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Dimension X

was the first Sci-Fi anthology series to utilize published stories from established science fiction authors (2000 Plus drew its material from stories penned by its own staff writers), which gave the series an instant status of credibility to fans of the genre. It had an extremely low budget, but was the darling of the NBC staff, whose passion made the show perhaps the best Sci-Fi radio anthology of the 50s. Despite their effort, the series only lasted a year-and-a-half, and totaled a mere 46 episodes. It was later revived and became the more successful X Minus One. Unless otherwise noted, all episodes were done in half-hour format.

Currently this archive contains 46 of 46 plotlines

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Webmaster Recommends:
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Jeff Dickson Recommends:
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Almost Human

Year: 1950
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Robots
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Robert Bloch

A scientist builds a robot - 'Junior' - capable of intelligence and consciousness, but the machine is stolen by a criminal who has other ideas for its uses. Junior, on the other hand, has plans of his own.

Another version of this story appeared on X Minus One. See also 'Beware Tomorrow' (The Mysterious Traveler).

And the Moon be Still as Bright

Year: 1950
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Mars
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Ray Bradbury

As though wiping out the Martian race with Earthborn diseases weren't enough, humans demonstrate a hostile contempt for what relics and monuments the Martians left behind—until one man with a conscience and a gun decides to stand up for the dead. Part of the Martian Chronicles future history.

Other versions of this story aired on X Minus One and Omni Audio Experience. See also 'The Martian Death March' (Dimension X and X Minus One); See the full listing of Martian Chronicles stories under 'Ray Bradbury' on the Famous Authors on Radio page.

Reviews:
An okay story. I found the character Biggs to be downright obnoxious. (I know. I know. That was the whole point.) So I really couldn't get into it. But the story does reference one of my favorite poems by Lord Byron. From 1817...

So We'll Go No More a Roving

So we'll go no more a roving
So late into the night,
Though the heart be still as loving,
And the moon be still as bright.

For the sword outwears its sheath,
And the soul wears out the breast,
And the heart must pause to breathe,
And Love itself have rest.

Though the night was made for loving,
And the day returns too soon,
Yet we'll go no more a roving
By the light of the moon.

Interestingly enough, this poem seems to be based on a verse from a much older song called "The Jolly Beggar" which dates to 1776. [5/10] --- zM

Beyond Infinity

Year: 1950
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Super Science
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Villiers Gerson

Seeking an exclusive on a revolt in a totalitarian nation, an American journalist contacts the underground movement and is lead to a laboratory where a scientist is experimenting with shrinking objects to microscopic size. The revolutionaries plan to use the technology to smuggle arms into the country, but the secret police are hot on their trail...

Castaways, The

Year: 1950
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Sci-Fi
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Ernest Kinoy and George Lefferts

Nuclear testing on a remote Pacific island goes awry when the natives—rather than be relocated—threaten to commit mass suicide to put a curse on the project.

Two separate versions of this story were produced for X Minus One

Child's Play

Year: 1951
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Sci-Fi
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: William Tenn

A milquetoast lawyer accidentally receives a package in the mail containing a cloning machine from the future, with which he sets about making a duplicate capable of turning his life around.

Another version of this story was produced for X Minus One. See also 'Marionettes, Inc.' (Dimension X and X Minus One) and 'Prime Difference' (X Minus One)

Competition

Year: 1950
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Sci-Fi
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: E. Mayne Hull

A young woman hoping for a bright new life in the colonies of the Rim Worlds instead finds herself kidnapped and used as a pawn in a deadly war between rival frontier corporate pirates.

NOTE: Some commercial retailers present this episode as part of X Minus One, complete with an edited in introduction and closing. Why, I don't know.

Courtesy

Year: 1951
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Aliens
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Clifford Simak

An expedition to the planet Landro meets with disaster when the serum protecting against a local plague runs out. The natives are immune to the disease, but seem reluctant to explain the source of their natural immunity.

Another version of this story later appeared on X Minus One

Destination Moon

Year: 1950
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Space Exploration
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Robert Heinlein

The first manned mission to the Moon must overcome government censure and numerous physical obstacles to succeed. Based on the George Pal film of the same name.

Dr Grimshaw's Sanitorium

aka: "Dr Grimshaw's Sanitarium"
Year: 1950
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Sci-Fi
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Fletcher Pratt

An Private Eye infiltrates an insane asylum to investigate rumors of strange goings-on, and discovers some bizarre physical transformations.

Another version of this story later appeared on Future Tense and X Minus One

Dwellers in Silence

Year: 1951
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Future Earth
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Ray Bradbury

Colonists from Mars return to Earth generations after the Atomic War and discover a few survivors—a family with some very odd peculiarities about them. Part of the Martian Chronicles series.

Another version of this story later appeared on X Minus One. See also 'A Pail of Air' (X Minus One).
See the full listing of Martian Chronicles stories under 'Ray Bradbury' on the Famous Authors on Radio page.

Embassy, The

Year: 1950
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Aliens
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Donald Wollheim

A detective agency is hired by a crackpot who wants them to investigate and expose a nest of Martians sent to prepare the way for an invasion of Earth.

Another version of this story appeared on X Minus One

First Contact

Year: 1951
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Aliens
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Murray Leinster
Awards: Hugo (retro), 1966; SFWA - Hall of Fame, 1970

Classic story of the first encounter with an alien race and the mutual distrust that would involve—neither ship wishes to be the first to depart for fear of giving away clues of their origin to a potential adversary.

Versions of this story also appeared on X Minus One and Exploring Tomorrow.

Green Hills of Earth, The

Year: 1950
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Space Exploration
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Robert Heinlein

Classic story of a space engineer who suffers a tragic accident and ends up tramping about the Solar System singing about the life of spacers and dreaming of returning to Earth once more before he dies.

Other versions of this story appeared on X Minus One and CBS Radio Workshop; also a TV version was produced for a 50's show called 'Out There'.

Reviews:
The Dimension X version of this story is one of the hardest-hitting, emotionally moving Sci-Fi stories I've listened to. It ranks right up there with "The Cold Equations" (Exploring Tomorrow). The X Minus One version, while using the same script, includes the entire songs (which is nice), but rushes the script to fit the available time. The story suffers as a result.

The difference in tone between the Dimension X and the CBS Radio Workshop versions is significant. In the Dimension X version, Rhysling is a light-hearted practical joker who creates the illusion of professional carelessness while exhibiting an uncommon technical proficiency. He is a character with whom many blue collar workers and enlisted men can identify. In the CBS version, Rhysling is a snide, disrespectful grunt with a grudge and a chip on his shoulder who bucks authority and brings misfortune upon himself. A great song-writer, perhaps, but not one with whom we can become emotionally attached.

I prefered the Dimension X version.

In both X versions, Tom Glazer wrote the music for, and sang, Rhysling's songs. (Tom Glazer was an American folk singer and songwriter who is perhaps best know for his children's songs, including "On Top of Spaghetti" and a six-record set from Singing Science Records—a collection of records that illustrated science through song. They were produced in the 1950s and early 60s by Hy Zaret and Lou Singer.) [9/10] --- zM

Hello, Tomorrow

aka: "Hello Tomorrow"
Year: 1950
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Future Earth / War
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: George Lefferts

To escape a world of radioactive dust and intense gamma radiation, the survivors of the 3rd Atomic War burrowed underground and, over the next 2,000 years, rebuilt civilization. But with scant resources, such a civilization has no place for the genetically inferior... or for a geneticist who falls in love with one of them.

See also 'The Defenders' (X Minus One) and 'The Last Objective' (Dimension X)

Kaleidoscope

Year: 1951
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Space Exploration
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Ray Bradbury

When a meteor destroys a spaceship, its crew is hurled outward into space in a dozen directions. Their suit radios will keep them in contact range for only so long. What do men talk about when death is imminent?

Versions of this story also appeared on Bradbury 13, Dimension X, Mindwebs, Suspense, and The Shape of Things to Come (BBC).

See also 'Program Completed' (Miscellaneous Shows)

Knock

Year: 1950
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Aliens
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Fredric Brown

Aliens who have no concept of natural death have wiped out humanity, literally to the last man and woman, whom they put in a zoo as public curiosities.

Versions of this story also appeared on X Minus One, Future Tense, 2000X (not to be confused with 2000 Plus) and Seeing Ear Theatre.

Last Objective, The

Year: 1950
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Future Earth / War
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Paul A. Carter

After nuclear devastation and fallout has rendered the Earth's surface virtually uninhabitable, Man continues to pursue war underground in tunneling 'warships'.

See also 'Hello, Tomorrow' (Dimension X and X Minus One), and 'The Defenders' (X Minus One).

Logic Named Joe, A

Year: 1950
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Super Science
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Murray Leinster

An enterprising computer company releases a PC capable of answering any question put to it. Unfortunately, some of the questions people want answers to are not ones that members of a civilized society should be asking...

A version of this story was produced for X Minus One.

Lost Race, The

Year: 1950
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Space Exploration
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Murray Leinster

A space crew find themselves shipwrecked on a world where the ruins of a long dead spacefaring civilization hide a deadly secret that has the power to destroy the present as it did the past.

Man in the Moon, The

Year: 1950
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Sci-Fi
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: George Lefferts

The Federal Missing Persons Bureau receives a desperate radio message from a crank who claims to be calling from the Moon (unlikely in 1950). Of course the call is dismissed, until a minor functionary begins to suspect that the call is related to a strange series of disappearances over the past several years.

Versions of this story were produced for X Minus One and Future Tense.

Marionettes, Inc.

aka: "Marionettes, Incorporated"
Year: 1951
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Robots
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Ray Bradbury

A husband looking to get away from his wife for a vacation purchases a robot duplicate of himself to take his place. Bad idea...

Versions of this story were made for X Minus One and an independently produced series called Audion Theater. See also 'Child's Play' (Dimension X and X Minus One) and 'Prime Difference' (X Minus One).

Mars Is Heaven!

Year: 1950; 1951
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Mars
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Ray Bradbury
Awards: SFWA - Hall of Fame, 1970

The first astronauts to land on Mars discover... Earth: a planet where their long-dead loved ones are waiting for them in a small Midwest town just like home. Part of his Martian Chronicles series.

A popular story for radio; Two separate versions were produced for Dimension X. Other versions of this story also appeared on Future Tense, X Minus One and Escape . See the full listing of Martian Chronicles stories under 'Ray Bradbury' on the Famous Authors on Radio page.

Martian Chronicles, The

Year: 1950
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Mars
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Ray Bradbury

A compilation of several of Ray Bradbury's Martian Chronicles stories, weaved into a single story line. Includes abbreviated versions of 'There Will Come Soft Rains' and 'And the Moon Be Still As Bright'.

See also 'The Martian Death March' (Dimension X and X Minus One). See the full listing of Martian Chronicles stories under 'Ray Bradbury' on the Famous Authors on Radio page.

Martian Death March, The

Year: 1950
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Mars
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Ernest Kinoy

On a Mars conquered by Earthmen, the few remaining spider-like Martians escape from their reservation and embark on a desperate trek across the deserts to their mountain homelands, lead by a human religious fanatic.

X Minus One produced two separate versions of this story. Another version appeared on Future Tense. See also 'And the Moon be Still as Bright' (X Minus One and Dimension X)

Nightfall

Year: 1951
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Aliens
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Isaac Asimov
Awards: SFWA - Hall of Fame, 1970

Classic tale of an alien civilization whose world circles a multiple star system of six suns, and faces worldwide insanity and social collapse when night descends once every several thousand years.

Another version of this story later aired on X Minus One

Reviews:
A well-told tale. Both the Dimension X and X Minus One versions are well played, but I like Norman Rose as the narrator in the Dimension X version slightly better. [8/10] --- zM

Nightmare

aka: "Nightmare Number Three"
Year: 1951
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Sci-Fi
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Stephen Vincent Benét

A man begins to suspect that all machines are on the verge of a unified worldwide revolt to overthrow their human masters.

Another version of this story was produced for X Minus One. See also 'Darling Deadly Dolores' (CBS Radio Mystery Theater).

No Contact

Year: 1950; 1951
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Space Exploration
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: George Lefferts and Ernest Kinoy

A strange invisible barrier is frustrating Man's attempts to explore the depths of space. Six expeditions have been lost trying to cross it, their fate a mystery since no signal can pass through the barrier. This is the story of the seventh...

Two separate versions of this story were produced for Dimension X; A third was made for X Minus One ; another was made for a 50's series called The Chase.

Outer Limit, The

Year: 1950 (x2)
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Sci-Fi
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Graham Doar

A test pilot on an experimental high altitude aircraft with only ten minutes worth of fuel disappears from radar for ten hours, yet returns safely. Of course, it is impossible, as is his story of contact with aliens and the dire warning they have for Mankind.

A very popular story with radio producers. Versions also appeared on Escape, X Minus One, Beyond Tomorrow, and two versions for Suspense.

Parade, The

Year: 1950
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Aliens
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: George Lefferts

An ad agency is hired by a man insisting he is from Mars to promote an upcoming parade marking the arrival of Martians on Earth. Of course, he must be lying, or simply crazy...

This episode may have been later rebroadcast on X Minus One. Also, a version appeared on Future Tense.

Pebble in the Sky

Year: 1951
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Future Earth
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Isaac Asimov
Awards: Hugo (retro, nom), 2001

A radioactive and decrepit Earth prepares in secret for a deadly gambit to reclaim its prodigal colonies and rebuild its galactic empire.

Reviews:
A nice little anti-war space opera with interesting characters. Yes, the science is wrong and we now know radioactivity is very dangerous indeed though this wasn't the accepted thinking back in 1949. Asimov himself acknowledged the error (see his afterword to the story which appears in some of the later reprints) . So "suspend your belief", as Asimov asked, and enjoy the fast moving action. However, the pessimistic conclusion, possibly reflecting the emotions of the day, may be less than satisfactory to some.

Avid Asimov readers may well find this particular offering less than satisfactory. While the basic core of the original story remains it is only partly recognizable. The Joseph Schwarz character has been omitted and thus so has the time slip and mind manipulation which in turn precludes Asimov's optimistic ending. Worth listening to, however, even if just to compare the treatment with the original novel. --- Anthony Fenlon

Perigi's Wonderful Dolls

aka: Pyrigi's Wonderful Dolls
Year: 1950
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Sci-Fi
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: George Lefferts

A doll maker sells a father an unusual doll which seems capable of responding to people, presumably by recording voices and replaying them in its own voice. Is it just a bit of technical wizardry, or is there something more to this doll than meets the eye?

A version of this story also appeared on X Minus One.

Potters of Firsk, The

Year: 1950
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Aliens
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Jack Vance

A liaison officer from Earth is caught between a steely planetary administrator and a fanatical alien cult who kidnap and murder people to use as raw materials for their sacred pottery.

Reviews:
Normally, I don't care for Dimension X, as the stories featured are mainly from authors I dislike. However, this story really grabbed my interest and kept it the whole way through. Like most science fiction, this story also has its comically dated bit. The protagonist's C.O. apparently always has the latest Rolls Royce model shipped to him and in this case, it's the 1992 model. One wonders how huge his salary is, as even the cheapest Rolls has a six digit price and I would think that interstellar shipping for such an item wouldn't be cheap either. --- Harry Leshko

Professor Was a Thief, The

Year: 1950
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Super Science
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: L. Ron Hubbard

New York city goes into a panic when Grant's Tomb vanishes into thin air. When a bookish little professor claims responsibility, the press laugh at him... until the Empire State Building goes missing, too.

Report on the Barnhouse Effect

aka: "The Report on the Barnhouse Effect"
Year: 1950
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Sci-Fi
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

A parapsychologist discovers the secret of mind over matter, a revelation of considerable interest to the military. The professor, however, is a born pacifist who will do anything to keep his secret out of the hands of warmongers.

Requiem

Year: 1951
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Space Exploration
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Robert Heinlein
Awards: Prometheus - Hall of Fame, 2003

Two grounded astronauts are offered one more chance by an aging tycoon who will stop at nothing to achieve his lifetime dream of setting foot on the Moon.

Versions of this story also appeared on Beyond Tomorrow and X Minus One. See also 'The Vital Factor' (Dimension X and X Minus One)

Roads Must Roll, The

Year: 1950
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Future Earth
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Robert Heinlein

In the future the country depends on an electro-hydraulic road system which acts as a conveyor belt to transport people and cargo. The system works well, until the engineers' union which maintains the roads stages a strike as a bid to gain power.

Another version of this story appeared on X Minus One.

Shanghaied

Year: 1950
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Space Exploration
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Ernest Kinoy

A man is drugged and press-ganged from his own stag party to serve on board a deep space freighter outward bound on a fifteen year round trip to Alpha Centauri.

Another version of this story also appeared on X Minus One.

There Will Come Soft Rains

Year: 1950
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Future Earth
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Ray Bradbury

An automated house faithfully continues its daily routines after its occupants—and the rest of humanity—have long gone.

Versions were also produced for X Minus One, and 4 separate versions for the BBC.

Reviews:
This story references a poem by Sara Teasdale published in 1920 --- zM

There Will Come Soft Rains

There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;
And frogs in the pool singing at night,
And wild plum trees in tremulous white;
Robins will wear their feathery fire,
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;
And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.
Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree,
If mankind perished utterly;
And Spring herself when she woke at dawn
Would scarcely know that we were gone.

Time and Time Again

Year: 1951
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Time Travel
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: H. Beam Piper

A soldier dying on a battlefield of the future suddenly finds himself transported back to his own childhood.

Another version of this story also appeared on X Minus One. See also "Flashback" (Exploring Tomorrow).

Reviews:
I recommend the Dimension X version. The scripts for X Minus One and Dimension X are nearly identical. X Minus One has better sound quality, better delivery by the narrator and better incidental sound effects, but seems rushed. The Dimension X version is 1:30 longer (less advertising) and that goes a long way toward making the dialog seem more natural. Plus the actor playing the 13-year old boy seems more like a young boy in that version. They both have the same good ending, but the Dimension X version seems a little stronger. [8/10] --- zM

Much superior to the X Minus One version. One of the best science fiction OTR's ever—if not the best. Outstanding acting. A must for time travel fans. --- Chlorine Dream

To the Future

aka: "The Fox and the Forest"
Year: 1950
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Time Travel
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Ray Bradbury

A couple escape the totalitarian, war-torn world of 2155 for the carefree gaiety of 20th century Acapulco. Unfortunately, however, the government of the future considers them essential for the war effort and cannot allow them to escape. Inevitably, the Seekers are sent to find them...

A version of this story under the same title aired on X Minus One, and also as 'The Fox and the Forest' on Bradbury 13.

Universe

Year: 1950; 1951
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Space Exploration
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Robert Heinlein
Awards: SFWA - Hall of Fame, 1970

Humanity's descendants aboard a space Ark are divided into two factions—the lower decks occupied by humans, and the upper by mutants. One man dares probe the upper levels and his quest leads him to question not only his society's prejudices, but the ultimate truth of what might lie beyond the Ship.

Another version of this story also appeared on X Minus One. See also 'The Sense of Wonder' (X Minus One)

Untitled Story

Year: 1951
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Super Science
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Frank Robinson

A strange amalgam of Sci-Fi and the hard-boiled detective story. A private eye is hired by the city mayor to obtain an elixir of life from an enigmatic scientist. His investigation reveals a strange conspiracy that could have serious repercussions for the future of humanity.

Veldt, The

Year: 1951
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Super Science
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Ray Bradbury

A couple purchase a holo-theatre to keep their son and daughter amused, but the recreation of the sweltering African savannah the children concoct is anything but amusing...

See also 'The House on Chimney Pot Lane' (CBS Radio Mystery Theater).

One of Bradbury's most popular stories. Versions appeared on BBC, Bradbury 13, CBC Playhouse, Dimension X, Mindwebs, and X Minus One

Vital Factor, The

aka: "Vital Factor"
Year: 1951
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Space Exploration
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Nelson S. Bond

Wayne Crowder, the ruthless head of Crowder Industries, assumes the Herculean task of being the first man in history to achieve space travel. Building the ship proves easy, but to propel it at sufficient speed seems impossible, until one man shows up with an answer... and a heavy price for achieving the stars.

Another version of this story also appeared on X Minus One. And yet another version was produced for television on the program Tales of Tomorrow, with Lee J. Cobb as Crowder. See also 'Requiem' (Dimension X and X Minus One)

With Folded Hands

Year: 1950
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Robots
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Jack Williamson
Awards: SFWA - Hall of Fame, 1970

A manufacturer of domestic robots finds his livelihood threatened by a new competitor, whose 'humanoids' are vastly superior to his and are devoted to the protection and service of mankind. Maybe too devoted...

A version of this story appeared on Future Tense. See also 'The Iron Chancellor' (X Minus One)

Zero Hour

Year: 1950
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Sci-Fi
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Ray Bradbury

Suddenly, children from all over the country are playing a new game called Invasion, with Zero Hour set for 5:00, today. How charming. How droll. Or is it really just a game?

Versions of this story also appeared on Future Tense, Adventure Theater, Suspense (3 versions), X Minus One, The Mysterious Traveler, and Escape.



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