CHARACTER FILE – Bradley C Wilkes
MUNICH CAST LIST
American radio correspondent -Bradley C Wilkes of NABC (North American Broadcasting Company)
His granddaughter – Emma Drake
Her Minder – Gerald Erle Roper
Her mother – Agnes Drake
Her professor – Chadwick
Washington Man – Lance Scranton
Scholarship – she’s a Montagu-Pinckney Scholar
American Matriarch – The Wilkes Dynasty with father Wilber and sons Wendell and Cyrus
Feeding the Crocodile ….an appeaser is one who feeds the crocodile, hoping it will eat him last
THE BRADLEY STORY: He’s covering the Appeasement Crisis and Munich in 1938 as an American radio reporter, one of the first radio men to do so; has been reporting on the Nazis’ behaviour in pre-war Germany since they came to power in 1933 and has no illusions about Hitler. He observes the dictator closely, knows nickname, the Carpet Eater. Insiders insist the story is true: when frustrated the man falls to the floor and begins to chew.
Bradley’s amazed at the gullibility of the British and Chamberlain in particular; decides that only shock tactics and a “diplomatic incident” will suffice to make the man reconsider. He regards Appeasement as a disaster.
He has extensive contacts across Europe with opposition groups and politicians, particularly in Prague. His family too… but he’s fallen out with his brother Wilbur, one of a group of U.S. businessmen still trading with the Nazis.
Bradley is strong on the integrity of reporting and his determination not to allow personal prejudice to colour objectivity. Keep to the facts. Let them speak. He rejects the style of some of the other correspondent who inject personality and emotion into their work.
Despite that he’s no stuffed shirt. Smokes four packs of Camels a day, flirts at embassy parties, can be a slick dresser and occasionally gets to hunt with friends in the Czech forests. A marksman from his childhood days on the Snake River.
His reporting contains important colour. As when he leans from the balcony while translating Hitler’s bombastic speech to the Sportspalace, noting the emotional effect it has on the dictator himself, his immediate entourage and the crowd.
His message: the world should take note of where the dark forces take it; an object lesson of how Fascists take over a state. Beware of feeding the crocodile.
The Bradley Wilkes family tree:
He’s born in the US in 1910, marries aged 20 but is childless; in 1937 he has an affair in the UK with Isabelle Drake and she has a son Nathaniel in 1938. Nathaniel Drake marries in the Sixties but is divorced and marries a second time at age 52 in 1990. His wife is Agnes, born 1961. She has a daughter Emma in 1991. Father has since disappeared from her life.
The OTHER Wilkes family, all in the US:
Bradley’s brother Wilbur the First, born 1915, dead 1985. Marries 1940 to The Matriarch, now in her nineties. They have a son in 1941, Wilbur the Second, and he has two sons, Cyrus in 1971 and Wendell in 1973. Last four still living.