Vintage articles and footage from the science fiction archives.
"Radio Drama Review: X-Minus-One."
Hello and welcome to the 1950s Science Fiction Podcast, Season 4, Episode 3. Today, I will be discussing two episodes from the classic science fiction radio drama, X-Minus-One. This show aired on NBC radio during the late 1950s before it was discontinued. It was a reboot of an earlier radio drama called Dimension X, which I previously discussed in one of my earliest articles on Vocal Media. X-Minus-One was one of the few radio dramas that focused solely on science fiction and did not include other genres such as horror and mystery.
The Outer Limits: "Don't Open 'Till Doomsday" (Season 1, Episode 17)
Note: I was originally going to title this review, "A Box Full of Turds," but then thought better of it. "The Outer Limits" is a superior science fiction show from the Sixties that, individually, has some long-haul episodes, much in the manner of Boris Karloff's "Thriller," which I also find myself finding tedious as the midway mark of some episodes rolls by. Both of them have roughly the same sort of cinematographic look and feel about them, and both of them are every bit as ding-dangly dong good as that OTHER famous era anthology show--the one with the guy who is always smoking. Smoking. Smoking. (Dude died of a massive coronary, dig? So maybe that much smoking is NOT recommended after all.)
The final victory has been won. Mankind can now rest in peace. Def-Con 4 (1985) Def-Con 4 is a relentlessly bad, even somewhat odious 1980s nuclear Cold War Era scare film set in a post-apocalyptic Ontario or thereabouts, and featuring three astronauts aboard an orbital space station cum Reagan Star Wars wet dream. They seemingly survive the thermonuclear mayhem below and rocket back to Earth but then the woman (Kate Lynch) dies or is imprisoned or something (I forget which) and the surviving male space hero (Tim Choate) gets kidnapped by a roly poly Sawney Beane psychopath (Maury Chaykin) keeping a cheerleader (Lenore Zann) hostage in the basement.
Exploring the Mysteries of Mars: Evidence of an Ancient Ocean and Other Phenomena
The soil beneath your feet is red and dry. The place is cold. Rusty-colored dust is floating in the air. You make one step, then another. It's hard to move because of the thick layer of dust your feet are sinking into. You're on Mars, and you've come here after hearing some incredible news. These days, the so-called "red planet" indeed looks dry and dusty, but scientists think that this world might have been very different a long, long time ago.
THE RESURRECTION OF COLD WAR
History repeats itself. The very basic maxim holds true for the revival of such large-scale brewing conflict. The current geo-political scenario in the Indo-Pacific presents a clear picture that US and China are not only at daggers drawn with each other but are also cajoling other countries into this deep-dug abyss. The world right now is on its toes. The fear of this nascent conflict turning into a global war is haunting the entire world. Reminiscent of the cold war events, leaders around the globe are cautious of what turn will it take. Will we see another demonstration same as the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 or détentes like NATO and Warsaw Pact will again be on the rise. The question remains intact. Alliances like QUAD, AUKUS and Five eyed alliance have already started the chicaneries but such a reaction has not been seen from China so far.
Invasion of the Saucer-Men
The curious thing about Invasion of the Saucer Men is that there are no actual flying saucers in it. Instead, the BEMs (Bug-Eyed Monsters, a coin termed by Stephen King in Danse Macabre, when he was discussing this very film) arrive in a crescent-shaped affair with fins or something on the side and flashing lights that employs a meter or two of fishing line as a propulsion system. At any rate, the Army turns out (all four of 'em) to shoot at it, which is highly advisable I might add, when trying to establish friendly contact with just-landed extraterrestrials. (Just ask Klaatu.)
Symphony of Petals: The Enchanting World of Flowers and Blossoms
Introduction: In the heart of nature's grand tapestry, where colors bloom and fragrances dance on the breeze, flowers and blossoms emerge as the lyrical notes in the symphony of life. These delicate marvels hold a timeless allure, captivating human hearts through their beauty, fragrance, and the profound symbolism they carry. From the first buds of spring to the frost-kissed petals of winter, the world of flowers and blossoms is a celebration of nature's artistry, resilience, and the cyclical rhythm of life.
Hangar 18 stars Darren McGavin, Robert Vaughn, Gary Collins, John Campanella, and John Hampton, as well as several other notable television actors of the era, in a sci-fi drama about a downed UFO that is scooped up by the government and taken to a supersecret government test facility where they can back engineer it so as not to provide us with free energy, but to advance their guided missile systems and whatnot. Because, baby, aliens or not, WAR IS MONEY.
The Outer Limits: "Cold Hands, Warm Heart"
Poor William Shatner! He goes rocketing off to Venus and comes back possessed by the spirit of a space mermaid--a very ugly one to boot. It makes him ice cold, and we know this because he can drink whole boiling cauldrons of coffee, and likes to turn the thermostat up to 90.
Earth Vs. The Flying Saucers
1956 was either a stellar year to be an intergalactic flying saucer menace, or a bad one, depending on your perspective. We have Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Invasion of the Saucer Men, The Thing, The Day the Earth Stood Still, and Earth Vs. The Flying Saucers. Whatever heavy trip the space brothers were laying on us that year (and it had more to do than just cleaning up the environment) the message was delivered by an iron fist in a velvety intergalactic space gauntlet. Or some such.
Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone
Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone, is a film I well remember from childhood. At the Community Rec Center at Fort Clayton in Central America, Panama, area of the Canal Zone, they played it on an old-fashioned projection TV. It's the only other film I can remember seeing there, besides this thing with Abbot and Costello or Laurel and Hardy as pirates. I can't remember which it was.
Metropolis: Adapted from the Novel by Thea Von Harbou
Note: We have elected, for various reasons, not to include images from the film within the text of this story. They are easily accessible online, and we have included an embedded video of our favorite version of the film, the one produced and scored by Giorgio Moroder.