first place...) Finally, the large Mongol (Still American) picks up a handy torch and follows the progress of one of his stooges as he is systematically relieved of his teeth. Suddenly, the flash throws the shadow of... well, the Shadow against a wall. Calling up one of his men, he has him fire a crossbow bolt at the shadowy Shadow's shadow, then another, pinning him. 

The others begin to rally at a call from their large colleague as, incredibly, the Shadow emerges from his shadow into the light to stand there defiantly against the odds. Well, aside from the guns, that is...

As the Mongol reloads his crossbow, the Shadow draws his automatics and blazes away, dropping them left and right. The remaining Mongols bundle Reinhardt out of the lab while one pursues the Shadow back out onto the balcony, ending up hanging off it with only the Shadow's grip stopping him from taking a long fall with bad prospects. 

Where is Khan? Demands the crime-fighter; but he prefers death, to serve his Khan with it rather than talk. Wriggling free, he falls. Hilariously, Moe is down on the street reading 'Developing Your Psychic Ability' – and senses someone is coming. 

He's right; the book's a winner!. Getting back into his cab, he finds the Shadow already in back. Drive...

Margo is just returning home when the phone rings; it's her Father. He needs to see her right away, he says – but he is being controlled by Shiwan Khan as he speaks. He needs her at the lab right away, she should hurry. Doing as she is asked, Margo arrives at the lab. Finding the Marine guards dead, she hurries in, fearing the worst. Electricity sparks from broken equipment and a few small fires are burning, the bodies of the vanquished Mongols littering the place. Out on the balcony, she approaches the Llama cigarettes sign and comes under Khan's influence. 

In Khan's sanctum, Margo stands still as a statue as Khan runs his hands over her*, examines her as if she was a horse he was interested in buying.

Reinhardt Lane stands dumbly beside, holding a box which he opens for Khan to take a target pistol**. Loading it, he hands it to Margo. He has a mission for her.
*And actor John Lone, playing Khan got paid for this!.
**A .50 calibre Remington Rolling block, for the record. 

At home, Lamont Cranston dabs some alcohol on his wound from the crossbow bolt that pierced his shoulder. The creak of a stair alerts him as Margo slowly ascends. 

She opens his door, raises the pistol, taking careful aim at the defenceless Lamont and shoots... the mirror he placed to dupe her. 

She enters the room, still holding the empty pistol. Coming around behind her, he takes the pistol from her, her hand remaining outstretched as if it still held the weapon. 

Using his power, he breaks her out of her spell by saying her name. She is totally unaware of her actions; when he demands to know who sent her, she can only recall the voice in her head telling her she had to kill the Shadow. Putting his shirt on, he wants her to leave, but she realises who Lamont Cranston really is; she had to kill the Shadow and she came – here. She wants to look into his eyes, when he turns she sees they are the dark eyes of the Shadow. With the thrill of recognition she knows know why she felt there was something unusual about him. Look into my eyes – you won't like what you see, he tells her, but she is tingling all over to know his secret identity. 

As his eyes return to their normal state, she tells him of her father's disappearance; he is the only one who can help her. Just be gone when I get back, he snarls, but, breathlessly she stops him opening the door to leave. How does he know she won't tell anyone?. But this is the Shadow – and he knows. He leaves. Ordering Moe to go to the Sanctum, the cab pulling out of the gates. Neither Moe nor his boss spots the cab following them, a Mongol warrior in the back.

Walking the short distance to the alleyway, Lamont pauses ostensibly to adjust his Homburg, but he looks in a car mirror to see the Mongol following. Not the most discrete of followers. Ducking into an alley, Lamont disappears into shadow, the Mongol sees nothing and walks on, into Chinatown. 

Now Lamont is the follower, tracking the armoured figure as he makes his way to a kitchen. Lamont follows him upstairs to a run-down dump of a Chinese eaterie. There's only one customer, busy filling his face. Shiwan Khan. Dressed in a suit, he sports the same exact tie Lamont wore on their first meeting, which Lamont complements him on. Cordially, Khan invites him to share his table.

Seated, Cranston accuses Khan of sending Margo to kill him. Kill him?; if he wanted him dead, he'd have his liver on a pole by now. He sent the girl to be killed and he wants to know how Lamont killed her. He tells Khan she's alive – Khan feels this is a danger to him, but Lamont tells him he's onto him; he still doesn't have the beryllium sphere.  

You Americans are so arrogant, you think your meaningless, decadent country is the new cradle of civilisation, but let me tell you something... Hey, that's the U.S of A. you're talking about... I am talking about ruling the World!. Lamont offers him the name of a brilliant psychiatrist Leonard Levinsky; he'll talk and Leonard will listen... but Khan explodes, shouting that Lamont is boring him. He slams down a familiar knife with a thud, between the American's fingers; the Phurba, snarling as ever. Oh, that knife...

Khan took the Phurba from the Tulku. No, he corrects himself – he took it out of the Tulku after he ran it through his heart. When will you learn to listen to your instincts?... Instincts?; Lamont offers to show Khan his instincts, grabbing the dagger and going for him. 

The dagger refuses to budge towards its new master, snarling and causing Lamont great pain. Never did master the Phurba, did you?; still expect it to respond to brute force. Lamont sits back down in agony, the Phurba slides across to its master's hand. A Mongol appears, clapping a pistol to Cranston's head. Khan comments that what Mongol Warriors lack in intellect they make up for in loyalty. There is no light without shadow, and you and I are that shadow... again, he appeals to Cranston to join him. 
Khan rambles on, giving Lamont time to use his powers to invade the mind of the pistol-toting Mongol. (Why Khan doesn't spot any of this is a mystery.) Just as Khan is telling him his mind is like an open book, Lamont snarls back he should learn to read, causing the Mongol to toss him the pistol. Overturning the table, Khan rams the Phurba into the compromised warrior's chest, taking the dying man's sword and running to the back of the room to draw his own pistol even as Lamont takes aim. 

Both men fire – two bullets hurtle through the air between them – incredibly, the rounds strike each other in mid-air, falling to the ground. Dashing to the window, Khan shatters it with a shout of mystical power, diving through it and landing on his feet on the ground below. (!) Lamont takes the stairs.

Outside, the crowd scatters as a Mongol rides up on a motorcycle combination, tricked up with an ornate Chinese-style sidecar. Khan jumps in, clutching his phurba and the bike roars off. 

Leaping into his taxi, Lamont orders Moe to tail them, the Cord screeching off in pursuit, but the motorcycle combo has just vanished into thin air. Suddenly, Lamont senses something, telling Moe to stop by the empty lot Khan was dropped at earlier. 

Walking over to the lot, Lamont is joined by Moe, who observes the obvious; it's just an empty lot. Forced to concede, Lamont walks back to the cab, unable to shake the feeling he gets from the place.

Returning to his mansion, Lamont finds Margo asleep in his chair before the fire. Waking, Margo says that she can't help knowing what she knows about him. Standing, she goes to him, irresistible. 

Somehow, he manages toresist, telling her it's late. He says she's welcome to one of the guest rooms, but in the morning she should go. She tells him she's not afraid of him. Placing a hand gently on her cheek, he replies But I am... displaying more self-control than an entire monastery, he goes to bed, alone.

Sleep does not come easily to Lamont Cranston, sitting up in bed at the sound of a woman's voice calling his name. It's not Margo; she's sound asleep in her bed. Going to her room, he sees this and goes to the mirror, something's wrong with his face. Reaching into his skin, he pulls at it, finding it has become a mask. Tearing the mask away he reveals the face of Shiwan Khan!. Margo has awoken, sitting up in bed to scream with terror. Lamont himself now sits bolt upright in bed, the dream over.

Morning. Fully dressed, Lamont walks into Margo's room to find her still sleeping, beautiful as ever in a satin nightdress. She tells him she dreamed. So did he, asking to hear her dream first. 

She was dreaming she was naked on the beach in the South Seas (I'm having a similar dream right now) and the sun was beating down – her skin felt hot and cool at the same time. She rubs her hands over her body just so we get the idea... who else is wondering how much better this scene would have been with the late John Belushi?. How was his dream, she asks?; he dreamed he tore all the skin off his face and was somebody else beneath. She tells him he has problems. Gallantly he says he will wait outside while she dresses, but she says he can stay. Her dress is all rumpled; luckily he has some dresses in the wardrobe. He shows her one, claiming it belonged to his 'Aunt Rose'. When she shoots him a look, he adds she was very fashionable. And she kept her figure, observes Margo wryly, ducking behind a screen to dress.

Lamont has to go; he has a Taxi waiting downstairs?, Lamont is pulled up short as she finishes his sentence. She sensed that's what he was going to say. It's easier the more she's around him; he's like reading a book. Thanking him, she says she won't need that taxi – he disagrees; he has an important meeting, but she's happy to come. He recalls they agreed she would leave – she doesn't recall any such thing. They need each other, she says. No, they don't, says he. They have a connection, she says. No, we don't, says he. Then how does he explain her reading his thoughts?. His thoughts, he tells her are hard to miss; psychically he's very well endowed. She'll bet. Okay; he doesn't need her, but she needs him – and she is coming with him. Somehow Aunt Rose wouldn't have looked as good in that number... seeing Margo in it sways the day and Lamont agrees. 

The Empire State building. On the viewing deck, Reinhardt Lane stands, hypnotised next to Shiwan Khan. 

Pointing out a wide swathe of Manhatten, Reinhardt explains that is the blast radius of the device. The destruction will be – incalculable. Some sailors from the U.S.S. Texas on shore leave pass, one making a joke about Khan's 'dress'. Eyeing the sailor intently, Khan takes control of him, forcing the terrified man to climb the safety rail, standing on the very edge. 

His shipmates and the other sight-seers spot him and ask what he's doing; he has no idea, he says, pleading with them to get him down. Khan forces him to jump, the poor wretch falling to a horrible death.

Down below, Lamont tells Margo it's all falling into place (!), all Khan needs is the beryllium sphere to complete the bomb. At the words 'Beryllium sphere', Margo stops him; Farley Claymore, her father's assistant!. He works on his own at Mari-Tech labs, down on the South side. Very good, says Lamont; he tells her about losing Khan on the corner of Second and Houston, by the abandoned lot. There's something odd about the place and he wants her to check it out, find what used to be there. Farley Claymore is going to get a visit. From the Shadow.

Across the river, the Mari-Tech labs site, a massive water-pressure test chamber outside. Entering the chamber, Farley Claymore locks the hatch behind him, to be startled by a voice from nowhere. 

The Shadow demands to know where the beryllium sphere is. Lamely, Claymore tries to bluff, but the Shadow tells him he's being manipulated by hypnosis. 'My mind?.' Well, quite. Claymore tells him it's too late; he loaded the sphere onto a truck. 

The voice demands he take him to it, but instead he throws a lever to send a torrent of water surging down from the pipes around the chamber, removing the lever to prevent the valve being shut-off (As there are identical levers right next to it, this might be somewhat optimistic, but I digress...) 

Pulling a revolver, Farley looks around desperately as the ominous laughter echoes around the steel chamber. 'Who do you think you're gonna shoot with that, Claymore?.' But Claymore has spotted where the water has parted slightly for the Shadow's boots. As the Shadow makes a run for it, Claymore lets rip, hitting the invisible vigilante, blood pooling in the cascading water that rises with every second. Going to the hatch, Farley turns the wheel to unlock it, shouting out that no-one controls his mind – there's a new World order coming – and he's going to be a King. A King!. Exiting the chamber, he locks it, jamming the lever into the mechanism, trapping the Shadow.

Inside, The crime-fighter re-emerges from shadow, clutching his wounded shoulder, his face a mask of pain. Desperately, he tries the wheel, to no avail. Divesting himself of his sodden cape and shoulder harness, he looks around for something, anything to help his escape. Spotting the valve array, he splashes over to try them; nothing doing, they won't even budge an inch. Suddenly, it comes to him. Margo. Closing his eyes, he projects his consciousness across town to the City Assessor's office where even now, Margo sits with some blueprints and paperwork. Margo. Her name comes to her out of the blue and she reels back in shock. Margo, I need you.

Things look bleak; Lamont Cranston is running out of time. Already there's no more than a few feet of precious air at the top of the chamber. Margo, however is already barrelling across town in a car, as Lamont is finally submerged. His fist bangs helplessly against the armoured glass viewing port in the top of the chamber. 

Diving down to the bullet holes made by Claymore's pistol, he puts a finger through into the air beyond and takes a breath of much needed air. Swimming across to the door, he tries it again, but it is stuck fast. Just then, Margo arrives, rushing up the steps to the chamber to find water streaming from the bullet holes. 

Looking through the porthole in the hatch, she finds herself looking at Lamont, who mouths 'Open the door' while miming turning a wheel. Grabbing the lever, she hauls it free from the wheel and turns the wheel, Lamont following suit from inside. Suddenly, thousands of gallons of water find themselves with a new opportunity to see New York and Margo is flung backwards by the immense forces released. Lamont's limp body flops to the ground and she turns him over so he can breathe. Casually, she says 'You called?.' Weakly, Lamont cannot help but laugh.

Unsurprisingly, that night Lamont's sleep is wracked by nightmares. Hearing this, Nurse Margo brings him in a bowl of cool water, but he is in a feverish trance of some kind. With a start, Margo finds herself in Lamont's nightmare, clad in a sheer silken outfit that billows and ripples around her; a fireplace billows flame in a vaulted chamber, Lamont in his Ying Ko personality tells her she's not meant to be there. 

The fire erupts from the grate, surrounding her with a ring of flames.

Turning, she sees a vision of the armoured Ying Ko, roaring in the heat of battle, his face splattered with blood. She sees his men cut down their victims, merciless acts of murder and brutality, a village burning amidst the slaughter. His blood-lust sated, Ying Ko wipes the warm liquid from his face...

Lamont slowly comes to to find Margo gently dabbing his fevered brow with water. She tells him he was dreaming, but he takes her arm; she saw. Do you have any idea, he asks her, to have done things you can never forgive yourself for?. Earnestly, she tells him whoever he was, whatever he did... it's in the past. Not for him; never for him.

In Khan's sanctum, his Mongol warriors stand in flanking array, either side of the completed bomb that is wheeled to their master. We are victorious! he exclaims, and as victors they will collect the spoils of war. Next, he addresses Farley Claymore, who takes his handkerchief to the bomb casing in a gesture of proprietorial pride. Khan will remember each of them, particularly, he says the only American with genius enough to join him of his own free will... he claps a comradely hand on Farley's shoulder before continuing, who saw himself a king in his kingdom. Nervously, the treacherous Claymore stutters; 'King? Did I say King?.' before Khan grabs him by the neck. 

Maybe not the best choice of words... No, it wasn't... Because, Farley adds, he was thinking Prince tops. As Khan manhandles him, he drops his sights to Duke, then Baron. Before he can reach Esquire, Khan relinquishes his grip, ordering him to fetch Doctor Lane to assemble the bomb. With a little time to kill, Shiwan Khan indulges in a spot of posing with his new toy, uttering pronouncements about the power of God on Earth, the new Emperor of Mankind. Not one for a quiet night in with the boys, then...

A shot of the city next* and a spinning newspaper, just so we know it's made the headlines; CONTESTS DELAY CHOICE OF NEW CITY CHAIRMAN... Thieves walk away with his sawmill... oh, and of course Madman Threatens to Blow City Sky-High, Demands Billions in Ransom!. 

Paper boys shout the news and radio newscasts carry the story and it even reaches the Cranston mansion, Margo reading the paper in horror before trotting downstairs, greeting Russell, the Butler in passing as he bears breakfast. As it's her breakfast he smoothly alters course to follow the intended recipient downstairs where Lamont stands by a window in the vast living room.
*Well, a model, but you get the drift.

Hurrying up to Lamont, she informs him Khan has demanded works of art, famous jewels and even gold. Find Khan and they'll find the bomb, he's sure of it – what did she find out about the vacant lot?. It was, she tells him, the site of the former Hotel Monolith. It was finished nearly ten years ago, but never opened. The Monolith... he vaguely remembers it. Apparently, that's the only way anyone remembers it. Before it was completed, Margo adds, the developer went bankrupt and committed suicide. The last record shows a sale to a Far-Eastern buyer. So when was it torn down?; she doesn't know. Nobody does. She made calls to some of the newspapers, but all anyone remembers of it was the events leading to the sale. Everybody seems to remember it was torn down, but no-one can remember when, or by whom. Smiling, Lamont adds 'Or IF...'

The Sunshine Cab pulls up opposite the derelict lot and Lamont takes another look at the site, Margo at his side. He can't believe Khan did it. Did what?, she asks, but Lamont is entranced by the sight that now greets him as he uses his power to see what others cannot.

Bit by bit, floor by floor, the illusion of empty space is stripped away to his eyes alone; a majestic, magnificent Deco hotel building rising before him. It's beautiful. Margo sees nothing and, to prove a point, Lamont grabs a passer-by, asking him the name of the building that's right there. Shaking himself free, the man calls Lamont a lunatic and stalks off. Khan has hypnotized an entire city!. They don't see it!; none of them see it. But Lamont sees it. Turning to the bemused Margo, he tells her she and Shrevnitz will receive instructions and are to follow them exactly.

That night and the rain pours from the mouth of the gargoyle atop a high building. (Look close enough and you can see Batman left his sandwiches on it) In Khan's sanctum atop the Monolith, Dr. lane opens the casing of the bomb as Farley taunts him for not being nicer to him - until Khan orders him to cease his tormenting and directs Lane to activate the bomb. 

Doing this, he closes the cover. The Warlord wants the timer set for two hours and the handy Nixie tube counter begins the count-down. 

The bomb is hoisted aloft to hang menacingly like an unpleasant ceiling decoration. To Claymore, Khan asks if he is certain of his ability to duplicate the bomb. Absolutely no problem. That makes Dr. lane obsolete, says Khan, directing his guards to secure the Doctor in a room; he will die at the hands of his own invention. Obsequiously, the oily Claymore sidles up to his master and suggests they get out of there. Khan replies there's an aeroplane waiting to take them all to safety. In one hour. The countdown continues, inexorably, second after second.

At the Shadow's control room, the operative writes a message in invisible ink on a card, stamping it with an invisible seal. Outside in the pouring rain, the message is handed to a cyclist as he passes, another message is then smoothly passed to one cycling in the other direction. 

A message slides under the door of the Shrevnitz home as Moe sits reading the paper with his wife. Opening the envelope he finds a blank card, which suddenly reveals its message to him, the ink swirling into view. He's to go to Houston and Second Avenue immediately. Mrs. Shrevnitz asks if it's another one of those things from the bowling league. He answers with a 'Hmm-Hmm.' 

Margo Lane has received the other message, the instructions identical. She rushes out to find a cab. No sooner has she left when the message on her card swirls and vanishes. The two guards outside the Hotel Monolith stand there un-noticed by passers-by. Invisible. 

The splashes of unseen feet rushing towards them causes them to draw swords, but the Shadow leaps from the night to drop them both with his fists. You cannot fight what you didn't see.

With lightning throwing his shadow across the sumptuous lobby, the Shadow moves swiftly through it and up the wide velvet stairs, throwing his cape out like an avenging angel to stand atop them in full view now, cape billowing as if it had a life of its own. 

To the flashing of the lightning and the thunder outside, he strides through the abandoned hotel, laughter resonant through the hallways. Above, Shiwan Khan senses the presence of Ying Ko. Panicked, Farley exclaims 'The Shadow!, where?.' Not here, you idiot – in the building. As ever concerned with his own skin, Claymore asks if Khan can detect the Shadow's mood; is he still mad after their little, misunderstanding yesterday?. Tossing the traitor a Tommy gun, Khan orders him to find and kill him. 'Kill him?; me?.' Amending the order, Khan now includes everyone. Farley asks if he couldn't just stay and help Khan. He couldn't.

Drawing his sword, the large Mongol leads the group sent to find the Shadow, a highly doubtful Farley Claymore in the rear. They reach the stairs overlooking the ornate lobby and the Shadow's ringing laugh checks them. Farley takes the torch from one and directs them to go that way, while he sneaks off into a darkened and vaulted ballroom. The doors slam shut behind him and he realises he is not alone. 'Did ya think you'd never see me again, Claymore?.' Shining the torch around, Claymore's torch throws the Shadow's shadow against a wall. 

'Im right here!'Farley blasts away with the Thompson. We've been here before. 'Alll around you...' again, the stooge unloads on an empty wall... again, the Shadow pops up; 'Everywhere around you.' A manic Farley ends up pirouetting, blazing away while laughing hysterically. 

Inevitably, he runs out of bullets. He resorts to name-calling; coward, chicken, sissy... he's lost it totally as he challenges the Shadow to come out and fight like a man. 

A dark, miasmic cloud of shadow then begins to obscure the ceiling, Farley sinking to his knees in gibbering fear. Turning, he sees the Shadow standing behind him and is hauled up into the air, gurgling with infantile laughter and frothing at the mouth. 

The Shadow is repelled by this creature, throwing him down and telling him to get out of his sight. Out in the corridor, Claymore looks for a way out; a red 'EXIT' sign materialises on a glass panel in front of him 'There's your exit, Claymore...' Farley rushes towards it, crashing through the glass and falling down into the lobby, smashing through a coffee table to the reverberating laughter of the Shadow.

Outside, Moe and Margo stand under umbrellas in the rain. Ironically, he says; 'You know what I like about this job?; the excitement.' 

The Shadow marches into Shiwan Khan's sanctum, the bomb hanging menacingly above. Mockingly, Khan holds his hands out as if fitting them for handcuffs, but the Shadow is not in the mood for levity, telling his adversary he is finished before drawing his automatics. Khan presses a button, sending the floor tipping crazily, the Shadow thrown off-balance.

Next, Khan sends the Phurba slicing into the attack, the Shadow skewered by his old nemesis. In a paroxym* of agony, he struggles to remove the dagger from his shoulder. Khan calls the Phurba and it drags the Shadow across the opulent gilded floor against some steps where it does its best to bore itself into his brain. 

It takes all his strength to hold it, but the Phurba throws it – and him – high into the air, slamming him against a pillar, to the delight of Khan, who is enjoying the show. The dagger throws the Shadow onto the now-rotating floor, where he lies, dazed, weakened.
*Hey, it's Expensive Word Week; that'll be $10.

Khan voices the obvious; he is losing his concentration. He speaks even as the Shadow's face melts away into that of Lamont Cranston. The war-lord tells him his mind is too weak and the Phurba sprouts arms and legs, crouching there like a metal scorpion. 

Lamont tries to gain control of the dagger, but ends up on his back again, body rigid with the effort of restraining the deadly magical blade. 

Exulting in his predicament, Khan walks over to gloat. Look at you!... can't even control yourself – how can you hope to control the Phurba?. The point of the dagger draws blood across Lamont's throat, but then he closes his eyes – and releases it. To Khan's bewilderment, the Phurba stays in mid-air. Cranston has mastered it!. It turns to face Khan – Lamont's eyes snap open, now an eerie silver – and the Phurba flashes across to bury itself deep in Khan's gut. 

With Khan mortally wounded, his control over the city goes; the Monolith is suddenly visible; Moe and Margo staggered to see the building seeming to suddenly spring from nowhere. In his room, Reinhardt Lane is freed from his trance, with no idea where he is. Above, Lamont springs to his feet as Khan wrenches the Phurba from his body, his scream sending shockwaves that shatter the windows around the chamber. Stumbling, he recovers enough strength to make a dash for it, darting behind some curtains. Lamont charges after him, to find he has entered Temujin's silver coffin once more. Forcing it open, he finds it empty!. He enters, looking around to see a tasseled rope. 

Pulling this sends him through the trap-door Khan used for his escape, down through a chute to find himself in the laundry. He draws his guns, ready for a fight. Ahead, he sees Khan crouching in a storeroom and gives chase while in another part of the hotel, Margo is re-united with her father, bumping into him on the stairs. He wants to know what's going on, but she decides to save it for later, sending Moe for the Police.

In a mirror storage area, Lamont bumps into Bruce Lee coming the other wa... sorry, I mean Lamont spots Khan and fires, but in a twist on his own, earlier trick the bullet shatters a mirror. 

Up in Khan's sanctum, Margo leads her dad to the bomb, an hour left on the timer. He's impressed by the workmanship, asking who did it. She tells him; he did.

Lamont moves further through the mirrors, his pistols questing for their target as, upstairs, Dr. Lane cuts through a wire. 

Oops; it sends the timer spinning crazily, instead of the hour they had, there are just two minutes. Twisting the ends of the wire back together stops it at two minutes, the countdown continuing from there, but the bomb drops suddenly - rolling off across the floor to disappear down the hall.

With Margo and Dr. Lane in pursuit, the bomb rolls down the corridor like a massive pinball, Margo leading Reinhardt down some steps. They find themselves below the bomb and go up some curved stairs to try to reach it again, only to end up diving for it as the heavy device rolls down the same stairs.

Dr. Lane goes over the rail and Margo falls down some stairs, narrowly missing being crushed as the bomb continues inexorably, crashing through the elevator grille and sending it crashing down across the shaft, coming to rest there, perilously suspended above the dizzying drop. (Actually a pretty poor example of fake perspective, the drop below the bomb seemingly at an angle; the elevator would have to change direction to actually use the shaft.)

Bravely, Dr. Lane crawls out on the uncertain platform – stupidly, Margo follows him, nearly sending the whole lot crashing down with her extra weight. There are less than twenty seconds left. Thankfully, the grille holds, just!. Looking over the sphere, a panicky Margo asks her Father which wire to cut. He can't remember!; pick one!, she shouts. Oh what the hell; it's usually green... he's on the verge of cutting the red wire – colour-blind, remember? - when she quickly grabs the actual green wire, yanking it free qith one second to spare. Phew!. She shows him the difference and he promises to try to remember.

Lamont's search for Khan amidst the bewildering maze of mirrors continues. The Mongol Warlord appears, asking what Lamont is doing as the mirrors begin to fracture and break. Shaking violently with the effort, the vigilante uses his psychic powers to shatter the mirrors and expose Khan.

Khan is flung around, helpless in the storm of fragmented glass. Standing in the eye of that storm is Lamont Cranston, transformed now into an otherworldly and grim avenger. A shard of glass rises from the floor at his beckoning, floating in the air before slashing across to come to rest in Khan's forehead.

By now, the sudden appearance of a long-forgotten building has galvanised the town, a crowd gathering, press reporters snapping photos of the uncanny event. 

Even the Commissioner, Barth Wainwright has turned out at the spectacle. He does the only thing he can do; take a slug from his hip-flask.

Shiwan Khan awakes to find himself in a strait-jacket in a padded cell. The door opens and a doctor enters. Khan bids him to approach, which he does, then to look at him. He does this also. 

Look into my eyes... yes... release me at once. Instead of complying in a hypnotic state, the doctor laughs; No,we won;t have any of that Mister Khan – let's have a look at those stitches, shall we?. Stitches?. Turning Khan's head, we see a massive operation scar.

To save his life, they removed a section of the frontal lobe; he'll never miss it – it's a part nobody ever uses. Unless you believe in telepathy!. He leaves Khan in his cell, an orderly locking behind him. Frantic, powerless, Khan yells at him to come back, insisting he is the last descendant of Ghengis Khan. 

As the Doctor signs the committal form, we see he is wearing an all-too familiar ring... he walks away, the other patients insisting they are Houdini, Theodore Roosevelt, Napoleon, Josephine... Babe Ruth... Henry VIII... Shakespeare...

At long last, Lamont Cranston kisses Margo Lane passionately before 
walking away. She calls out to him, how will he know where she is?. He turns 
around with a smile; 'I'll know.' Lamont walks around the corner of the alley 
towards his Sanctum and we see the Shadow's face turned towards us for one 
last time, a sparkle of mischief in them. 
The Shadow was originally a radio serial, first hitting the airwaves of 
America in 1931. 

The character narrated mystery stories on the Street & Smith's Detective 
Story Hour. Fantastically successful, fans soon wrote in asking for adventures 
featuring the Shadow himself. 

Walter Gibson, a magician and former ghost writer for Houdini wrote a 
monthly series of pulp novels, which ran until 1949. It was the best-selling 
pulp magazine of all time. From 1937, Orson Welles and, later other actors 
portrayed the Shadow in a new radio show focused on the character. The 
show ran until 1955.

There were several movie adaptations made in the 1940's and '50's, but the 1994 Universal production was given a $40,000,000 budget and state of the art special effects and production to match. 

It was seen as a flop, grossing just $48,000,000 worldwide. The planned franchise was abandoned. The reasons for this are usually given as lacklustre plot and screenplay, but this film is a favourite of mine and has been for decades. 

Alec Baldwin is superb as Lamont Cranston/The Shadow, playing it light, with a sense of humour throughout. 

John Lone's Shiwan Khan – a character resurrected from the pulps – is by turns affable and menacing and plays the over-the-top part wonderfully.

Penelope Ann Miller scintillates as Margo Lane; sexy and desirable in every scene, but genuinely useful to the Shadow as required. The rest of the cast do their jobs well too; Peter Boyle as Moe Shrevnitz makes a decent sidekick.

Ian McKellen – now Sir. Ian makes a good muddle-headed scientist and Tim Curry's Farley Claymore is riotously campy and delightfully rotten; a proper baddie. 

That this film failed to do better is partly due to strong competition that year; The Lion King and The Mask both hit our screens in 1994 and made more than a dent in The Shadow's profits. The Shadow was the inspiration for Batman and it shows; one to watch back to back with the 1989 outing for the Caped Crusader... highly recommended; a treasure.

When Moe's Taxi races along, watch for the skid marks from previous takes.

During the scene where the Mongol Warriors attack Dr.Lane's lab, several fires break out; these are clearly just pyrotechnic fire pots placed around the workbenches, no attempt is made to conceal this.

During the Chinese kitchen scene a studio prop number is visible chalked on the underside of an overturned chair.

Some of the cars in The Shadow are anachronistic; it's set in the late 1930's, yet – for example, a 1946 De Soto Custom and a 1946 Dodge make fleeting appearances.

When Shiwan Khan hypnotizes the sailor into jumping from the Empire State, we see the sailor on the edge of a dizzying, sheer and vertical drop to ground level. The Empire state has a protruding deck some way below the observation deck, on which spotlights are mounted. It is an effect, probably a matte painting. Later on, the actual Empire State is seen and is noticeably different. Also, the security fence wasn't added until the 1940's.

The bullet holes in the water chamber change sides magically between shots; first Lamont is shown breathing air from one then swimming across to the hatch. When Margo arrives shortly afterwards, the bullet holes are streaming water, beside the hatch.


The typography on the newspaper is a bit rushed on close inspection; also, the text of the story beneath the Khan headline to the right bears no relation to the actual story. This is probably because the film was made before the Blu-Ray era; nobody thought anyone would ever notice.

During the scene in Khan's sanctum where the Shadow confronts him, Khan presses a button to set the floor in motion; during this sequence, a stand-in is clearly visible for Khan.

When the Beryllium Sphere crashes into the lift shaft, the shaft itself below the sphere is a bad example of false perspective; for the shaft to work, the elevator would have to travel at differing angles.

At the very end, the Shadow turns to face us; his eyebrows are clearly stuck on to a webbing material.

When Claymore shoots the invisible Shadow, we see a pool of blood; seconds later its gone, with none on the now-visible lamont or any sign of injury.

The Sergeant who delivers the report from the crime scene at the museum is a Shadow agent; but his ring switches between right and left hand in different shots. 

As all that is visible of the Shadow when invisible is his shadow... where does it go when he ducks into the alleyway to hide from the Mongol Warrior?; it should remain on the pavement, yet it disappears – and then re-appears with him.

When the waiter brings Miss Lane the '1928 Rothschild' not only is it already uncorked, but the label is wrong. No-one with any education would ever accept an already-opened bottle. A genuine Rothschild carried a different label entirely. The film-makers may have been aware of the deficiency as the label is never shown facing the camera.

It has been said that the Shadow’s automatics, nicknamed ‘Silver Heat’ are anachronistic in that they are customised .45 Win Mag LAR Grizzly pistols. Although strictly accurate, we feel this does the armourers a dis-service; LAR gave the pistols a vintage look by extending the frames and slides, then nickel plated the weapons to give them their distinctive look. Two sets were made, plus rubber stunt pistols. The end result are striking pistols that have the look of 1911’s with a fearsome look that enhances the character of the Shadow.

The 'hall of mirrors scene' was intended to be a longer sequence, with Khan showing Cranston images of his own violent past to weaken his resolve. An earthquake destroyed the set and the scene was cut accordingly due to the time and expense of re-dressing. The scene may have been inspired by the Shadow novel 'Room of Doom' from 1942.
The line "The weed of crime bears bitter fruit" is taken from the original radio series. At the end of every episode, after the credits, The Shadow would say "The weed of crime bears bitter fruit. Crime does not pay! The Shadow knows," and then laughs his trademark laugh.

Llama cigarettes are themselves a parody of Camel cigarettes; the slogan 'I'd walk a mile for a Camel!.' was altered to 'I'd climb a mountain for a Llama!.'


The Phurba is the exact same dagger used in The Golden Child (1986).

As Lamont and Margo finally kiss, look behind her at the truck across the road; it bears the name of Russell Mulcahy, the film's director. A sign with 'Baldwin' on it is also clearly visible in the Times Square scene.