X Minus One, widely regarded as one of the finest science fiction dramas ever produced for radio, was broadcast on NBC from 1955 until 1958. It began as a revival of NBC’s Dimension X, which ran for just a year and a half, from 1950 to 1951. Though the first fifteen episodes of X Minus One were merely new versions of Dimension X episodes, the rest were adaptations of newly published works of science fiction stories by some of the genre’s top authors, including Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Philip K. Dick, Robert A. Heinlein, Frederik Pohl, and Theodore Sturgeon, along with some original scripts by NBC staff writers Ernest Kinoy and George Lefferts.
Each episode opened with the introduction: “Countdown for blastoff … X minus five, four, three, two, X minus one … Fire! 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.”
Collected here are twelve episodes for your listening pleasure:
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- “The C-Chute,” adapted from Isaac Asimov, starring Bob Hastings
- “Skulking Permit,” adapted from Robert Sheckley, starring Mandel Kramer
- “The Sense of Wonder,” starring William Quinn
- “Sea Legs,” starring William Redfield
- “The Seventh Order,” starring James Monks
- “Lulungameena,” starring Ralph Camargo
- “Mr. Costello, Hero,” adapted from Theodore Sturgeon, starring Joe DeSantis
- “Bad Medicine,” starring Karl Weber
- “The Stars Are the Styx,” adapted from Theodore Sturgeon, starring Craig McDonnell
- “The Snowball Effect,” starring Ted Osborne
- “The Lifeboat Mutiny,” starring Leon Janney
- “Saucer of Loneliness,”adapted from Theodore Sturgeon, starring Elaine Rost