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Sunday, April 12, 2009

X Minus One (OTRR Certified)

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X Minus One was a half-hour science fiction radio series broadcast from April 24, 1955 to January 9, 1958 in various timeslots on NBC. Initially a revival of NBC's Dimension X (1950-51), X Minus One is widely considered among the finest science fiction dramas ever produced for radio. The first 15 episodes were new versions of Dimension X episodes, but the remainder were adaptations of newly published science fiction stories by leading writers in the field, including Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Philip K. Dick, Robert A. Heinlein, Frederik Pohl and Theodore Sturgeon, along with a few original scripts. Episodes of the show include adaptations of Robert Sheckley's "Skulking Permit," Bradbury's "Mars Is Heaven," Heinlein's "Universe," Pohl’s "The Tunnel Under The World," J. T. McIntosh’s "Hallucination Orbit," Fritz Leiber’s "A Pail of Air" and George Lefferts' "The Parade". The program opened with announcer Fred Collins delivering the countdown, leading into this introduction (although later shows were partnered with Galaxy Science Fiction rather than Astounding Science Fiction):
Countdown for blastoff... X minus five, four, three, two, X minus one... Fire! [Rocket launch SFX] From the far horizons of the unknown come transcribed tales of new dimensions in time and space. These are stories of the future; adventures in which you'll live in a million could-be years on a thousand may-be worlds. The National Broadcasting Company in cooperation with Street and Smith, publishers of Astounding Science Fiction presents... X Minus One.
The series was cancelled after the 126th broadcast on January 9, 1958. However, the early 1970s brought a wave of nostalgia for old-time radio; a new experimental episode, "The Iron Chancellor" by Robert Silverberg, was created in 1973, but it failed to revive the series. NBC also tried broadcasting the old recordings, but their irregular once-monthly scheduling kept even devoted listeners from following the broadcasts. All episodes of the show survive.
This series has survived from its original airing in high quality to be enjoyed today.





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References: Old Time Radio Researchers Group, Wikipedia, Frank Passage & Others OTR Logs, Archive.org, Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio by John Dunning, Australian Old Time Radio Group

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