Two men, one a specialist in handwriting analysis called to testify before Congress, the other a Native American returning from a reconnaissance mission that might start a war, exchange minds at the most inopportune of times.
Or have they?
A Long Time to Die was written especially for the Mystery Theater by Sam Dann, and starred Mandel Kramer, Grace Matthews, Arnold Moss, Nat Polen, and Mason Adams.
The thing I liked most about this episode? When Alfred Ainsley (Mandel Kramer) goes back in time and becomes "stuck" in the body of Running Beaver (also Mandel Kramer), not a single member of the cast speaks in a cliched, and now racist sounding, phony Native American "accent."
Act 1 gives listeners a view of the exchange from the confused viewpoint of the Native American Running Beaver, in what is supposed to be contemporary Washington DC. Act 2 switches time lines and gives the listener the confused viewpoint of the contemporary Alfred Ainsley tossed, without warning, 500 years into the past. Act 3 brings both together in a somewhat satisfying, if a tad anti-climatic, fashion.
Mandel Kramer plays both parts, Alfred Ainsley, handwriting expert, and Running Beaver, Native American warrior, and does so quite well. The supporting cast also play dual roles, reflections and echoes of who they are in each story. Dialog exchanges, as well as medical and psychological tests, are also nicely echoed and reflected back and forth between stories.
It's a nice nod to the old saw of, "The more things change, the more they stay the same." Or, as Stephen King illustrates in his excellent novel 11/22/63, the past is both obdurate and harmonic.