X Minus One
Initially a revival of NBC's Dimension X (1950–51), the first 15 episodes of X Minus One were new versions of Dimension X episodes, but the remainder were adaptations by NBC staff writers, including Ernest Kinoy and George Lefferts, 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 some original scripts by Kinoy and Lefferts.
Included in the series were adaptations of Robert Sheckley's "Skulking Permit," Bradbury's "Mars Is Heaven", Heinlein's "Universe" and "The Green Hills of Earth", " 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 the following 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 canceled 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 produced 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.
In November 2008, Counter-Productions Theatre Company became the first theatre company to stage three episodes, "The Parade", "A Logic Named Joe", and "Hallucination Orbit".
Episodes based on stories by famous writers
- Philip K Dick - "The Defenders", "Colony"
- Ray Bradbury - "And The Moon Be Still As Bright", "Mars is Heaven", "The Veldt", "Dwellers in Silence", "Zero Hour", "To the Future", "Marionettes, Inc.", "There Will Come Soft Rains"
- Isaac Asimov - "Nightfall", "C-Chute", "Hostess"
- Robert A. Heinlein - "Universe", "The Green Hills of Earth", "Requiem", "The Roads Must Roll"
- L. Sprague de Camp - "A Gun for Dinosaur"
- Dimension X, (NBC) The predecessor to X Minus One with 15 of the same stories.
- 2000 Plus, (Mutual) The first adult science fiction series on U.S. radio.
- Exploring Tomorrow, (Mutual) A 1957-58 series narrated by John W. Campbell)
- Tales of Tomorrow, (ABC) A short lived 1953 radio anthology with only 15 episodes, 4 stories of which were also made into X Minus One episodes.
- Audio theatre
- Old-time radio
- X Minus One fansite
- Old Time Radio Review: X Minus One - episode reviews
- Single episodes at archive.org
- Jerry Haendiges Vintage Radio Logs: X Minus One, which includes synopsis of each episode
- Frank M. Passage log: Audion Theatre
- OTR Plot Spot: X Minus One - plot summaries and reviews.