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The X MINUS ONE Radio Show

Classic old time sci-fi radio at its finest.

By Edward GermanPublished 7 years ago 3 min read

The X Minus One sci-fi radio show aired on NBC Radio from April 24, 1955 to January 9, 1958. The series consisted of 126 half hour episodes. The introduction to each episode was a countdown to a rocket launch with sound effects. " 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 & Smith, publishers of Astounding Science Fiction presents... X Minus One. "

The series was a reboot of a pervious sci-fi radio series called Dimension X. Dimension X was also broadcasted on NBC from 1950-1951. X Minus One used scripts, writers, and actors from Dimension X, the first 15 episodes of Dimension X were remade for X Minus One while the remainder was new material. The series adapted stories from some of science fiction's best writers of the 20th century, such as Ray Bradbury's Martian Chronicles, The Green Hills of Earth by Robert Heinlein, and Nightfall by Isaac Asimov. The stories ranged from tales of space travel in the distant future to alien invasion stories set in the present. Most of the episodes were very serious while some were more light hearted and comical.

This is one of my favorite episodes of the series. An advertising executive lets his greed get the best of good nature. When he finds out what the truth is, he tries to stop his client but can he do so in the nick of time? This episode also produced as a live stage play by Counter-Productions Theater Company in 2008.

Where to Find X Minus One on the Web

The series can be found on web in a variety of places. The best place is through the internet archive, archive.org. There you can view all the episodes in one place, if not all most of them. They are listed together on the same page. Relic Radio Science Fiction also a good place to listen to single episodes in high quality. You can also listen via YouTube, as well. You should also be able to find the series on iTunes. When you do an internet search it can yield other links to free downloads and other info.

In this episode of the series, a father buys a doll from a doll maker for his young daughter. When he brings it home to her, strange things began to happen.

I just recently listened to this one. It was a great alien invasion story set on Mars in the distant future. A burnt out military officer manages to save the day after he makes an unusual discovery.

This episode is about a scientist who wants to discredit a group of individuals living on Mars in the distant future. The Thinkers, as they are known, seem to have to answer to everything, but do they?

Why I Love the Series

I got hooked on this series since I heard my first episode sometime in 2009. I had found the series when I was doing a search on my iTunes account. I was looking for other podcast to listen to and I had found some podcast devoted to repeating Old Time Radio shows form the 1930's and onward. I saw some cover art with the name of the series and got intrigued. I downloaded a few shows and after I heard how excellent the story telling was and I thought what it was like listening to shows like this back in the day. By today's standards the stories may seem very silly, boring, or not exciting to some audiences. However, at the heart of this series, is classic story telling. The series is a product of its time, 1950's, and an internet user can't judge the content by today's standards. The 50's were a different time in America and the world. So there is some dialogue that might not be acceptable today such as a sexist comment made by a male characters to female one is just one example; but was considered okay back then. But the one thing I do like the most about the series is the great introduction with the countdown and rocket effects with the line: "in a million could be years and thousand could be worlds." This would capture the imagination of any young listener. With that said I would also suggest to any parent who wanted to get their child interested in science fiction, X Minus-One is great way to start. The show not only has classic adaptions, but is clean in its content making so it's suitable for all family members.

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About the Creator

Edward German

A long-time sci-fi fan who loves the internet. I am also writing on subjects other than sci-fi.

you can follow me on "X" @EdwardGerman3 Listen to my podcast The 1950s Science Fiction Podcast on Spotify for Podcasters.

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