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This archive is devoted to independent productions, series too short-lived to warrant an archive of their own, and episodes which fall within the categories of Science Fiction/Fantasy, Horror/Thriller, and Action/Adventure from series not generally associated with those genres.

Currently this archive contains 168 plotlines

Author's Playhouse | Beyond Tomorrow | Beyond This World | Black Chapel | Caltex Theater | The Campbell Playhouse | CBC | CBC Mystery Theatre | CBS Radio Adventure Theater | CBS Radio Workshop | Challenge of Space | Columbia Workshop | Creeps by Night | Darkness | Family Theatre | General Mills Radio Adventure Theater |George Edwards Productions | The Haunted Hour | Hollywood Star Playhouse | Independent Productions | Lux Radio Theatre | Macabre | Mercury Theatre on the Air | Murder at Midnight | Mutual Radio Theater | Mystery in the Air | Nazi Eyes on Canada | Nightmare | OMNI Audio Experience | Radio City Playhouse | Sears Radio Theater | Tales of Tomorrow | Theatre 10:30 | Theatre Guild on the Air | The Vanishing Point | The Weird Circle | With Book and Pipe

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Author's Playhouse

"There's no question that Author's Playhouse was an ambitious undertaking from the get-go. The production promised a new adaptation of original short stories every week. Drawing from some of the finest authors throughout history as well as a long list of new authors and their stories, Author's Playhouse more than met its charter in bringing fresh dramatizations to Radio week after week for over four years." --- from Digital Deli Too

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Inexperienced Ghost, The
aka: "The Story of the Inexperienced Ghost"
Year: 1944
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Humour
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: H.G. Wells, 1902

While spending the night at a private men's club in London, John Clayton stumbles upon, and confronts, a ghost. The ghost is young and lean, with scrubby hair, a thin neck, bad shoulders, a feeble chin—an altogether pitiful sight—and has forgotten... how to vanish.

Reading Link: 'The Story of the Inexperienced Ghost', by H.G. Wells, as part of a collection of stories entitled 'Twelve Stories and a Dream', available at Project Gutenberg.

Reviews:
Who ever heard of a silly, Milquetoast Ghost? This ridiculous ghost will bring you a chuckle or two, but the episode is of interest mainly as a historical piece—it's performed in an English that's spoken no more, and uses pre-War humor that's used no more. [5.5/10] --- Jerry Underwood

This adaptation takes liberties with Mr Wells story, cutting useful details and adding fluff. The ending is drawn out, which softens the impact, and much descriptive imagery is omitted, which weakens the buildup. The result is humorous, but weak... a bit like Mr Wells' ghost itself. [6/10] --- zM


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Beyond Tomorrow

aka: Beyond This World

This brief series is not notable for much, except that it was the first attempt to air a science fiction anthology on American radio, beating 2000 Plus to the airwaves by a month. An audition and three episodes were produced, but it is unclear if they ever actually aired. If they did, they probably aired on the Mutual network sometime between August 1949 and April of 1950 before being pulled. Apparently CBS briefly considered picking it up, but that never happened. Included adaptations from Robert Heinlein, Graham Doar, and Theodore Sturgeon.

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Incident at Switchpath
aka: "The Sky Was Full of Ships"
Year: 1950
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Aliens
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Theodore Sturgeon

An coroner's enquiry uncovers an uncanny story of an alien device found in a cave that seems to be recording everything that happens on Earth. Why would anyone be interested in this planet?

A reading of the original story was performed on Mindwebs. Yet another version was produced for television on the program Tales of Tomorrow, under the title 'Verdict From Space'.

Reviews:
Outer Limit, The
Year: 1950
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, and two versions for Suspense.

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

A tycoon with a dangerous heart condition who'd always dreamed of setting foot on the Moon hires two ex-astronauts to fly him there illegally in a ship he has built in secret.

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

Reviews:


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Black Chapel

Black Chapel was a 15-minute Horror Anthology produced between 1937 and 1939. Ted Osbourne played the role of the unbalanced host who introduced each episode. In fact, he played all the characters (using character voices) and accompanied himself on organ! Only two episodes survive out of over 100 produced.

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Mahogany Coffin, The
Year: 1939
Duration: 15 min
Genre: Horror
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by:

Reviews:
Tale of the Crawling Terror, The
Year: 1939
Duration: 15 min
Genre: Horror
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by:

Reviews:


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Caltex Theatre

Caltex Theatre was an Australian Drama Anthology which aired from 1948 to 1960. It was a continuation of the Macquarie Radio Theatre (which began in 1941, with a name change in 1948). One-hour episodes aired weekly on Sunday evening at 8:00 PM. The cast included Richard Davies, Lyndall Barbour, Sheila Sewell, Alan White, Patricia Kennedy, and Keith Eden. Many of the productions were adaptations of popular movies, similar to Lux Radio Theatre in the U.S. At least 490 episodes were aired, but I know of only 6 that survive.

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Forbidden Planet
Year: 1959
Duration: 60 min
Genre: Space Exploration
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Irving Block and Allen Adler

A faithful adaptation of the Hollywood film of the same title.

Reviews:


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The Campbell Playhouse

An hour-long Drama Anthology which was a continuation of The Mercury Theatre on the Air, renamed when the show obtained a sponsor. The series continued for another two years as an hour-long show, and then a third year as a half-hour show. 48 of 88 shows still survive.

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Christmas Carol, A
Year: 1938; 1939
Duration: 60 min
Genre: Ghosts
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Charles Dickens

Reviews:
Ol’ Orson was in top shape for this version of the Christmas classic. Surprisingly enjoyable for a person who’s never been a fan of Dickens’ tale of redemption. Perfect listening for Christmas Eve. [7/10] --- Noelle
Glass Key, The
Year: 1939
Duration: 60 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Dashiell Hammett

Gambler Ned Beaumont investigates a murder for which his best friend, crooked politician Paul Madvig, is the chief suspect.

Reviews:
That big ham Orson Welles, who had a fetish for playing affably corrupt men of power, is unusually restrained and believable as the obtuse politico. Paul Stewart is even better as Beaumont and the rest of the cast is only a notch below them. Quite a bit of the dialogue comes directly from Dashiell Hammett's smartest novel, although the cussing is cut or softened. Reading along with the text, I almost laughed at the way Welles, with amused incredulity, utters a mild "Holy mackerel!" instead of "Jesus Christ!" Also toned down is the violence and the complexities of the plot. Given an hour to fill, the whole thing plays like a slo-mo episode of a late '40s hardboiled detective series and bad sound nearly obliterates a couple of important scenes, but this is otherwise one of the more interesting vintage radio versions of a Hammett story. --- Anonymous
Huckleberry Finn
Year: 1940
Duration: 60 min
Genre: Adventure
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Mark Twain, 1884

"NOTICE: Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot. BY ORDER OF THE AUTHOR"

With Jackie Cooper (Huckleberry Finn), Walter Catlett (the Duke), Orson Welles (narrator), and Ernest Chappell (announcer). Also with Clara Blandick, Robert Warwick, Clarence Muse, and William Alland. Music by Bernard Herrmann.

Reading Link: 'Huckleberry Finn', by Mark Twain, available at Project Gutenberg.

Reviews:
The story of Huckleberry Finn is many things: it is social satire, childhood adventure, nostalgia for simpler times, and a shout-out against racism and slavery. But for me, it is a milieu story—a story which highlights what life was like at a certain place and time... in this case, the antebellum South around 1835-1845. On top of this colourful description of people and places along the Mississippi River is superimposed the story of Huck and Jim as they both try to escape captivity (Huck from his father, Jim from slavery). This story has been dramatized many times, but I like this version starring Jackie Cooper the best. He sounds like Huck. Other versions have actors who sound like grown-ups pretending to be Huck. Orson Welles is wonderful a the narrator who is itching to play Huck for an hour and barely restrains himself from hogging the show. Well, mostly he restrains himself. This is not a dramatization of the novel, however, more a re-telling of some of the key scenes from the novel. Illinois/Jackson Island is here; the Duke and the King are here; the Phelps farm is here. Missing is the blood feud between the Grangerfords and the Shepherdsons. The part with the Duke and the King is hard to understand—muffled voices—and the part on the Phelps farm is too short, but all in all, great fun. [8/10] --- zM


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CBC

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has been producing radio drama for decades, including many Sci-Fi and Horror subjects among its fare. Below is listed only a selected sampling from various CBC efforts; A more comprehensive archive may be undertaken at some point in the future.

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13 Clocks, The
Year:
Duration:
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: N
Story by:

Familiar fairy tale. Very familiar. Handsome prince, beautiful princess, and of course an Evil King - The Princess's Father. The Prince wants his daughter's hand, the King wants his head. What to do? Give Dad a 1000 jewels. He does. But...

Reviews:
Familiar, yes. But still nicely done with an engaging fantasy premise regarding the jewels and oh yes, those 13 clocks too... --- Bruce Fisher
Alien Bait
Year:
Duration:
Genre: Aliens
Available for Listening Booth: N
Story by:

A whimsical look at a symposium for alien abductees, done in a documentary style.

Reviews:
Breaking Strain
Year: 1968
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Sci-Fi
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Arthur C. Clarke

A cargo ship en route to Venus suffers an oxygen leak which leaves only enough air for one of the two crewmen aboard to survive the trip.

Reviews:
Story's resolution just ok, entire production for the most part fine. Compelling, but it won't get your mojo working. --- Bruce Fisher
Colossus: The Forbin Project
Year:
Duration:
Genre: Supercomputers
Available for Listening Booth: N
Story by:

A supercomputer, impervious to interference of any kind, is created to defend the free world from nuclear attack. But unbeknownst to its creators, the Soviets have built one too. Within hours of activation, the two machines learn to communicate and begin to conceive ideas of their own about world security. Based on the book by D.F. Jones, and the movie of the same title.

Reviews:
Okay. To enjoy this you really have to just go with the flow and enjoy it as a classic bit of cold war, paranoid, technology phobic drama. If you start questioning things then it all seems rather daft. I mean, for crying out loud, when the scientists were designing this huge defence computer did nobody think it might be a good idea to have an off switch (just in case it maybe didn't work out)? And would the President of the United States really abdicate his responsibility for nuclear launch to a machine? With no off switch?? And nobody at the White House briefing questioned the President about his decision (hello??)? And given that the machine can read and interpret feeds from newspapers, TV, radio, satellite, etc, why is the operator interface a teletype? Perhaps I'm being a little harsh. Classic of the genre. Think Terminator's Skynet, Wargames, Star Trek's V'ger. --- Marcus Lancaster
Veldt, The
Year:
Duration:
Genre: Sci-Fi
Available for Listening Booth: N
Story by: Ray Bradbury

From CBC Playhouse: 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...

One of Bradbury's most popular stories, versions appeared on X Minus One, the BBC, and Dimension X.

Reviews:

CBC Mystery Theatre

I know very little about this series. I have 16 shows dated between 1966 and 1968, all of which are classic supernatural mysteries. I do not know how many episodes were produced or how many still exist. It is possible that this was a sub-series within the Theatre 10:30 programme. At least two circulating episodes, "The Monkey's Paw" and "The Ghost Town Hermit" identify themselves as belonging to both Theatre 10:30 and Mystery Theatre.

Nazi Eyes on Canada

A 5-part wartime series produced to scare Canadians into buying war bonds, this program presented the nightmarish vision of the effects of a Nazi invasion and conquest of Canada. It drew its inspiration from a Nazi agent who travelled across the country in the 30's and sent a report of Canada's strengths, weaknesses, and resources back to his superiors in Berlin. The series employed the likes of Helen Hayes, Vincent Price, and even Orson Welles. Each episode introduced different families living in various parts of the country prior to the arrival of those nasty Nazis and then showed what tragedies befell them during the occupation. Melodramatic, grisly, often racist and very dark, but interesting as a window on wartime attitudes and mass media propaganda.

Nightfall

See the Nightfall archive here.

Theatre 10:30

I know little of this series, other than it came out of the 1960s, aired at 10:30 PM and was a multi-genre anthology that produced several episodes that could be called Sci-Fi or Horror.

Long Shadow on the Lawn
Year:
Duration:
Genre: Horror
Available for Listening Booth: N
Story by:

A rural community is besieged by a homicidal maniac.

Reviews:
Pedestrian, The
Year: 197x
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Future Earth
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Ray Bradbury

In a future society where the government enforces docility through television and curfews, two 'insurgents' venture out of their homes to risk a walk in the night air.

Reviews:
Screaming Skull, The
Year: 197x
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Supernatural
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: F. Marion Crawford, 1911

On a dark and stormy night, Captain Braddock, a retired sea captain, tells how he came to inherit the house where he lives. The house used to belong to his cousin, Luke Pratt, and Luke's wife Mary, but they both died unexpectedly. The captain feels responsible, for it was he who first told the couple about that Irish widow who murdered her husband by pouring hot lead into his ear while he slept...

Note: "Students of ghost lore and haunted houses will find the foundation of the foregoing story in the legends about a skull which is still preserved in the farm-house called Bettiscombe Manor, situated, I believe, on the Dorsetshire coast." --- F. Marion Crawford

Reading Link: 'The Screaming Skull', by F. Marion Crawford, as part of a collection of stories entitled 'Wandering Ghosts', available at Project Gutenberg.

Reviews:
A promising premise—a story about a spectral skull—is marred by affected diction and a muffled audio. The listener often can't feel sure exactly what has just occurred, which leaves something of a mystery in the finale. Did a haunting skull really exist, or just a deranged old man? I couldn't understand enough of the dialogue to give a fair rating. --- Jerry Underwood
Searching Wind, The
Year:
Duration:
Genre: Horror
Available for Listening Booth: N
Story by: Ray Bradbury

A couple are beset by the husband's best friend, who has an obsessive fear of winds that want to hunt him down. Very loosely based on the Ray Bradbury story 'The Wind', though the credits neglect to mention his name.

Reviews:
Don't bother—listen to the Bradbury 13 version, which is superior in every regard. --- Jeff Dickson
Thing in the Hall, The
Year: 197x
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Creatures
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: E.F. Benson

In Victorian London, a doctor becomes concerned for a friend who is cavorting with an 'elemental', an entity of pure evil

See also 'How Love Came to Professor Guildea' CBS Radio Mystery Theater (as 'Shadow of Love'), Escape , Radio City Playhouse, and The Vanishing Point.

Reviews:
Vanishing Man, The
Year:
Duration:
Genre: Supernatural
Available for Listening Booth: N
Story by:

An ageing father is at odds with his daughter's fiance and becomes obsessed with the identity of a stranger he sees around town whom he insists he knows, though he has never been able to catch sight of his face.

Reviews:
Wendigo, The
Year: 197x
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Creatures
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Algernon Blackwood

A hunting trio into the north woods devolves into terror when the guide vanishes, supposedly the victim of a legendary creature that prowls the forest.

Reviews:
Compressing Algernon Blackwood’s classic tale of indigenous-lore-come-to-terrifying-life works for the short span of radio. Succinct, scary in placing yourself in the shoes of one of the hunters, staring into the campfire on a windy night... [7/10] --- Noelle

The Vanishing Point

(1984-91) This series produced Horror and Sci-Fi, incorporating several 'sub-series' over the course of its long run. Below is a selected listing only. Unless otherwise noted, all episodes were half hour format.

Cage of Light
Year: 1984
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Aliens
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Bill Gray

A first contact mission specialist is put on trial for genocide when the alien race he made contact with 'disappeared' shortly after his visit to their home world.

Reviews:
Childhood's End
Year:
Duration: 90 min
Genre: Aliens
Available for Listening Booth: N
Story by: Arthur C. Clarke

A 5 part, 1 hr 30 m production based on Arthur C. Clarke's classic novel of the arrival of the Overlords, a superior alien race come to usher mankind several steps up the evolutionary ladder, whether we want it or not.

Other versions were produced for the BBC.

Reviews:
Dispossessed, The
Year: 1987
Duration: 3 hr
Genre: Aliens
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Ursula K. Le Guin

The twin planets of Uras and Anara have pursued opposing socio-political ideals and thus avoided contact with each other for fear of cultural contamination. Now Shevek, a brilliant mathematician and physicist, has been invited to visit Uras, an invitation he accepts in spite of the objections of his fellow Anarans, who fear that Uras' leaders only want him to develop a new space-drive that will allow them rebuild their interstellar empire.

A six part mini-series based on the novel by Ursula K. Le Guin.

Reviews:
Enormous Radio, The
Year: 1985
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Sci-Fi
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: John Cheever

A couple in an apartment acquire an unusual radio which picks up conversations from their neighbours in the building. Could anyone resist the temptation to learn all their neighbours' secrets?
.
Versions of this story were also produced for Suspense and CBS Radio Workshop.

Reviews:
How Love Came to Professor Guildea
Year: 1984
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Creatures
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Robert S. Hichens

Said professor despises people and holds only contempt for human affection. But love cannot be denied, and if the good professor will not accept love from a human source, he must face the prospect of an inhuman love...

Versions of this story also appeared on CBS Radio Mystery Theater (as 'Shadow of Love'), Escape , Radio City Playhouse, and The Vanishing Point.

See also 'The Thing in the Hall' (Theatre 10:30)

Reviews:
Meteor
Year: 1985
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Aliens
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: John Wyndham, 1956

The planet Forta is old and dying. To preserve their civilization, the Fortans launch a series of inhabited 'globes' with the aim of colonizing distant planets. One such globe lands on Earth and is discovered by Sally Fontain, her father, and her fiancée Graham.

See also 'Meteor Man' (Lights Out) and 'The Meteorite' (CBS Radio Mystery Theater).

'Tomorrow the Globes will set out to search the heavens in every direction. Each one of you holds the whole history, art, science, and skill of Forta. Use this knowledge to help others. Learn from others, and add to Forta’s knowledge, if you can. If you do not use your knowledge and add to it, there will be no future for our race. And if we are the only intelligent life in the universe, then you are responsible not only for our race, but for all intelligent life that may develop.' Go out into the universe, then. Go and be wise, kind, and truthful. Go in peace. Our prayers go with you.' --- Great Leader Cottaft’s farewell speech

Reviews:
Audio quality, sound effects and music are all excellent. The story is interesting, but not engrossing. It is told in two parts with the point-of-view alternating between that of the Earthlings and that of the Fortans (from the trip-diary of Onn). This leads to plenty of irony of the 'misunderstood-alien' type, but the overall result is less than I'd hoped. The main problem is with the acting, which (like the rest of this series) is highly variable: sometimes sounding quite professional, but at other times sounding like a well-produced amateur production. Not great audio drama, but definitely worth listening to, especially if your tastes include Sci-Fi/Alien Encounters. [7/10] --- zM
Nine Billion Names of God, The
Year: 1985
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Supercomputers
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Arthur C. Clarke

A computer programmer is hired by monks in Nepal to help them collect every possible name for the Almighty. A laughable project, with not so laughable consequences...

Reviews:
Past Imperfect
Year: 1985
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Time Travel
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: John Douglas

An inventor's ruthless, self-seeking nephew turns the tables on him with the aid of his new time machine. But time is not something easily trifled with...

Reviews:
Silenian Test, The
Year: 1984
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Aliens
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: David Lewis Stein

Giant alien ships descend on Earth, broadcasting telepathic messages that they are here to test mankind for inclusion in the galactic community, but they won't tell anyone what the test is beyond the cryptic phrase, 'the stars demand sacrifice'.

Reviews:
Word for World is Forest, The
Year:
Duration: 90 min
Genre: Aliens
Available for Listening Booth: N
Story by: Ursula Le Guin

The seemingly simple natives of a world blanketed in forest resent the arrogance of human interlopers, and the contempt they show for the local ecology. All the natives need is a leader strong enough and clever enough to match wits with their human exploiters...

Reviews:


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CBS Radio Workshop

Not to be confused with the CBS Radio Mystery Theater! Radio Workshop was designed to experiment with untried and innovative approaches to telling their stories. From early 1956 to mid '57, the series produced all manner of stories and indulged in some very unusual technical devices. Listed below are those episodes which best fit into the Plot Spot's venue. Unless otherwise noted, all shows were half hour format.

Jeff Dickson Recommends:
The Green Hills of Earth | The Long Way Home | The Space Merchants

Brave New World
Year: 1956
Duration: 50 min
Genre: Dystopian Future
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Aldous Huxley

A 2-part, 1 hour vision of a future where individualism and free thought are suppressed by drugs and a bizarre blend of economic super-capitalism and enforced social communism.

See also '1984' (Theatre Guild on the Air).

Reviews:
Enormous Radio, The
Year: 1956
Duration: 25 min
Genre: Sci-Fi
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: John Cheever

A couple in an apartment acquire an unusual radio which picks up conversations from their neighbours in the building. Could anyone resist the temptation to learn all their neighbours' secrets? Story by John Cheever

Versions of this story were also produced for Suspense and the CBC's Vanishing Point.

Reviews:
Green Hills of Earth, The
Year: 1957
Duration: 25 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. Story by Robert Heinlein.

Other versions of this story appeared on X Minus One and Dimension X.

Reviews:
'The Green Hills of Earth" is a story by Robert Heinlein adapted to radio by no less than three production companies. Dimension X, X Minus One, and the CBS Radio Workshop. The first two, the "X" sessions paint the main character, Rhysling to be a drunk and a jokester. He loses his sight, and goes on to write the greatest song in the galaxy, "The Green Hills of Earth." The CBS version shows Rhysling to be a rude sot that already has this song written, but with no ending. When Rhysling looses his sight in the CBS version, he finishes the song.

All three versions have merit, and are very well done. Please note, the actor in both "X" sessions can sing. Not so much for the CBS version. If music is your forte, X Minus One is better because the whole songs are played. Dimension X has the better acting. The CBS version is just plain edgy, Rhysling seems very bitter about a lot of things. This is my favorite radio story. My favorite telling would have to be the Dimension X version. The legend of Rhysling is real in the hearts of those who believe it. Just take a look at how obsessed Apollo XV astronauts were when looking for Rhysling crater on the moon. --- John Pote
Lightship
Year: 1957
Duration: 25 min
Genre: Adventure
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Archie Binns

A well-produced adventure story about the tensions aboard a ship stationed to warn other ships away from dangerous shoals.

Reviews:
Long Way Home, The
Year: 1957
Duration: 25 min
Genre: Dystopian Future
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Henry E. Fritsch

Amidst the desolation and human suffering left by World War Three, there are no countries left, only the wandering remnants of their armies, who battle one another over the Earth's dwindling resources. There are no sides, no causes, no objectives save for survival. This dark tale envisions one ragtag force who take it upon themselves to protect Newark from invasion by sea borne raiders.

Reviews:
Pride of Carrots, A
aka: "Venus Well Served"
Year: 1956
Duration: 25 min
Genre: Aliens / Humour
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Robert Gruntal Nathan

Astronauts landing on Venus discover a world torn by war between indigenous intelligent vegetables.

Reviews:
Report on the Weans
Year: 1956
Duration: 25 min
Genre: Sci-Fi / Humour
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Robert Gruntal Nathan

Archaeologists in the future attempt to reconstruct our way of life from a collection of small artifacts, and arrive at some rather bizarre conclusions.

Reviews:
Roughing It
Year: 1956
Duration: 25 min
Genre: Adventure / Humour
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Mark Twain

A semi-biographical travelogue by American humorist Mark Twain, covering his travels throughout the American West between 1861 and 1867.

Reviews:
Since Roughing It is mostly a series of loosely-connected anecdotes, short stories and tale tales, it lends itself well to adaptation and thinning out. This modern adaptation begins sometime in the 1940s or 50s and takes quite a few pot-shots at the "motion picture" industry before settling down to the text that Samuel Clemens actually wrote. The writing is witty; the acting crisp. Very well done. [8/10] --- zM
Space Merchants, The
Year: 1957
Duration: 50 min
Genre: Dystopian Future
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Frederik Pohl and Cyril M. Kornbluth

In a future dominated by rampant consumerism and global advertising cartels, a high-ranking ad executive is charged with the task of selling the colonization of an inhospitable Venus. But corporate conspirators and outlawed conservationists have other ideas...

See also 'The Merchant of Venus' (X Minus One)

Reviews:
Speaking of Cinderella (If the Shoe Fits)
Year: 1956
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Fantasy
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Ed Verdier and Don Clark

Miss Lurene Tuttle and Mr Vincent Price have a little disagreement about the relative merits of Romanticism vs. Realism, which results in each of them re-telling the classic story of Cinderella in their own style.

Reviews:
Loved Vincent Price's version of this story! According to Mr Price, the traditional version depicts Cinderella as a helpless, smudge-faced juvenile, who sits around all day whining and waiting for somebody to rescue her, while in his version, Cindy really makes things happen. [8/10] --- zM


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Challenge of Space

I know practically nothing about this series. It might have originated in the late 1960s or early 1970s in South Africa. I have eight episodes, all of which are Sci-Fi. The audio quality ranges form poor to mediocre.

Webmaster Recommends:

Far Centaurus
Year: 1970
Duration: 25 min
Genre: Space Exploration
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: A.E. van Vogt

Three astronauts hibernating on the first interstellar mission, a 500-year voyage to Alpha Centauri, awake to a startling discovery as they near their destination.

Reviews:
Where Was Atlantis?
Year: 1972
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Mars
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: June Dixon and Hal Orlandini

A mission is launched to find the Lost City of Atlantis and their anti-gravity technology...on Mars.

Reviews:
A simple and forthright story that was quite fun and enjoyable. Ending was pretty good, but left me wanting just a little. --- Steve Franklin
Another Galaxy
Year: 1969
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Space Exploration
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: June Dixon and Hal Orlandini

As the first mission to go to another galaxy is being prepared, one of the astronauts slated to go must deal with his overbearing father who insists he must go and his girlfriend who insists he mustn't go.

Reviews:
While this production was technically well done, I didn't like it. The characters were extremely unlikable and I couldn't find any sympathy for any of them. Plus the end just really creeped me out, and not in a good way. --- Steve Franklin


Divider

Columbia Workshop

A long-running series (1936-47) of more than 300 episodes, this show's run is even more remarkable considering its unorthodox methods of storytelling. The label 'workshop' denoted an experimental approach to radio drama—such as the use of music to replace voices, narration in song and verse, and canted viewpoints that stretched the listener's sensibilities. Most of the shows were in standard half-hour format, but a few were broadcast as a multi-part series and there were occasional hour-long ("Hassan", "Murder in the Cathedral", "John Brown's Body") and even a couple of 90-minute-long ("Richard III", "Peer Gynt") episodes during the series' run.

Webmaster Recommends:

Alf, the All-American Fly
Year: 1940
Duration: 30 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Lucille Fletcher

At a public demonstration, a professor shows off his machine for talking to insects by interviewing Alf, a heroic fly with a Noo Yawk accent.

Reviews:
One of the series' many too-cute-for-their-own-good satirical fantasies. Lucille Fletcher wrote it in the wake of the success of her similarly cute tap-dancing caterpillar story, "My Client Curley." The cast has a field day playing the cartoonish characters and Bernard Herrmann provides what may be his goofiest, twangiest theme music ever. --- Anonymous
Carmilla
Year: 1940
Duration: 30 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu

An unusual teenaged girl has an unhappy effect on her adoptive household.

Reviews:
Solidly adapted by Lucille (The Hitch-Hiker) Fletcher, Sheridan Le Fanu's horror tale is claustrophobic and moody, but doesn't quite come to a boil. Jeanette Nolan is a sexy, provocative bad girl in the title role. The memorable score consists entirely of a single eerie piano piece. --- Anonymous
Case History
Year: 1936
Duration: 30 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Milton Geiger

A pilot on the brink of death takes a tour of a strange airport on the edge of the abyss.

Reviews:
Milton Geiger's script, described as "a drama dealing with the dark reaches of the subconscious mind," plays sort of like a 1930s version of a Twilight Zone episode. Alas, the sound quality deteriorates badly toward the end. --- Anonymous
City Wears a Slouch Hat, The
Year: 1942
Duration: 40 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Kenneth Patchen

Surreal scenes of city life unfold as an unnamed man effortlessly moves about in time and space, eavesdropping, and encountering a variety of characters.

Reviews:
Notorious for "composer" John Cage's "musical score" orchestrated for pots, pans, pipes, brake-drums, et cetera (junk played on junk, you might call it), this exercise in urban American surrealism (or is it impressionism?) by poet Kenneth Patchen deserves better. If you can tune out Cage and tune in Patchen, you'll marvel at how the Chicago cast, led by "First Nighter" veteran Les Tremayne, plays all the loopy avant-garde dialogue with a straight face. Fortunately, there's dry humor and a warm heart under all the weirdness. --- Anonymous
Comedy of Danger, A -- Finger of God, The
Year: 1936
Duration: 30 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Richard Hughes -- Percival Wilde

A trio of visitors is trapped in a flooding Welsh coal mine; the crooked head of an investment firm plots to abscond with the investors' money but something supernatural intervenes.

Reviews:
Two workmanlike suspense plays, badly acted. "Danger" (Richard Hughes, 1924) is an abbreviated version (sacrificing characterization) of one of the first plays written especially for radio. "Finger" (Percival Wilde, 1917) is an unsubtle presentation of a dialogue-driven one-act stage play that was sometimes performed on American radio in the 1920s. --- Anonymous
Danse Macabre
Year: 1937
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Speculative
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Helen Bergovoy and George Zachary

Death Himself, sad and lonely, stalks a kingdom with his violin, looking for someone to dance to his music.

Reviews:
The premise is interesting, the music is great (by Saint-Saëns, of course, via Bernard Herrmann), the drama is slow but okay, and the acting is variable. --- Anonymous
Dream Maker, The
Year: 1936
Duration: 20 min
Genre: Speculative
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Charles Burton

Two "nightmare breeders," a veteran and a novice, create dreams to haunt sleeping mortals.

Reviews:
A broad, twenty-minute-long "comic" sketch which is too precious and not particularly funny; followed by a tedious technical demonstration of sound effects via a "sound microscope." Disappointing. --- Anonymous
Drums of Conscience
Year: 1937
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Horror
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: University Broadcasting Council, Chicago

While the "life-loving Negroes" of Frog Bottom, Alabama enjoy a fish fry, a murderer among them comes to believe he is haunted by the ghosts of an African slave ship.

Reviews:
The old "superstitious Negro" stereotype so prevalent in the 1930s makes this queasy listening in the allegedly-enlightened twenty-first century. But it's an otherwise fairly straightforward horror story — with some unusual local color (if you'll pardon the pun) — that might have aired on series like The Hermit's Cave or The Witch's Tale. --- Anonymous
Fall of the City, The
Year: 1937; 1939
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Speculative
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Archibald MacLeish

A nameless city in an undefined time is under siege from a conqueror whose armies are converging on its gates. But perhaps the greatest danger lies within the city's denizens themselves... Told in a series of grandly eloquent speeches.

Two separate versions were made, 1937 and 1939. The 1937 version stars Orson Welles.

Reviews:
Perhaps the single greatest achievement in radio history. More impressive even than 'War of the Worlds.' Written by a Nobel Award Winning writer, and voiced by a cast of 200, helmed by the greatest voice in radio... Orson Welles. A program so relevant for today. (A+). Highest recommendation! (Get the original 1937 episode, not the inferior 1939 remake). --- HT

An interesting experiment, but too obscure. --- Bruce Fisher

This timeless fantasy-allegory (probably the best work of Archibald MacLeish, an actual U.S. poet laureate who won three Pulitzers, but no Nobel) is one of the few vintage American radio plays that's taken halfway seriously by literary and drama critics; even radio's alleged poet laureate, Norman Corwin, never wrote one as sophisticated as this. --- Anonymous
Finger of God, The
See: "A Comedy of Danger"
Fish Story
Year: 1940
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Horror
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Joseph Gottlieb

A man catches a talking fish that grants him three wishes.

Reviews:
Busy musical comedy fantasy for adults with Broadway-style songs. For some reason, this reminded me of subpar 1940s Disney films like "Make Mine Music" and "Melody Time." It's the kind of story where a trout turns into a pretty girl named Cinderella, has to be back in the brook by midnight, and the cast sings a rousing production number, "Fish, You're in New York!" Ugh. --- Anonymous
Gods of the Mountain, The
Year: 1936
Duration: 30 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Lord Dunsany

Seven beggars attempt to pass themselves off as gods.

Reviews:
An almost too-faithful adaptation of Lord Dunsany's weird 1911 play. With a seemingly all-male cast and little or no use made of character names, it's sometimes hard to follow all the details. But the chilling climax is aided greatly by Bernard Herrmann's percussion effects. --- Anonymous
Highboy
aka: "Too Far Gone"
Year: 1939
Duration: 30 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: William Francis

A family squabbles over a dying aunt and her estate, which includes a valuable piece of furniture, a vintage highboy.

Reviews:
Decent adaptation by Eustace Wyatt of a William Francis short story called "Too Far Gone." The sound is barely audible at times and the pace is a little too slow, but the actress who plays the greedy sister does a nice job and makes the surprise ending worth waiting for. --- Anonymous
Human Angle, The
Year:
Duration:
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Dore Schary

An alcoholic reporter covers the story of an allegedly crazy salvage diver who behaves strangely while inspecting a sunken ship. Adapted by Norman Corwin.

Reviews:
Surprisingly boring for a newspaperman story, given author Norman Corwin's background in journalism; perhaps the fault lies with the original short story by Dore Schary. Not much happens in the first half. The second half, in which the diver recounts his freaky undersea experience and the reporter tries to do something about it, should have been gripping, but Corwin has no knack (or interest) in weird suspense so we don't get any of the usual genre thrills, just awkward silliness. (Where's Wyllis Cooper when you need him? He'd have mopped the deck with this situation.) Actor Frank Lovejoy's presence as the reporter only reminds you that you could be listening to a much better episode of Night Beat. --- Anonymous
Incident of the Cosmos, An -- Last Citation, The
Year: 1937
Duration: 30 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Paul Y. Anderson -- John O. Whedon

Two short plays: alien observes a distant world; ruthless general dies and finds himself on trial.

Reviews:
Two leaden doses of ironic science fiction and fantasy; very old school and a little too heavy-handed, artistically and politically. --- Anonymous
Jason Was a Man
Year: 1941
Duration: 30 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Jack Caldwell

Adventures of the ancient Greek mythological hero Jason, "from the pen of a Negro author, Jack Caldwell" and with an all-Negro cast.

Reviews:
Caldwell, a Harlem advertising man, was a local radio writer-producer-director-announcer who sometimes sold a script to the networks. Possibly the Workshop's only complete play by an African-American author, it's a variation on the idea behind Marc Connelly's Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, "The Green Pastures," which retold the Bible in the alleged style of the Southern Negro. Unfortunately, the surviving recording is very scratchy, obliterating a lot of the dialogue. --- Anonymous
Job
Year: 1941
Duration: 30 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: The Bible

God allows Satan to make Job's life miserable—then Job, Job's friends, and God Himself discuss the situation at length.

Reviews:
Taken almost verbatim from the King James Bible, this Norman Corwin adaptation gets dull very fast because there's not much actual drama. Charles Laughton enacts Job about as well as could be expected, but hasn't really got a character to play. Most of the "action" consists of poeticized philosophical discussion, including the climax, in which God delivers a terrific monologue about how great He is, apparently bullying Job into submission. Better to read the Book. --- Anonymous
John Brown's Body
Year: 1939
Duration: 60 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Stephen Vincent Bénet

A narrative of the American Civil War from various points-of-view. Adaptation by Norman Corwin of Stephen Vincent Benét's novel-length poem.

Reviews:
If you thought Corwin and Benét were exhausting to listen to separately, imagine them teaming up for a full hour. This epic deploys three omniscient narrators ("Now you are back there fighting, Jack Ellyat!"), about twenty speaking roles, and several mobs of voices. Do you like ironic horror? Well, a black man noisily bleeds to death from an abolitionist's gunshot; crazy John Brown's filtered, ghostly voice provides creepy punctuation throughout, long after his hanging; and the seen-it-all battlefield stretcher-bearers wager on the survival of the wounded ("If this one doesn't last till the dressing station, the bet's off."). Another kind of horror is the tearjerking romance between a Northern soldier and a Southern pacifist. Yuck! --- Anonymous 
Last Citation, The
See: "An Incident of the Cosmos"
Log of the R-77
Year: 1941
Duration: 30 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth:
Story by: Norman Corwin

Facing imminent death, the crew of a sunken submarine entertains itself. 

Reviews:
For a guy who's supposed to be radio's best writer, Norman Corwin sure writes a lot of clunky dialogue: told there's no escape from the sub, the crewmen respond with gems like, "You mean there's not a ghost of a chance, captain? Not a sliver of a chance?!" and "Then - then it's curtains!" as if they were trapped in a juvenile adventure serial. In fact, the middle of the episode is pretty much pure clunk, with awful overacting from Frank Lovejoy (reciting hysterically from Job; he's no Charles Laughton) and a general air of sentimental unbelievability. In contrast, the relatively straightforward opening sequence, in which the sub is sunk, and the grim final minutes, spent with the last man alive, are okay but dull, maybe because the characters are so thin. --- Anonymous
Man With the One-Track Mind, The
Year: 1940
Duration: 30 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Lucille Fletcher

A man wishes he was a train and then turns into a train.

Reviews:
Not to be confused with another Workshop script, "Mr. Sycamore," about a man who wishes he was a tree and then turns into a tree. If you liked Lucille Fletcher's other cartoon-like comic fantasy, "Alf, the All-American Fly," you'll probably like this. --- Anonymous
Metzengerstein
Year: 1937
Duration: 30 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Edgar Allan Poe

Relatives, clients, and enemies eagerly await the imminent demise of the Baron Metzengerstein, not the least among them his son, who is impatient to take the helm in the family's long history of abuses, heedless of the curse put on the family name through a stolen tapestry hanging on the castle wall.

A version of this story was produced for The Weird Circle as 'The Tapestry Horse'

Reviews:
Moat Farm Murder, The
Year: 1944
Duration: 30 min
Series: Columbia Presents Corwin
Genre: Murder / True Crime
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Norman Corwin

Matter-of-fact murderer Dougal confesses to his crime.

Reviews:
One of adaptor-director Norman Corwin's few brushes with conventional horror (as opposed to the global fascist kind he was more often concerned with) is a tour de force for actor Charles Laughton and composer Bernard Herrmann (whose eerie, string-heavy score prefigures the one he wrote for Hitchcock's "Psycho"). Based almost verbatim on a real-life 1903 confession, the script was later done by Orson Welles on The Mercury Summer Theatre and either version is worth hearing. --- Anonymous
My Client Curley
Year: 1940
Duration: 30 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Lucille Fletcher, adapted by Norman Corwin

A show biz agent discovers an animal act—a tap-dancing caterpillar—that takes the world by storm.

Reviews:
Which are more grating, the Workshop fantasies with a satirical point to make or the ones that attempt pure whimsy for its own sake? The satire in this one is so toothless that the script later turned up on commercial series like Campbell Playhouse and Screen Guild Players—and was made into a godawful Hollywood turkey starring Cary Grant. As a fable, it's cute, but overlong. As a time capsule of mindless celebrity-making circa 1940, it might be worth your time. --- Anonymous
Night at the Inn, A
Year: 1937
Duration: 30 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Lord Dunsany

Four crooks who have stolen an Indian idol's ruby eye wait for the idol's worshippers to come and try to take it back.

Reviews:
This adaptation of Lord Dunsany's suspenseful 1916 thriller is stronger on atmosphere and characterization than clarity. In other words, I had to consult the original play a few times to figure out what the hell was going on. --- Anonymous
Now Playing Tomorrow
Year: 1939
Duration: 30 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Arthur Laurents

Thanks to an angel, architect William Wumple can foretell his own future.

Reviews:
Arthur ("West Side Story") Laurents' first radio play is a cute comedy that includes a lengthy satire of 1930s Hollywood. A bit dated in spots, but smarter and more amusing than the average Workshop fantasy. --- Anonymous
Odyssey of Runyon Jones, The
Year: 1941 (x2); 1944
Duration: 30 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Norman Corwin

A young boy travels the cosmos in search of his deceased dog Pootzy.

Reviews:
One of Norman Corwin's most accessible and popular radio plays. He later turned this children's story into a novel ("Dog in the Sky") and a musical. Cute and sentimental, with a few nice touches. --- Anonymous
Pussycat and the Expert Plumber Who Was a Man, The
Year: 1940
Duration: 30 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Arthur Miller

Tom, the talking cat, has a few words with his owner and becomes a blackmailing politician who is nearly elected the governor of the state.

Reviews:
This comic fantasy by Arthur ("Death of a Salesman") Miller is nine parts whimsy and one part leaden political satire. Like "Salesman," which isn't quite the Great Tragedy it's often made out to be, "Pussycat" isn't the Great Satire it wants to be. But it's still worth hearing, if only for the novelty of Arthur Miller attempting comedy. --- Anonymous
Remodeled Brownstone
Year: 1942
Duration: 30 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Lucille Fletcher

A husband remodels an old New York City brownstone and his wife keeps hearing noises. Is she going crazy or is it a ghost?

Reviews:
William Spier produced this classy, literate Lucille Fletcher script which wouldn't have been out of place on his Suspense series where Agnes Moorehead could have played the increasingly overwrought wife. --- Anonymous
R.U.R.
aka: "Rossum's Universal Robots"
Year: 1937
Duration: 1937
Genre: Future Earth
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Karel Čapek, 1921

Miss Glory arrives at the factory to liberate Rossum's Universal Robots. Based on the play by Karel Capek.

Reviews:
No substitute for the original, this adaptation tries hard to be faithful (virtually all the dialogue is from the famous play which popularized the word "robot"), but the half-hour format simply isn't enough time to do the story justice. --- Anonymous
S.S. San Pedro
Year: 1937
Duration: 30 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: James Gould Cozzens

The mysterious Dr Percival, who likes to be where things are happening, boards a doomed ocean liner.

Reviews:
Interesting to compare this to the much later Escape version. Here, we get a more faithful adaptation of the James Gould Cozzens' novel, more elaborate production, more characters, less romance, and a more broadly-played Dr. Percival - but it's not nearly as listenable. --- Anonymous
Signal-Man, The
Year: 1937
Duration: 30 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Charles Dickens

A journalist interviews a haunted railroad signal-man. Based on the story by Charles Dickens.

Reviews:
The best vintage audio version of this oft-told Dickens story. Excellent, gripping adaptation by Charles Tazewell, carried by bravura acting and sound effects. --- Anonymous
Someone Else
Year: 1942
Duration: 30 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Lucille Fletcher

To his wife, Mr Simpson recounts his ever-increasing obsession with an antique china doll. Is the narrator crazy or is something supernatural going on?

Reviews:
An early example of author Lucille Fletcher's talent for literate, ambiguous horror tales in which not much actually happens. Like her "Remodeled Brownstone," you can easily imagine this appearing on William Spier's Suspense. Probably Joseph Cotten or Orson Welles would've played the lead instead of Martin Gabel. (In fact, Welles owned a copy of the script, considering it for use on his Almanac series.) The author's husband, Bernard Herrmann, conducts a score compiled from the works of 18th century composer André Campra. Fletcher isn't as prolific or versatile as Wyllis Cooper, but the two of them are among the most sophisticated vintage radio writers in this genre. --- Anonymous
Split Seconds
Year: 1937
Duration: 30 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Irving Reis

As a playwright swims for his life, his thoughts, and scenes from his past, flash through his mind.

Reviews:
This Irving Reis script, originally broadcast in 1931, sounds like an American answer to Tyrone Guthrie's 1930 BBC play "The Flowers Are Not For You to Pick" which dramatizes a drowning man's flashbacks. Reis is less ambitious than Guthrie, but also less pretentious. --- Anonymous
St Louis Blues
Year: 1937
Duration: 30 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Irving Reis

During a broadcast of W. C. Handy's classic blues, simultaneous dramatic vignettes are heard consecutively.

Reviews:
This ingenious, oft-broadcast Irving Reis play isn't exactly supernatural, but the repetition of the title tune (in an arrangement that borrows the clarinet opening of Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue") has an eerie, hypnotic quality which, combined with the script's various efforts at dark irony, might make it of interest to those who visit the Plot Spot. --- Anonymous
Tell-Tale Heart, The
Year: 1937
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Horror
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Edgar Allan Poe

On a dark and stormy night, an employee of an insane asylum recounts the tale of a murderer with an acute sensitivity to sound.

Reviews:
Poe occasionally gets in a fleeting line, but the first half of Charles Tazewell's odd script (apparently written for an earlier CBS experimental drama series in 1933) is a complete rewrite of the classic short story. Circa '33, interior/confessional monologues weren't yet in style at the networks so the only first person narration consists of rhythmic verse from the crazy killer. And just wait till the Little Voices of the Night start talking to one another! The second half is more conventional. --- Anonymous
They Fly Through the Air with the Greatest of Ease
Year: 1939
Duration: 30 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Norman Corwin

A sound portrait of military pilots bombing innocent civilians.

Reviews:
This Norman Corwin "verse play" isn't really poetry or drama, but one long editorial making excellent use of a sardonic omniscient narrator. Others have pointed out, rightly, that the ending would be more honest (and believable) if the bad guys got away with their crime. By the time Corwin died in 2011, American drone aircraft regularly killed innocent civilians in the Middle East, piloted at a distance by people who don't even have to "fly through the air" -- which means, sadly, that the play needs an update and a new title for the 21st century. --- Anonymous
Use of Man, The
Year: 1939
Duration: 30 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Lord Dunsany

The fate of the human race hangs in the balance when a British fox hunter is spirited away from Earth to defend the value of his species. Script by Lord Dunsany, based on his story "What Is the Use of Man?"

Reviews:
A great premise, but this satirical fantasy (which aired as early as 1933 on the BBC) would be more effective if it were shorter or more interesting if it spent its time developing the characters. As it is, it's just a little too didactic. I can see where it might be funnier if it were performed in the style of a Monty Python sketch. (But then, what wouldn't?) --- Anonymous
Wedding of the Meteors, The
Year: 1938
Duration: 30 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Leslie Roberts and Joel Hammill

Before two talking meteors can fulfil their destiny by colliding, they crash into Earth.

Reviews:
Not the Workshop's usual overly-whimsical fantasy -- it's played absolutely straight -- but the goofy "talking meteor" angle, the cliched "troubled scientist nobody believes," and an ending that's predictable by the second scene make this hard to take too seriously. --- Anonymous


Divider

Creeps by Night

Creeps by Night was produced in 1944 by the Blue Network after it split from the National Broadcasting Company. The series was promoted as a new psychological drama series featuring top-notch writers and top-notch actors. Those plans don't seem to have panned out as the show was cancelled after only six months. Most of the surviving shows dealt with murder, but a few dealt with the supernatural or the occult. At least 23 episodes were produced—the first 12 with Boris Karloff and the remainder with an unidentified actor referred to only as "Dr X." Only about seven of the episodes survive.

Currently this archive contains 8 of 12 plotlines

Webmaster Recommends:
The Final Reckoning | The Six Who Did Not Die | The Strange Burial of Alexander Jordan

Beyond the Grave    *LOST*

Year: 1944
Duration: 30 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: N
Story by:

Dark Destiny    *LOST*

Year: 1944
Duration: 30 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: N
Story by:

Reviews:
Final Reckoning, The
Year: 1944
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Murder
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by:

George Miller was framed for a murder he didn't commit and has waited 20 years for an opportunity to seek vengeance. When he is finally released from the state penitentiary, he seeks out the man who framed him—a gangster named Ace. George has a few things he'd like to ask Ace... With Boris Karloff as George Miller.

Reviews:
A fairly predictable plot with slightly better than average acting. Nevertheless, one of the better productions from among the surviving episodes. Worth listening to. [6/10] --- zM
Hunt, The
Year: 1944
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Creatures
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by:

Old man Horton is a bit of a recluse—quietly tending his sheep on fifty acres of pasture near the Louisiana Bayou, keeping a firm rein on his under-age sister, Julie... and quietly digging a grave-sized hole in which to bury something. Against this backdrop, Jeff, a young lad who has come calling on Julie perhaps one too many times, is found murdered... With Boris Karloff as Loomis Horton.

Reviews:
The 'terrifying' creature sound effects made me laugh out loud and completely spoilt the mood. [5/10] --- zM

Man with the Devil's Hands, The    *LOST*

Year: 1944
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Supernatural
Available for Listening Booth: N
Story by:

"The story of a great musician who has no control over his hands, whether for creating beauty or causing death." --- Syracuse Herald Journal as quoted at The Digital Deli.

See also 'The Dead Hand' (Murder at Midnight), 'Hand of Botar' (Hall of Fantasy), 'The Crimson Hand' (The Hermit's Cave), 'The Hand' (CBS Radio Mystery Theater), 'Death by Whose Hands?' (CBS Radio Mystery Theater), and 'The Beast with Five Fingers' (Fear on 4).

Reviews:
Six Who Did Not Die, The
Year: 1944
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Murder
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by:

Captain Bull Harrison of the Sloop Nancy Hale, leads a crew of six natives and one Cockney mate to the Mangareva Atoll in the Gambier Archipelago—four days east of Sydney—to dive for pearls. What they uncover, in addition to pearls, is that the price of greed is sometimes measured in guilt... Peter Lorre hosts the AFRS version of this episode.

See also 'The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea' (Mysterious Traveler).

Reviews:
Er... four days from Sydney to French Polynesia in a sloop? Methinks the author is playing fast and free with historical facts. The natives are one-dimensional and stereotypical and the episode is short—only 20 minutes long. But a slightly better-than-average performance by the captain and the mate make this story one of the better surviving episodes. [6/10] --- zM
Strange Burial of Alexander Jordan, The
aka: "The Death of Alexander Jordan"
Year: 1944
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Murder
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Hector Chevigny

The old Jordan house has stood for over one hundred years amidst birch wood and pastureland. And now, the last of the strong men who have always owned the house lies on his death bed, making funeral plans with Dr Rutledge. Alexander Jordan is not afraid of dying... but he is terribly afraid of suffering another cataleptic fit and being buried alive... With Edmund Gwenn as Ramsey.

Another version was produced for Suspense.

Reviews:
Starts with a nice descriptive passage detailing the ancient house and "aged, irascible" Alexander Jordan. A satisfying sub-plot involves mousy, submissive Martha standing up to her bullish, overbearing husband after Alexander expresses confidence and trust in her. [6/10] --- zM

String of Pearls, A    *LOST*

Year: 1944
Duration: 30 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: N
Story by:

Reviews:
Those Who Walk in Darkness
Year: 1944
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Murder
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by:

A scientist, Steven Denton, is blinded in a laboratory explosion. His wife, Valerie, instead of calling an ambulance, calls an old lover who just happens to be a famous eye surgeon. The surgeon, Dr Paul Wade, is still hurt by Valerie's rejection 10 years previously and seems rather vindictive as he explains that a very delicate eye operation is required which might restore Steven's sight—if his hand doesn't accidentally slip while operating... With Boris Karloff as Steven Denton. Peter Lorre hosts the AFRS version of this episode.

Reviews:
A love-triangle/revenge story that does not live up to its promise. While the AFRS version of this episode has very good audio quality and is hosted by Peter Lorre, the episode overall suffers from insipid dialogue backed by stilted acting. [2/10] --- zM
Three Sisters, The
Year: 1944
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Supernatural
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by:

Three sisters live alone in the house that one of their ancestors, Captain David Southgate, built in 1836. The house rests on the New England coast between the salt marsh and the shifting sand dunes. The story begins on a dark, stormy night [really!] when Dr Clemens is summoned to the house to look after Amanda who insists she is dying. Dr Clemens finds nothing wrong, but Amanda insists that their dead mother will come that night to lead her to the grave and there is nothing anyone can do about it... With Florence Reed as Hester Southgate.

Reviews:
Extremely poor audio quality makes this episode very hard to understand. Unremarkable plot. [4/10] --- zM

Voice of Death, The    *LOST*

Year: 1944
Duration: 30 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: N
Story by:

Reviews:
Walking Dead, The
Year: 1944
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Occult
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by:

Dr Nelson from the Public Health Office, Port-au-Prince, responds to a call from a coffee plantation owner. When he arrives at the plantation he discovers the foreman, who quite possibly murdered one of the native labourers, is suffering from a strange paralysis. Native drums beat in the distance... With Dr X as the host and also (possibly) Juano Hernandez and Mary Patton.

See also 'Plantation Mystery' (The Hermit's Cave).

Reviews:


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Darkness

A product of KLON in Long Beach, California, broadcast in 1979. Uncertain how many shows were made, but eight are in circulation—all in standard half-hour format. Sound quality of the tapes I have is quite muffled. Stories were written by Ken Gerard (?) and Roger Rittman (?), and featured a ghoulish punster named Kord (?)... who sounded like a Raymond Edward Johnson (Inner Sanctum Mysteries) knockoff, but without the comic timing.

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Can't You Do Anything Right?
Year: 1979
Duration: 30 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Ken Gerard

Reviews:
Catch, Kill
Year: 1979
Duration: 30 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by:

Over the objections of their niece and the police, two little old ladies refuse to quit running an antique shop in a crime-ridden neighbourhood.

Reviews:
The series' host is a bad imitation of Inner Sanctum's and this particular script is a bad variation on "Arsenic and Old Lace" with a little improbable, outré Lights Out violence thrown in. Silly, occasionally fun camp. --- Anonymous
For My Next Trick
Year: 1979
Duration: 30 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Roger Rittman

Reviews:
Funhouse
Year: 1979
Duration: 30 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by:

Reviews:
Life Span
Year: 1979
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Super Science
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Ken Gerard

A scam artist concocts a 'youth' drug, and is shocked to discover one of his test patients, an elderly woman in her 80's, growing younger - not as shocked as she, however, when the side effects start to kick in....

Reviews:
Toltec's Tomb
Year: 1979
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Occult
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by:

Archaeologists find a legendary lost tomb in the jungles of Mexico, and can't resist the temptation to violate it despite an ancient curse.

See also 'Door of Gold' (Suspense) and 'The Door of Lotim' (Crisis)

Reviews:
Yikes! This one has every formula character you would expect—there is the wise old archaeologist, his beautiful daughter who is engaged to his redoubtable assistant, the shady local government official, and of course the freaky native guide who spouts on about curses and doom. Still, it is a fun listen. --- Ed Corbeil
Trust Me Darling, I Love You
Year: 1979
Duration: 30 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by:

Reviews:
Weekend Vacation
Year: 1979
Duration: 30 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Ken Gerard

Reviews:


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General Mills Radio Adventure Theater

Also known as the CBS Radio Adventure Theater, this show was a companion series to the CBS Radio Mystery Theater, and likewise produced by Himan Brown. General Mills was looking for a lower-cost alternative to television advertising and Himan Brown was looking to expand into the juvenile market with his radio drama. The General Mills Radio Adventure Theater was born. Unfortunately, it failed to achieve the same degree of success as the CBS Radio Mystery Theater and General Mills dropped its sponsorship after 52 episodes (26 weeks). The show repeated for another 26 weeks as the CBS Radio Adventure Theater. The series was hosted by Tom Bosley. Episodes were approximately 40 minutes in length.

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Black Arrow
Year: 1977
Duration: 40 min
Genre: Adventure
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Robert Louis Stevenson

Adventure tale of a young squire's struggle to avenge the murder of his father during the War of the Roses. A rushed re-telling of the story by Robert Louis Stevenson.

Reviews:
Survival Test
Year: 1977
Duration: 40 min
Genre: Sci-Fi
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Victoria Dann

Two space cadets are dropped onto an uninhabited planet as a ten day trial of their survival skills. At least, the probes claimed it is uninhabited...

Reviews:


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George Edwards Productions

George Edwards Productions was an Australian radio production company that produced over 50,000 episodes between 1933 and 1953. The core members of the production company were: actor George Edwards (1886-1953), actress Nell Stirling (1909-1951), and writer Maurice Francis. Many other performers came and went (and script writers, too), but these three held the dramatic group, and the resulting production company, together for over 15 years (1933-1948).

Mr Edwards, known as "The Man with a Thousand Voices", was a talented actor and mimic, but his career really didn't take off until he started working with Miss Stirling in 1933. Together, they were offered the chance to produce a radio drama for 70 pounds consideration. Mr Edwards was reluctant, but Miss Stirling jumped at the chance. To save money, Mr Edwards played many of the roles himself and they hired an aspiring script writer, Maurice Francis, to adapt the popular play Ghost Train for radio. The production was very well received and they were on their way!

Many partial copies of serials not listed here exist as transcription discs at VTLS headquarters.

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Adventures of Marco Polo, The
Era: 1940
Duration: 11 hours
Episodes: 52 (13 min)
Genre: Adventure Serial
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by:

With George Edwards (Kublai Khan, Marco Polo, producer), Warren Barry, Tom Farley, Eric Scott, Nell Stirling (Princess Zielana).

Reviews:
Afloat with Henry Morgan
Era: 1947
Duration: 11 hours
Episodes: 52 (13 min)
Genre: Adventure Serial
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by:

With Derek Barnes, Warren Barry, Kevin Brennan, George Edwards, Tom Farley, Ken Fraser, Diana Goller, Harry Howlett, Moray Powell, William Rees, Ron Roberts...

Reviews:
Corsican Brothers, The
Era: 1945
Duration: 11 hours
Episodes: 52 (13 min)
Genre: Adventure Serial
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Alexandre Dumas, pere

With Alan Cuthbertson (Louis), Howard Craven (Lucien), Jean Robertson (Madam de Franchin), Eric Scott (Pierre), Jessica Noad (Annette), Owen Ainley (Captain Chateau-Renaud), Mary Hosking (Aunt Cecily), Bettie Dickson (Emilie), Warren Barry (Dino), Nell Stirling (Marianne).

Reviews:
Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
Era: 1943
Duration: 11 hours
Episodes: 52 (13 min)
Genre: Sci-Fi / Horror Serial
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Robert Louis Stevenson

With Warren Barry (Hugh Hanyon), Bruce Beeby (John Farley), Lloyd Berrell (Mr Jekyll), Brenda Dunrich (Thirza Cox), George Edwards (Hyde, Jekyll, Poole, Franz), Hazel Hollander (Margaret Utterson), Richard Parry (Mr Trelawny), Bebe Scott (Sam), Nell Stirling (Hetty Wilson, Nurse Poole), Lou Vernon (Mr Litterton)...

Reviews:
Frankenstein
Era: 1938
Duration: 2 hrs 50 min
Episodes: 13 (13 min)
Genre: Sci-Fi / Horror Serial
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Mary Shelley

Reviews:
Hunchback of Notre Dame, The
Era: 1935
Duration: 8.5 hrs
Episodes: 30 of 39 (13 min)
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: partial
Story by: Victor Hugo

With George Edwards.

Reviews:
Man in the Iron Mask
Era: 1948
Duration: 11 hours
Episodes: 50 of 52 (13 min)
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: partial
Story by: Alexandre Dumas, pere

Reviews:
Son of Porthos
Era: 1950
Duration: 11 hours
Episodes: 52 (13 min)
Genre: Adventure Serial
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Paul Mahalin (as Alexandre Dumas, pere)

Intrigue, romance and thrilling adventure set in France of 1678. Adapted from a story by Alexandre Dumas.

With Leonard Teale (Joel), Lou Vernon (Colonel Schultz), Reginald Goldsworthy (Bois Laurier), Nell Stirling (Renee), Sheila Sewell (Therese), Lynne Murphy (Aurora), Jack Raine (Aramis), Diana Perryman (Marchioness de Montespannet), Dennis Glenny (Friquet), John Cazabon (King Louis IV), Babs Mayhew (Francoise), Morray Powell (Corbuff), Winifred Green (La Bosse), Tom Farley (Bonlarron), Pat Barrington (Annette), Margaret Christensen (Queen Maria Therese), Bruce Stewart (Escrivaux), Athol Fleming (De Lareynie), John Alden (Major Du Junce), Afred Bristowe (Crequy), Richard Ashley (Duke Charles de Lorraine)...

Reviews:


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Family Theatre

A strong religious element coloured this long-running series broadcast between 1947 and 1956. It crossed several genres, and included only a few Sci-Fi stories. All episodes were standard half-hour format.

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At 155 Pounds
Year:
Duration:
Genre: Time Travel
Available for Listening Booth: N
Story by:

Whimsical tale of an unemployed boxer who volunteers for an experiment to send a man back through time to ancient Rome.

Reviews:
Invasion, The
Year:
Duration:
Genre: Aliens
Available for Listening Booth: N
Story by:

A newspaper science editor gets a call from a renowned astronomer that an alien space armada is only hours away from the Earth.

Reviews:
Journey of the Pegasus
Year:
Duration:
Genre: Aliens
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by:

Two astronauts on the first expedition to the Moon see 'something' run aboard their ship.

Reviews:
Star, The
aka: "The Other Sheep"
Year:
Duration:
Genre: Space Exploration / Aliens
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Arthur C. Clarke

An expedition to a distant planet whose sun has gone nova finds the ruins left by an ancient, advanced civilization. VERY loosely based on a short story by Arthur C. Clarke.

Reviews:
A hideously bowdlerized version of the classic Sci-Fi short story. The broadcast version is completely rewritten to satisfy the religious agenda of the show, and the syrupy ending made me want to puke. Keep away, even if you never read the story. --- Seth Gaines

How did these guys ever get permission to butcher Clarke's story? I can't imagine he would agree to the way they totally turned the original ending upside down. After all, he's an atheist, I think. If I'm right, then they used his story without his permission. Hmm - not very ethical for a religious show... --- Alex Di Pietro.


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The Haunted Hour

A Supernatural/Horror anthology in half-hour format. Not to be confused with The Haunting Hour. I know practically nothing about this series. It might be Australian. There was at least one episode: written by Warren Glasser, narrated by Lloyd Lamble, and produced by Donovan Joyce Productions. It was called "The Werewolf". My copy of this episode is dated 2002, but that seems extremely unlikely; it sounds like it was produced in the 1950s.

Donovan Joyce (1910-1980) created his radio production company in 1945 and ran it until 1960. Some of his programs were created for South African distribution. I don't know if the company survived after Mr Joyce left. Warren Glasser was quite active writing scripts for Australian radio in the 1950s and 1960s. Lloyd Lamble (1914-2008) was an Australian actor who worked in theatre, radio, television, and film, but moved to the UK in the 1950s.

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Werewolf, The
Year: 195x
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Horror
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Warren Glasser

Kent Holway, an Englishman dining in a Paris café, experiences a sense of unease, of foreboding, while watching the sinuous Dance of the Werewolf. Later, the female performer, Therese, begs to share his cab and his hotel room, claiming she is afraid to be alone during the full-moon because... she is turning into a werewolf! Mr Holway doesn't believe her.

Reviews:
Several plot elements are left unresolved, which mars the surprise ending of this otherwise decent story. The story is one-half narration, one-half acting, with satisfying performances by both Lloyd Lamble—the spooky narrator—and whoever it is that plays Therese. I'd love to hear more from this series. [7/10] --- zM


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Hollywood Star Playhouse

A Drama Anthology which aired from 1950 to 1953, in three separate runs, over CBS, ABC, and NBC. Star-studded cast of... well, Hollywood Stars. Excellent writing, solid performances, great audio quality. 35 of 143 episodes survive.

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Tenth Planet, The
Year: 1952
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Aliens
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by:

A man's search for his missing brother, an atomic scientist, leads to an alien conspiracy to kidnap Earth's leading minds. With Joseph Cotten.

Reviews:


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Lux Radio Theatre

Comprising over 900 shows over the course of more than 20 years (1934-55), this series was one the most successful ever. Much of its success could be attributed to its most famous host, Cecil B. DeMille, who attracted top rank screen actors to portray their roles in radio versions of popular movies, mostly dramas. During the first two years the series dramatized Broadway plays, before shifting its focus to movies.

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Bishop's Wife, The
Year:
Duration:
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Robert Nathan

When an overworked bishop prays for guidance, he is sent a handsome angel who seems to spend a lot of time romancing the bishop's wife.

Three versions aired on Lux and one on Screen Guild Theatre.

Reviews:
Lux did three versions of this Robert Nathan fantasy novel-turned-Hollywood-film. In the first one, Tyrone Power is no Cary Grant (who starred in the film). In fact, he's a complete stiff as Dudley the angel, which leaves David Niven as the bishop to bring most of the funny. The script, though, is a solid adaptation and—minus the film's overly glossy sets, photography and visual effects - this might even be a slight improvement over the screen version. --- Anonymous
Day the Earth Stood Still, The
aka: "Farewell to the Master"
Year:
Duration:
Genre: Aliens
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Harry Bates

An alien spaceship lands in Washington, but its sole occupant escapes the authorities and seeks temporary refuge with a local family while trying to determine how best to deliver a cryptic message to the people of the Earth.

Based on the classic film; Michael Rennie reprises his role as Klaatu. The film, in turn, was based on the novel Farewell to the Master by Harry Bates.

Reviews:
Decent, faithful adaptation with most of the film's virtues and flaws. Adaptor Milton Geiger tries to smooth over some of the clunkier dialogue and situations even as he adds some clunk of his own. Alas, the two best things about the movie are missing: the spiffy visual effects and Bernard Herrmann's memorable score; Lux composer Rudy Schrager breaks a sweat, but it's no contest. However, we do get the godlike voice of narrator Paul Frees, which helps a lot, especially when he has to describe the Earth Standing Still with deathless narration like, "Joe Smith's milkshake didn't spin." --- Anonymous
Ghost and Mrs Muir, The
Year:
Duration:
Genre: Ghosts
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Josephine Leslie

A young widow buys a house haunted by the ghost of a ship's captain.

A version was also produced on Screen Directors' Playhouse.

Reviews:
The very French Charles Boyer takes over for the movie's very British Rex Harrison as the captain's ghost and, once you get used to the change, this is a surprisingly effective adaptation. The captain's goodbye to Mrs. Muir is a real tearjerker. --- Anonymous
King Solomon's Mines
Year:
Duration:
Genre: Adventure
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: H. Rider Haggard

Jaded veteran safari guide Alan Quartermain is coerced into accepting a job to lead an expedition into unexplored country to locate a rich heiress' missing husband, who vanished searching for the legendary diamond mines of King Solomon. Based on the film of the same name and starring Stewart Granger and Deborah Kerr.

Reviews:
Excellent production, acted with all the dramatic impact of the film. I've never been much of a Stewart Granger fan, but perhaps his being a big game hunter contributed to his gritty portrayal of Quartermain. --- Jeff Dickson.
Lost Horizon
Year:
Duration:
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: James Hilton

Following an escape from civil unrest, a hijacking, and a plane crash, a party of four finds itself stranded in the frigid mountains of Tibet. The remote lamasery of Shangri-La offers refuge and hospitality. Here our characters behold a beautiful, ideal world, but one which holds many a secret and enigma.

Other radio versions include: Academy Award Theatre, Everything for the Boys, Favorite Story, NBC University Theatre, and Theatre of Romance.

Reviews:
Mrs Moonlight
Year:
Duration:
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Benn Levy

A bride wishes for eternal youth—and gets it—then watches her family grow old around her.

A version of this story was also produced on Romance.

Reviews:
The heroine is sort of a cross between Peter Pan and Dorian Gray, but with her own unique and very interesting troubles. It seems this Benn Levy stage play has never been filmed, which is surprising since, as supernatural romances go, it has a lot of potential. But it probably works better on radio where you can't see the actors wearing unconvincing old-age make-up. Recommended. --- Anonymous
Naked Jungle, The
aka: "Leiningen vs the Ants"
Year:
Duration:
Genre: Adventure
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Carl Stephenson

An iron-willed South American plantation owner is determined to prevent a plague of army ants from overrunning his land. Based on the film of the same name. Stars Charlton Heston.

Versions of the original story 'Leiningen vs the Ants' appeared on Escape, Mystery in the Air, and Suspense.

Reviews:
Phantom Lady, The
Year:
Duration:
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Cornell Woolrich

When an engineer is convicted of his wife's murder, his secretary tries to clear his name by tracking down his one alibi, a lady in a funny hat who's disappeared without a trace.

Reviews:
The film is less a noir than a poor woman's Hitchcock thriller, produced as it was by longtime Hitch collaborator Joan Harrison, featuring a plucky working class heroine, and with a lady's hat as the MacGuffin. Like much of Sir Alfred's work, its best scenes are mostly visual and since they have little to do with the unconvincing story, they've been excised from the radio play. All that's left is endless plot holes, offbeat but badly acted cardboard characters (Alan Curtis and Ella Raines look okay in the picture, but sound terrible here, lacking nuance and charisma), and the same feeling you often get when listening to radio versions of Hitchcock—namely, you'd much rather be watching the movie. --- Anonymous
Secret of the Incas
Year:
Duration:
Genre: Adventure
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Sydney Boehm and Boehm Maximum

Unemployed pilot and fortune hunter Harry Steele picks up the scent of a legendary Peruvian gold sunburst, whose rediscovery is foretold to bring about the resurrection of Incan power, but Harry only wants it for his own gain. He is not the only one... Stars Charlton Heston.

The film was a major inspiration for "Raiders of the Lost Ark".

Reviews:
Terrific presentation—a pity ol' Chuck didn't do more radio. He had the voice for it. The story moves along at a healthy pace, and Steele is about as much of an anti-hero as you could get away with in the early 50s—cynical, mercenary, and caustic, but all the more engaging for it. One can certainly picture George Lucas and Steven Spielberg watching the film version and thinking 'hmmm... we can do something with this.....", though they have never admitted to it. Once you see Chuck in his Indiana Jones outfit, however (not to mention several other parallels), it seems undeniable. It is not surprising, really, that the film has never been released on video or DVD - I doubt Lucas, Spielberg or Paramount want it common knowledge that Indy had a forerunner. --- Jeff Dickson.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Year:
Duration:
Genre: Fantasy / Horror
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by:

A princess, targeted for death by a wicked queen, finds refuge in the cottage of seven little men.

Reviews:
Although brief, the horror elements (the Magic Mirror, the huntsman's murder attempt, Snow White's flight through the woods, the queen's transformation into an old hag) are reasonably effective on radio, but minus the film's snappy sight gags and lush visuals, and with the musical numbers either cut or shortened, the story feels attenuated and diminished. Awkward additions include: Snow White's dialogue with the birds, rhyming narration from Cecil B. DeMille, and a ringing bell around Dopey's neck (to give his silent character some presence). Most interesting new content: a couple of interviews with young Walt Disney himself. --- Anonymous
War of the Worlds
Year:
Duration:
Genre: Aliens
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: H.G. Wells

A version based on the George Pal film, boasting a strong cast and sound effects drawn right from the movie.

See all the radio versions of this story listed on the Famous Authors on Radio page.

Reviews:
Best thing about the film? The Oscar-winning special effects, which are, of course, not here. Second best? The sound effects, which Lux uses a lot—in fact, too much; in the third act, there seems to be a noisy Martian heat ray on every damn street corner. This really is mainstream Hollywood's idea of science fiction, much dumber and blander than your average episode of "X Minus One." H. G. Wells' name isn't mentioned once and the author's atheist socialist outlook has been replaced by an ecumenical religious one. Adaptor Leonard St. Clair rewrites most of the film's dialogue while keeping intact the plot and characters (if you can call them characters; they're barely ciphers). Dana Andrews' Dr. Clayton Forrester is a thoroughly unconvincing astrophysicist, mincingly enunciating scientific jargon as if he were embarrassed to be reading it aloud for the first time. Pat Crowley's Sylvia must've gotten her master's degree at Tomboy University. And yet, despite these and fifty other complaints, it still sort of works somehow, if only as a kids' story, on a primal level, like a fairy tale. Apparently, Wells' basic idea is so foolproof that it takes a lot more than the combined forces of Hollywood—vast, cool, and unsympathetic—to entirely screw it up. --- Anonymous


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Macabre

Little is known or survives of this series; it is unusual in that it was a production of Armed Forces Radio [Far East Network] and employed servicemen as actors. Broadcasts ran from November 1961 to January 1962. There were an unknown number of episodes, all in half-hour format. Written and directed by William Verdier. Formulaic writing with stiff, yet melodramatic, performances which nevertheless often involved a satisfying twist at the end.

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Avenger, The
Year: 1961
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Occult
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: William Verdier

A writer who violates a sacred native temple in the African jungle returns to civilization, but cannot escape the long arm of vengeance.

Reviews:
Crystalline Man, The
Year: 1962
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Creatures
Available for Listening Booth:
Story by: William Verdier

An expedition to the Arctic uncovers the body of a man apparently formed of crystal in a cavity under a glacier. They take it back to a museum where it proceeds to thaw...

Reviews:
Edge of Evil, The
Year: 1962
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Supernatural
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Walt Sheldon

A New England cleric attempts to verify whether a creepy mansion owned by an evil scientist is haunted or not.

Reviews:
Final Resting Place
Year: 1961
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Horror
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: William Verdier

A carney tricks a newly wedded groom into allowing himself to be buried alive.

Reviews:
Macabre is a bit campy, but in a good way. This is a creepy episode that really bothered me. The notion of being buried alive is just about the only concept in horror that affects me and this definitely did. --- William Loeffler
House in the Garden, The
Year: 1961
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Murder
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: William Verdier

France, 1910: a Count summons a police inspector to his castle after a series of strange deaths plague his home. The deaths are always foreshadowed by the beating of voodoo drums.

Reviews:
Man in the Mirror, The
Year: 1961
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Supernatural
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: William Verdier

After he becomes mutilated and paralysed in a car accident, John Randall is contacted by a strange entity that offers him the chance to turn back time for a dire price.

Reviews:
Midnight Horseman, The
Year: 1961
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Supernatural
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: William Verdier

An art collector can't resist purchasing a painting of a savage medieval horseman, whom legend holds will return to life through the portrait if under the right circumstances.

Reviews:
Keep in mind that Macabre was largely a labour of love created by radio employees who were neither professional actors nor writers. This episode is one of the best, but it is still only mediocre. The sound quality is excellent, but the acting is stiff and the plot is weak. If you are expecting a professional production on par with Suspense, you'll be sadly disappointed, but if you are expect a really good high school production, you'll be satisfied. [6/10] --- zM
Weekend
Year: 1961
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Horror
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: William Verdier

A group of medical students are confined to an isolated island and drugged with an experimental substance.

Reviews:


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Mercury Theatre on the Air

The Mercury Theatre was a theatrical production company founded in 1937 by Orson Welles (21 y/o) and John Houseman (35 y/o). After a series of successful stage productions, Welles was offered the chance to direct a weekly, hour-long radio production. The Mercury Theatre morphed into The Mercury Theatre on the Air and broadcast an adaptation of Dracula as its first episode. Throughout this series and later, during The Campbell Playhouse, Welles specifically chose stories that were suitable for the Radio medium. 18 of the 22 original shows still survive. The troupe returned in 1946 as The Mercury Summer Theatre of the Air for a 15-episode summer run of half-hour shows.

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Count of Monte Cristo, The
aka: "Le Comte de Monte-Cristo"
Year: 1938
Duration: 60 min
Genre: Adventure
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Alexandre Dumas, pere

Marseilles, France, 1815. On the eve of his wedding, Edmond Dantès is accused of treason and sentenced to solitary confinement in prison. His friends and fiancée believe he died during a prison escape. Years later he reappears, disguised with a new identity, and seeks revenge against those who betrayed him. Historical Note: the story opens in Marseilles in Feb, 1815. This is after the first defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte (and his subsequent exile to Elba), but before his 100-day 'return' in the spring of 1815. At this time many 'Bonapartists' were plotting to return their emperor to power.

Reading Link: 'The Count of Monte Cristo', by Alexandre Dumas, available at Project Gutenberg.

This story contains many French words which may be difficult to distinguish. Here is a list of the major characters (and places), in order of appearance:

Edmond Dantès
19 y/o 1st Mate aboard the ship Pharaon. Fiancé of Mercédès. Takes change when Captain Leclère unexpectedly dies, and successfully guides the ship back to port in Marseilles, France. Tipped by the owner of the ship to become the new captain.
Marseilles
A port in southern France where Dantès, Caderousse, de Villefort, Danglars and Mondego all hail from.
Pharaon
Name of the ship captained by Leclère and owned by Morrel. [Pharaon is French for Pharaoh]
Smyrna => Trieste => Naples => Marseilles
Return route of the Pharaon.
Captain Leclère
Captain of the Pharaon. Dies before the story begins.
Monsieur Morrel
Owner of the merchant ship Pharaon. Satisfied with the way Dantès took change upon the captain's death.
Monsieur Danglars
Supercargo (a merchant-ship officer who is responsible for all financial matters aboard a ship) on the Pharaon. Resentful of Edmond Dantès' rapid promotion to captain. Complains to Morrel that Dantès wasted time by taking a side trip to Elba.
Rue de Noailles
The street where Louis Dantès lives.
Louis Dantès
Father of Edmond Dantès.
Caderousse
Cowardly, selfish and greedy neighbour of Louis Dantès. Tailor.
Mercédès
Fiancée of Edmond Dantès. In love with Dantès and affectionate toward Mondego. From a Catalan family of fishermen.
Fernand Mondego
Cousin of Mercédès. In love with her. Jealous of Edmond Dantès.
Gérard de Villefort
Ambitious and corrupt deputy crown prosecutor in Marseilles. Receives an anonymous letter accusing Dantès of carrying a letter from Elba to the Bonapartist Committee in Paris. Fears that Dantès' letter will become publicly known.
Monsieur Noirtier
Father of Gérard de Villefort. Conspirator.
Château d'If
Ironically-named prison island, one-mile off the coast of Marseilles in treacherous waters from which no one has ever escaped.
Abbé Faria
The 'mad priest' who befriends Edmond Dantès in prison.
Reviews:
A complex, fast-moving tale of injustice, courage, emotional endurance, and revenge. Since a one-hour adaptation can't do justice to such a wonderfully complex story, Welles and company have wisely cut many subplots and presented only the essentials. Acting is superb; sound quality, excellent. There is one minor continuity problem which is easily forgiven - the adaptation claims to open in September, 1815. But by September, Napoleon had already returned to France, been defeated at Waterloo, and exiled to St. Helena. Consequently, Dantès would not have been able to deliver a package to him on Elba. Aside from this, the story moves quickly and smoothly, building to a strong climax. [8/10] --- zM
Dracula
Year: 1938
Duration: 60 min
Genre: Vampires
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Bram Stoker

The Lord of Vampires moves to England where the neighbours aren't so aware of his true nature. Premiere episode.

Reviews:
Welles and Co. manage to resist the urge to "improve" the story which so many filmmakers (particularly Coppola) succumb to. The narrative-dependent nature of radio allows for the journal entry style of the book to carry over. Despite having to cut out huge chunks of story to fit into sixty minutes, it manages to remain coherent. My only beef is that it's not made clear in the script why Harker went to Transylvania in the first place. --- Harry Leshko

As strange as it may seem, this was my first exposure to the story of Dracula. I found the pacing so rushed I was never really sure what was going on. The story jumped back and forth between Transylvania and England, and I think it jumped back and forth in time also, but I'm not sure. I felt like I should have had kept a notebook, stopping the recording often so I could make notes about who was doing what to whom and when. However, the "rushed" atmosphere greatly enhances the ending... it is clear everyone is under tremendous time pressure and this comes across very well in the dramatization. I can't imagine trying to do this in a half-hour production. [6/10 on first hearing, 7/10 upon second hearing] --- zM
Hell on Ice
Year: 1938
Duration: 60 min
Genre: Adventure
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Commander Edward Ellsberg

A recreation of the ill-fated 1879 attempt to reach the North Pole by ship. The expedition becomes trapped in the ice as the winter closes in.

See also 'Arctic Rescue' (Suspense) and 'The Captain of the Pole Star' (CBS Radio Mystery Theater)

Reviews:
Hitch-Hiker, The
Year: 1946
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Supernatural
Series: Mercury Summer Theatre on the Air
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Lucille Fletcher

A fellow going on a cross country car trip keeps meeting up with the same pesky spectral hitchhiker that he has no intention of picking up.

Welles also performed this script on Suspense.

Reviews:
This was my first encounter with OTR (I read the script in a middle school reader), so it's one of my favorites. As a fun note, I timed the phone call at the end, and he only got one minute out of the three minutes of long distance he was entitled to. --- Harry Leshko
Treasure Island
Year: 1938
Duration: 60 min
Genre: Adventure
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Robert Louis Stevenson

The classic adventure tale by Robert Louis Stevenson, starring Orson Welles and Arthur Anderson. Pirates, tropical islands, a treasure map, a teenage boy, and a one-legged seaman with a parrot on his shoulder. Stevenson began writing this tale "on a chill September morning, by the cheek of a brisk fire, and rain drumming on the window"... after being asked by his step-son to, please, write something interesting.

Reviews:
A rollicking good yarn with solid acting. The sound quality of the recording makes some of the dialogue hard to understand, but it is well worth the effort. [8/10] --- zM
War of the Worlds, The
Year: 1938
Duration: 60 min
Genre: Sci-Fi / Aliens
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: H.G. Wells

Undeniably the most famous—or infamous—radio broadcast of all time. Orson Welles' dramatization of his namesake's immortal Sci-Fi classic was so terrifying that it had many listeners believing an invasion by Martians was actually taking place. Presented like a news report and removed to contemporary America, Welles' approach proved a little too effective for the gullible public. So great was the impact on society that this one broadcast has earned a place in America's cultural heritage. Based on the story by H.G. Wells.

For a complete listing of all the versions of this story produced for radio, see the Famous Authors on Radio page.

Reviews:


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Murder at Midnight

A short-lived series which ran from mid-1946 to mid-1947. Thirty of fifty-two episodes seem to be in circulation; they are all in standard half-hour format. This series was primarily a crime-oriented anthology with occasional forays into the supernatural. It was well-produced and, since the entire series was available by transcription, the surviving recordings have excellent audio quality.

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Dead Hand, The
Year: 1946
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Horror
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Robert Newman

A pianist loses his hand (not to mention his mind) in an auto accident, and contrives to kill to obtain a new hand which can then be grafted onto his arm. The only problem is that his chosen victim had a penchant for theft and violence.... Story by Robert Newman.

See also 'The Beast with Five Fingers' (Fear on 4), 'Hand of Botar' (Hall of Fantasy), 'The Crimson Hand' (The Hermit's Cave), 'The Hand' (CBS Radio Mystery Theater), and 'Death by Whose Hands?' (CBS Radio Mystery Theater).

Reviews:
Losing a hand, finding a detached hand that lives and moves by itself, receiving a severed hand in the mail... are all common themes in Horror. ('See also', above.) And so is not being able to control your hands—truly a horrifying predicament. But with the theme having been explored so many times before, it is hard to find an original "hands" story. Above average acting in this one turns a rather predictable plot into something worth listening to. [7/10] --- zM
House that Time Forgot, The
Year: 1946
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Ghosts
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Sigmund Miller

A couple purchase a beautiful country home only to find that the former owners, who died in a boating mishap decades earlier, are not quite done with it yet.

Reviews:
Kabbalah, The
Year: 1946
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Occult
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Robert Newman

A writer on the occult comes into the possession of a manuscript that can foretell the future, but exacts a terrible price.

Reviews:
Man Who Was Death, The
Year: 1946
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Murder
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Robert Newman

An aspiring sculptor, frustrated by not being able to capture the image he desires in stone, decides he must become the image in order to understand it. That wouldn't be so bad... except the image he is trying to capture is that of Death itself.

Not the same story as The Shadow episode with the same name.

Reviews:
A straight-forward murder mystery. Solid acting. Very good audio quality. (The organ music grows on you after a while.) [7/10] --- zM
Terror Out of Space
Year: 1946
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Aliens
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Robert Newman

A project to transmit and detect signals from space succeeds better—or worse—than intended when a hostile ET follows the signal down to Earth.

Later redone as 'Terror From Beyond' for the series Theatre 5.

Reviews:


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Mutual Radio Theater

A re-named, continuation of the Sears Radio Theater. Mostly rebroadcasts, but with a short season of new dramas late in 1980. At least 103 episodes survive.

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Our Man on Omega
Year:
Duration:
Genre: Humour
Available for Listening Booth: N
Story by:

The world waits in breathless silence for the return of Ned Bummer, the first man to make contact with ETs, returning to Earth aboard an alien spaceship. Stars Richard Crenna; narrated by Andy Griffith.

Reviews:


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Mystery in the Air

An NBC summer series from 1947 which presented "strange and unusual stories" from "dark and compelling masterpieces culled from the four corners of world literature". Narrated by Henry Morgan (later known as Harry Morgan—of Dragnet and M*A*S*H) and starring Peter Lorre. Not to be confused with a detective program from 1945 with the same title, sponsor and time slot. Some of the scripts are available at the Vintage Radio Script Library. Standard half-hour format.

Currently this archive contains 14 of 13 plotlines

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Beyond Good and Evil | The Marvelous Barastro | The Mask of Medusa

Beyond Good and Evil

Year: 1947
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Thriller
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Script Available: Y
Story by: Ben Hecht and Doug Whitney

Escaped criminal, Philip Gentry, stumbles across a man changing a flat tire by the side of the road. He kills him, buries the body, steals his car, and assumes his identity. No problem... Except the murdered man was the Reverend Howard Pierce who was on his way to take over for the dying Reverend McKillup, and now Gentry finds himself as the head of the local parish.

With Peter Lorre (Philip Gentry), Peggy Webber (Lucy McKillup), John Brown (Reverend Howard McKillup), Howard Culver (Mack, cop), Jack Edwards Jr. (Tom Hubbard), Russell Thorson (Reverend Pierce), and Henry Morgan (the voice of Mystery).

Another version was produced for Suspense, starring Joseph Cotten.

Reviews:
When Peter Lorre gets in his 'groove' he is truly inspired. It's as if the character he's portraying takes control and Lorre is just along for the ride. Anger, hatred, and fear. It's all here in this story. Peggy Webber, who appeared in several episodes, "remembered a time when Lorre became so overcome with the drama of the story that he sent his script flying into the air, scattering it all over the floor. Lorre had to ad-lib his lines until staffers could re-assemble the pages." [from Horror Stars on Radio: The Broadcast Histories of 29 Chilling Hollywood Voices]. [9/10] --- zM

Black Cat, The

Year: 1947
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Murder
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Script Available: Y
Story by: Edgar Allan Poe

A man and his wife, both lovers of animals, befriend a homeless kitten and raise it as their own. Since it's all black, like the devil, they decide to name him Pluto. Life is wonderful. Until the man's alcoholic binges alter his state of mind and lead him to reject the unconditional love of his innocent cat. It's all downhill from there...

With Peter Lorre (narrator), Lurene Tuttle (the wife), Howard Culver (the judge), Russell Thorson (the innkeeper, voice 1), Jack Edwards Jr. (the constable, voice 2), Jerry Hausner (1st man, cat), Henry Morgan (the voice of Mystery, 2nd man).

Reviews:
I found the cat abuse/murder a little disturbing. Why that should bother me more than the countless human murders in this series, I don't know. Perhaps because my black cat was sitting on my lap, purring, while I was listening? Made me feel like a bit of a traitor. The depth of my uneasiness, I guess, is a tribute to Poe and Lorre. But beyond the detail of the black cat, this is really a story about alcoholism, violence and guilt-induced madness. [6/10] --- zM

Crime and Punishment

Year: 1947
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Crime
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Script Available: Y
Story by: Fyodor Dostoyevsky

In this version of the story, Raskolnikov, a brilliant young university student, graduates with highest honours due, in part, to a treatise he wrote examining the criminal mind. Unable to find work and sinking into poverty, he devises a plan to murder an exploitative pawnbroker. He believes that with his knowledge of police investigative procedures, he will remain unsuspected... it will be the perfect crime.

Adapted from the 1935 film, also starring Peter Lorre.

With Peter Lorre (Roderick Raskolnikov), Joseph Kearns (the college president, the policeman), Peggy Webber (Sonya, the Landlady), Gloria Ann Simpson (the pawnbroker), Herbert Butterfield (the clerk, the prisoner), Ben Wright (the publisher), Luis Van Rooten (the Inspector), and Henry Morgan (the voice of Mystery).

Reviews:
A half-hour radio show works best when dramatizing a short story. Trying to condense a full-length motion picture (which has already been condensed from a very long novel) is just plain silly. But even though the plot is (necessarily) simplistic, the acting is sound. Think of this as the Cliff Notes version of Crime and Punishment. If you know nothing about the story, this might serve as a good introduction, but if you loved the book, you'll be sadly disappointed that so much has been left out. [6/10] --- zM
Horla, The
Year: 1947
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Supernatural
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Guy de Maupassant

Guy de Maupassant's famous semi-autobiographical story about his obsession with an intangible, malignant force which he is convinced has arrived in his coastal town aboard a mysterious Brazilian cargo ship.

With Peter Lorre (the narrator), Peggy Webber (Marie), Ken Christie (the doctor), Ben Wright (Dr Parent), Lurene Tuttle (Madame Sableis), Howard Culver (the workman), Jack Edwards, Jr. (various voices), and Henry Morgan (the voice of Mystery).

Other versions were produced for CBS Radio Mystery Theater, Columbia Workshop, Inner Sanctum, and The Weird Circle.

Reviews:
This story was written in 1887, near the end of de Maupassant's life, during a period of melancholy and delusions. As a result, it is often considered semi-biographical. (As usual, Lorre expresses this madness well.) On another level, however, one could argue (as H.P. Lovecraft does) that this story is not about madness at all—it is about "extra-terrestrial organisms [who have] arrived on earth to subjugate and overwhelm mankind". Or maybe it involves a little of both? It possibly served as the inspiration for H.P. Lovecraft's own short story "The Call of Cthulhu". [6/10] --- zM

Interruption, The    *LOST*

Year: 1947
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Crime
Available for Listening Booth: N
Script Available: Y
Story by: W.W. Jacobs

Goddard poisons his wife slowly over several weeks so her illness appears to be a severe form of gastro enteritis. When she finally dies, however, instead of being free, the man finds himself blackmailed by his wife's maid (Agnes Moorehead). Now he needs to figure out a way to kill her too, without arousing suspicion.

See also "Too Many Women Can Kill You" (CBS Radio Mystery Theater).

With Peter Lorre (Goddard), Agnes Moorehead (Hannah), Mary Lansing (Milly), Russell Thorson (the doctor), Herb Vigran (the man), and Henry Morgan (the voice of Mystery)

Reviews:

Leiningen Versus the Ants    *LOST*

Year: 1947
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Thriller
Available for Listening Booth: N
Script Available: N
Story by: Carl Stephenson

This story, first published in 1938, tells of an iron-willed South American plantation owner who is determined to prevent a plague of army ants—10 miles long, 2 miles wide, and each the size of his thumb—from overrunning his land.

Three version were produced for Escape and one version for Suspense.

Reviews:

Lodger, The

Year: 1947
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Thriller
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Script Available: Y
Story by: Marie Adelaide Belloc Lowndes

London, 1888. A phantom serial killer of women, reported in the press as simply "The Avenger", has killed five young women to date—all of whom are young, blond, pretty and are returning home form music halls. Against this backdrop, a boarding house madam takes in a suspicious new boarder wearing a black cape and hat, carrying a single piece of luggage, and offering a handsome price for lodging with privacy.

With Peter Lorre (the lodger), Agnes Moorehead (Ellen Bunting), Barbara Eiler (Daisy), Eric Snowden (Bunting), Raymond Lawrence (Coroner, Inspector), Rolfe Sedan (Cannot), Conrad Binyon (the newsboy), and Henry Morgan (voice of Mystery, 2nd newsboy)

Three versions were produced for Suspense and one for CBS Radio Mystery Theater. One of the Suspense versions is one-hour long.

Reviews:
Lorre does well as the mentally unbalanced lodger, but I think the ending would have been more powerful had there been more psychological horror and less action. Written in 1913, twenty-five years after Jack the Ripper terrorized London, this story builds on the legend and offers religious mania as a possible explanation. [6/10] --- zM

Marvelous Barastro, The

aka: "The Shadow"
Year: 1947
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Thriller
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Script Available: Y
Story by: Ben Hecht

A small-time carnival magician who reads fortunes, speaks with the dead, and reads the secrets of life, falls in love with and marries a beautiful blind woman. Shortly thereafter, they meet another travelling magician named Rico Sansone who desires Anna as his assistant and is willing to go to extraordinary lengths to get her.

With Peter Lorre (Gregor Barastro), John Brown (Amos G. Hal, old man), Barbara Eiler (Anna), Howard Culver (Rico Sansone), Jane Morgan (the nurse, voice 1), Russell Thorson (the barker, voice 2), and Henry Morgan (the voice of Mystery).

Another version was produced for Suspense, starring Orson Welles.

Reviews:
A love story which shows how flattery can disarm suspicion and lead to betrayal. The opening scene involves Barastro hiring a lawyer to defend himself for a murder he is about to commit. The reasons why are detailed in an extended flashback told by Barastro. Solid acting by Lorre, combined with one or two twists, builds suspense in an otherwise straightforward plot. [8/10] --- zM

Mask of Medusa, The

Year: 1947
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Horror
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Script Available: Y
Story by: Nelson S. Bond

A murderer on the run from the police ducks through a doorway and finds himself in a strange shop, being confronted by an even stranger proprietor. The proprietor claims to be an artist and a connoisseur... of murder. The shop is more like a museum than a shop and is filled with the ghastly wax figures of murderers... all of whom seem very lifelike.

With Peter Lorre, Peggy Webber (Ilse, 2nd Girl), Lucille Meredith (Magda, Greta), Stanley Waxman (Aristide), Russell Thorson (Karl, Paul), Ben Wright (father), Phyllis Christine Morris (Miss Akins, 1st Girl), and Henry Morgan (the voice of Mystery).

Reviews:
I can just imagine Lorre—drenched in sweat and thrusting his hands with wild abandon—as he reads the climax. This story is well suited to Lorre's style. I thought the ending, however, was weak and a little disappointing. Perhaps it would have worked better as a one-hour episode? But by then Lorre might have had a heart attack, so perhaps not. [7/10] --- zM

Nobody Loves Me    *LOST*

Year: 1947
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Crime
Available for Listening Booth: N
Script Available: Y
Story by: Herbert Clyde Lewis

A well-known hit man, Joe Reeze, enters a police station, pulls a gun on Captain Kelly and Sergeant Holt, and holds them captive while he tells them all about the kidnapping of Peggy Stewart.

With Peter Lorre (Joe Reeze), Lurene Tuttle (Peggy), Frank Nelson (Sergeant Holt), Cyrus Kendall (Captain Kelly), Ruth Perrott (Aunt Ella), Conrad Binyon (young Joe Reeze), Irvin Lee (Alex), Horace Willard (Horace), and Henry Morgan (as the voice of Mystery).

Reviews:

Piece of String, A    *LOST*

Year: ??
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Crime
Available for Listening Booth: N
Script Available: N
Story by: Guy de Maupassant

On market day, with the public square filled with throng of human beings and animals mixed together, an economical man, Maître Hauchecome of Breaute, notices a piece of string on the ground and picks it up. His enemy, the halter maker, sees this and uses begins a campaign to destroy Maître's reputation.

Unclear if this episode ever aired.

Reviews:

Queen of Spades, The

Year: 1947
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Murder
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Script Available: Y
Story by: Alexander Pushkin

Lieutenant Hermann has the heart of a gambler kept rigidly in check by a strong will... and a lack of money. However, when he hears that the Countess has a sure-fire, unbeatable method for beating Faro three cards in a row, he becomes obsessed with discovering her method.

With Peter Lorre (Lieutenant Hermann), Lurene Tuttle (the Countess), Peggy Webber (Lizavetta), Ben Wright (Tomsky), Rolfe Sedan (Duke, voice 2), Louis Van Rooten (Narumov), Jack Edwards Jr. (Surin, voice 1), Stanley Waxman (Chekalinsky), and Henry Morgan (as the voice of Mystery, the usher).

Another version was produced for CBS Radio Mystery Theater.

Reviews:
Murder with a slight supernatural element, better suited for the CBS Radio Mystery Theater than Mystery on the Air. No maniacal screaming... except for a little bit at the end, of course. Rather tame for Lorre, overall, but not a bad story. [6/10] --- zM

Tell-Tale Heart, The    *LOST*

Year: 1947
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Horror
Available for Listening Booth: N
Script Available: Y
Story by: Edgar Allan Poe

A servant claiming to be absolutely sane, explains that his apparent madness is due simply to the extreme sharpness of his senses which causes him to be nervous... yes, very nervous, but not insane. His senses are so acute that he can hear many things... things in Heaven... and in Hell, but that doesn't mean he's insane, does it? And how could he be telling his story so calmly, so very calmly if he were mad? All was well. Except that the old man he took care of had a remarkable eye—a vulture's blue eye, an evil eye—which preyed upon his exaggerated nervousness, until he finally developed a plan to shut that eye forevermore.

A faithful re-telling of the classic Edgar Allan Poe story, originally published in 1843.

With Peter Lorre, Bob Bruce, Lois Corbett, Jack Douglas, Michael Roy, Bob Andersen, Lyle Bond, Ed Chandler, Quartette, Paul Baron, and Henry Morgan.

Other versions were produced for Radio Mystery Theater, Columbia Workshop, Inner Sanctum Mysteries, Mercury Summer Theatre of the Air, Nightfall, Seeing Ear Theatre, The Hall of Fantasy, The Weird Circle.

Reviews:

Touch of Your Hand, The    *LOST*

Year: 1947
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Thriller
Available for Listening Booth: N
Script Available: Y
Story by: Frank Wilson

There is no circus act to compare with The Blanchards' trapeze act—François, his wife Madelaine, and his brother Paul—but they are always striving to make their act more spectacular. Madelaine hits upon a daring plan for François to fake a missed catch, and then catch her as she is falling.

With Peter Lorre (François), John Brown (Shneider, bartender), Hans Conreid (Paul), Jack Edwards Jr. (roustabout), Barbara Eiler (Madelaine), Alan Reed (Kelly), and Henry Morgan (the voice of Mystery).

Reviews:


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Nightmare

An obscure series hosted by Peter Lorre, broadcast from the fall of 1953 to the fall of 1954. Although on air for a year, only a few episodes seem to have survived. All are in standard half hour format.

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Chance of a Ghost, The
Year: 1954
Duration: 25 min
Genre: Occult
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by:

A couple involved in running faked seances take to quarrelling when the woman believes she has succeeded in actually contacting the dead.

Reviews:
This sounds familiar. Redone later on CBS Radio Mystery Theater? --- zM
Coincidence
Year: 1953
Duration: 25 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by:

Reviews:
High Wire Lady
Year: 1953
Duration: 25 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by:

Reviews:
Hollow Footsteps, The
Year: 1954
Duration: 25 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by:

Reviews:
Hybrid, The
Year: 1954
Duration: 25 min
Genre: Super Science
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by:

Research scientist creates new a hybrid plant. But it has an unusual odour. Similar to carrion and blood. And no wonder it's carnivorous, growing and hungry.

Reviews:
Nice little old fashion B movie type Sci-Fi horror tale, but with an ending that's too abrupt. Far more simpler and elemental the it's longer and more elaborate sister killer plant yarn, The Day of the Triffids. But basically done well in the hyperbolic melodramatic fashion of the 50s. --- Bruce Fisher
Leech, The
Year: 1954
Duration: 25 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by:

Reviews:
Purple Cloud, The
Year: 1953
Duration: 25 min
Genre: Super Science
Available for Listening Booth: N
Story by:

Steve and Mike see a purple shaped mushroom cloud over the city in the distance. Couldn't be a nuclear blast... but then the phone and radio go dead, the sky is filled with jets, and later even their car goes dead...

Reviews:
Good tension and suspense. And also a morality tale. Nothing great here, but still a compelling 24 to 25 minutes of mind theater. --- Bruce Fisher


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OMNI Audio Experience

A brief anthology series out of the 1980s produced by Omni magazine, with a limited run of only 4 programs and released on cassette. A great pity the series is so minimal, as its production values were every bit on par with Bradbury 13—not surprising since both series were overseen by Mike McDonough. All shows were half-hour format.

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And the Moon be Still as Bright | Rescue Party

And the Moon be Still as Bright
Year: 1988
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Mars / Aliens
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. Story by Ray Bradbury; part of the Martian Chronicles future history.

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

Reviews:
Off Season, The
Year:
Duration:
Genre: Mars / Aliens
Available for Listening Booth: N
Story by: Ray Bradbury

Having displaced most of the Martians from their cities and homes, emigrant Earthmen are settling in for the long haul. Sam Parkhill looks forward to owning the first hot dog stand on Mars, but a cryptic warning from a Martian native might suggest a different outcome. Part of Ray Bradbury's Martian Chronicles series.

Reviews:
Rescue Party
Year: ??
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Aliens
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Arthur C. Clarke

A story about space travellers on a mission of mercy to save what inhabitants of a world they can from an impending supernova, only to find a bizarre mystery once they arrive.

Reviews:
A well done thriller across the board. Writing, acting, production values, etc. Check it out. --- Bruce Fisher
No Title
Year:
Duration:
Genre: none
Available for Listening Booth: N
Story by:

6 minutes piano and orchestra track (by Greg Hanson?), followed by 'Sleepscape', a 10-minute audio drama by Innovations Consulting Inc. (corporate drama?), and a final 4-minute segment called 'Think a Thought' by Ken Nordeen. The whole track is less than 24 minutes.

Reviews:
An odd hodgepodge of material that is neither in line with nor worthy of the rest of the series. The only part that is any good is the piano track, which has a haunting, bittersweet melancholy to it, but as far as audio drama is concerned, don't hope for anything remotely resembling the other episodes. --- Jeff Dickson.


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Radio City Playhouse

A Drama Anthology which aired on NBC from mid-1948 to early 1950 and covered a wide variety of genres, including about half a dozen tales of the fantastic. Original stories as well as classic stories were dramatized. Two series, plus a summer run, generated an estimated 65 broadcasts, of which 62 survive. All episodes were in the standard half-hour format.

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Elementals
Year: 1949
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Speculative
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Stephen Vincent Bénet

A very wealthy man wagers a young couple $25,000 that he can destroy their love within seven days. He maintains there are only three elemental emotions: fear, hunger, and hate, and that by keeping the two lovers within sight of each other, but incommunicado and without food for seven days, their love will be consumed by one or more of the elementals. The young couple believe their love will prove the stronger.

Other versions aired on Author's Playhouse, Escape, and Suspense.

Reviews:
An interesting experiment, well executed. The build-up is much greater in the written story, but the dramatizations are not bad. I enjoyed the Radio City Playhouse version better than the Author's Playhouse, Escape and Suspense versions, with the Suspense version coming in a close second. The acting is fine, and the story is okay... I just had a hard time with the premise. The idea is that after seven days a piece of bread will be tossed to the young couple. If they fight over the bread, they lose. If they share it, they win... and then presumably go out to a restaurant and have a fine meal. This isn't like a pair of starving animals who wouldn't know if they would ever get any more food. So... would seven days without food be enough to destroy one's reason so he/she would not be able to wait another one-half hour? Hard to believe. [7/10] --- zM
How Love Came to Professor Guildea
Year: 1949
Duration:
Genre: Occult
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Robert S. Hichens

One of several renditions of this classic story of a professor whose contempt for human feelings invites the affections of an invisible entity.

Versions of this story also appeared on CBS Radio Mystery Theater (as 'Shadow of Love'), Escape , Radio City Playhouse, and The Vanishing Point.

See also 'The Thing in the Hall' (Theatre 10:30)

Reviews:
Note on Danger B
Year: 1949
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Sci-Fi
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Gerald Kersh (P.J. Gahagan)

A high-velocity rocket plane test causes the test pilot to undergo a strange transformation.

Reviews:
Strange Identity
Year: 1948
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Occult
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Harry W. Junkin

Jan Miner stars as a war widow who spots her thought-to-be-dead husband on a passing bus and begins an exhaustive search to find out where he has been and why he has been avoiding her. Story by Harry W. Junkin.

Reviews:
Radio drama often builds plot at the expense of character development, but this story manages both. A good script, accompanied by strong acting from Jan Miner, leaves no doubt in our minds about the fierce, undying love the main character feels toward her husband... and her willingness to do anything to be reunited with him forever. [8/10] --- zM
Three Men
Year: 1948
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Horror
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Wyllis Cooper

Three strangers share a train compartment and have the odd feeling they have met somewhere before.

Reviews:
This Wyllis Cooper script was the nearly-annual Christmas play on Lights Out in the 1930s, even after Cooper left that series. It's not horror at all, but a religious fantasy appropriate to the season. This 1948 version is okay, but the surviving 1937 Lights Out broadcast has a more complete script and slightly more interesting actors. --- Anonymous
Wind, The
Year: 1949
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Horror
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury tale of a man haunted and hunted by a wind that wants to steal his soul.

Versions were also produced for Bradbury 13 and Theatre 10:30 (as 'The Searching Wind')

Reviews:
Not the best version of this great story; listen to the Bradbury 13 rendition instead. --- Jeff Dickson.

A pretty silly premise which is told so well that you'll be afraid to go outside in the wind. The Bradbury 13 version of this story has much better music and sound effects, but poorer characterization. The character of Allen (the man persecuted by the wind) is well played in both versions and he is the root of the story, so both versions are worth listening to. But Allen's best friend (Herb) and Herb's wife (Jane) are characterized very differently in the two versions. Jane seems thoroughly unpleasant in the Bradbury 13 version... understanding, but pushed to the edge, in the Radio City version. Herb seems rather condescending in the Bradbury 13 version... but like a good friend in the Radio City version. If characterization is your thing, listen to the Radio City version. If music, sound effects and overall tone are what you look for, you'll be better off with the Bradbury 13 version. Both are well made. [8/10] --- zM


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Sears Radio Theater

Helmed by ex-Suspense producer Elliot Lewis and broadcast weekdays from early 1979 to the fall of that year, this program offered shows from several genres, with a different theme tied to each day of the week. The few Sci-Fi oriented stories appeared on Adventure Fridays, hosted by Richard Widmark (later in the series, by Howard Duff). 129 episodes were produced, but only a few fit the parameters of this site. The series was picked up by the Mutual Broadcasting System and rebroadcast in 1980 as The Mutual Radio Theater.

Webmaster Recommends:

No Greater Dream
Year:
Duration:
Genre: Super Science
Available for Listening Booth: N
Story by:

Scientists John and Mary are in love, but Mary has terminal leukaemia. They attempt to preserve her soul in a glowing glass vile attached to the coffin where Mary is laid to rest.

Reviews:
Well don't look for any Science in this piece of pseudo Science Fiction. It's 'Donovan's Brain' without the brain. Neither in the story itself or for the writing of the story. How this astounding transmutation was supposedly accomplished, well... it just was - ok. If your taste buds opine for heady portions of ham and corn securely locked together in the dialogue and acting and then snugly wrapped around schmaltzy enough to smell hearts and flowers music, then, this is for you. --- Bruce Fisher
Then There Were None
Year:
Duration:
Genre: Aliens
Available for Listening Booth: N
Story by:

Astronauts' space ship lands on a planet of carnivorous giants. Predictable horrors and altercations envelope and threaten the crew's safety and security.

Reviews:
Nice little old fashion comic book type space opera with a Twilight Zone twist we've all seen and heard a number of times before. But still suspenseful and exciting enough to generate some nice classically lurid Sci-Fi mind theater. Enjoy. --- Bruce Fisher
Two Faces of Evil
Year:
Duration:
Genre: Space Exploration
Available for Listening Booth: N
Story by:

Astronaut Jason Tucker and his clone Juvan are sent together on a mission into deep space to retrieve a very expensive robot computer, but Tucker has secret orders that command him to return to Earth, without his companion. Unbeknownst to him, Juvan also has secret orders that mandate him to do the same.

Reviews:
Not exactly a thriller-diller. Most of the story takes place during the voyage and resolves around the somewhat trivial "getting to know you" exchanges between Tucker and Juvan alternating with nervous exchanges between two military officers on Earth concerned how the two will get along. Actually they do. Probably would have better the other way. The motive and rational why the two were given conflicting orders in the first place isn't very believable or convincing from either their commanding officer's psychological (worth the risk) or criminal (get away with it) point of view. --- Bruce Fisher
Wrath of Zeus, The
Year:
Duration:
Genre: Future Earth
Available for Listening Booth: N
Story by:

A high tech whodunit. The world is at peace, and thanks to a super computer that now controls the weather, a golden age looms on the horizon - until catastrophic storms begin raging across the planet causing devastating carnage.

Reviews:
Good enough premise. Writing, acting, and production values, ok. Couple of corn elements. Clearly not the best, but still pretty good. Definitely worth a listen. --- Bruce Fisher

A very realistic portrayal of a future in which man had conquered weather control, but with unlooked for results. Although the story device of one person gaining control of a system which could affect the world in either positive, or negative ways depending on how it is put to use, and using it for destructive purposes in order to gain power is not exactly new. I first encountered a similar plot device in "X Minus One, The Roads Must Roll," but in this story the destruction actually occurred, while in "Roads" it was only used as a threat against those who opposed the power crazed madman. This story, however, is different from "Roads" in a few more ways, such as the true nature of the threat being unrevealed until the final act, and women being in prominent work roles, rather than simply being the super-scientist's supportive little wife, or girlfriend. All in all, an exceptional Sci-Fi romp through the universe of "What Could Be."- Fallen Angel


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Tales of Tomorrow

A radio spin-off of ABC's television show of the same name, this short-lived series lasted only a few months in early 1953, producing a total of 15 shows culled from the pages of Galaxy magazine. Only about a third of the episodes survive, and the few recordings I've heard have been very scratchy, almost inaudible. Only surviving shows are listed here. All were half-hour format.

Jeff Dickson Recommends:
Morrow on Mars

Betelgeuse Bridge
Year: 1953
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Aliens
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: William Tenn

Aliens like giant snails arrive on Earth with the intention of setting up interstellar trade, but just how good a deal will they cut for the primitive natives?

Reviews:
Girls from Earth, The
Year: 1953
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Sci-Fi
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Frank M. Robinson

A pair of women roam the galaxy in search of true love. Not the same story as the X Minus One episode of the same title.

Reviews:
Martians Never Die
Year: 1953
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Aliens
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Lucius Daniel

A Martian is discovered and brought to Earth, with very unfortunate results.

Reviews:
Moon is Green, The
Year: 1953
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Dystopian Future
Available for Listening Booth: N
Story by: Fritz Leiber

For years following a nuclear holocaust, a husband bullies his wife to never open the windows of their shelter, for fear of the terrible mutants who live outside. But the temptation proves a little too much for her.

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

Reviews:
Morrow on Mars
Year: 1953
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Mars
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by:

A hard-boiled news editor on Mars is approached by a quirky scientist who insists that there is an unnatural and catastrophic shift occurring in the planet's orbit. This show has survived better than most of its compatriots.

Reviews:
Old Die Rich, The
Year: 1953
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Time Travel
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: H.L. Gold

An unusual number of elderly turn up dead with money stuffed in their pockets and yet having died of starvation. The investigation leads to an unscrupulous woman who is using a time machine to send people back to make fortunes for her.

Versions of this story also appeared on Future Tense and X Minus One.

Reviews:
Other Now, The
Year: 1953
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Supernatural
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Murray Leinster

Following a near fatal car accident in which his wife is killed, Jimmy Patterson becomes convinced his wife is still alive in an alternate reality, and that the time lines are beginning to intersect. Stars Dick York.

Reviews:
Watchbird
Year: 1953
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Robots / Dystopian Future
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Robert Sheckley

Omnipresent robot drones programmed to detect and intercept violent crimes before they occur prove to be a bit too well designed.

Other versions of this story were produced for 2000 X and SF68.

Reviews:


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Theatre Guild on the Air

A Drama Anthology which aired from 1945-1953. At least 77 of over 315 episodes survive. The Cast & Crew reads like a veritable Who's Who, and the authors represent some of the greatest talent from the 19th and 20th century. Occasionally ventured into Thrillers or Sci-Fi. Each episode was 60-minutes.

Webmaster Recommends:

Nineteen Eighty-Four
Year: 1953
Duration: 55 min
Genre: Dystopian Future
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: George Orwell

The classic tale about one man's tortured search for love and meaning in a war-torn, dystopian future dominated by 'Big Brother'. Stars Richard Widmark.

Another version was produced for NBC University Theater. Also the BBC did 2 separate versions. See also 'Brave New World' (CBS Radio Workshop), and '2462' (Suspense).

Reviews:
Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, The
Year: 1950
Duration: 55 min
Genre: Horror
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Robert Louis Stevenson

The classic tale of a scientist whose search for the dual essence of human nature and morality carries a heavy personal price for success.

Versions of this story also appeared on the BBC, CBS Radio Mystery Theater, Favorite Story, Weird Circle, NBC Short Story, and the U.S. Steel Hour.

Reviews:


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The Weird Circle

This archive has been moved.



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With Book and Pipe

I know very little about this series. It was broadcast over WPEN radio, Philadelphia, possibly in 1945. At least one, 15-minute episode was produced: "The Graveyard Rats" [note: not "The Graveyard Eats"]. The story was told by a single narrator backed by an enthusiastic organ. The episode was well-produced; I look forward to hearing more from this series.

Webmaster Recommends:
The Graveyard Rats

Graveyard Rats, The
Year: 1945
Duration: 15 min
Genre: Graveyard Rats
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Henry Kuttner

Salem, Massachusetts. Old Masson, the cemetery caretaker, is not a nice man. In fact, he robs graves in his spare time. But lately, the enormous rats which have taken over the cemetery have been stealing the corpses before he has a chance to rob them. Very annoying. Traps, poison, and bullets do not seem to have any effect as the rats seem to be guided by some subterranean intelligence. Old Masson is about to take the fight to the enemy.

Reviews:
If claustrophobia is your thing, this one will surround you in freakish delight, press in upon you from all sides, and leave you gasping for breath. If not, then you'll probably think this is a well-produced, slightly-better-than-average tale. I'd love to hear more from this series, but this is the only episode I have been able to find. [7/10] --- zM


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Independent Productions

Webmaster Recommends:

407 Arachne
Year:
Duration:
Genre: Space Exploration
Available for Listening Booth: N
Produced by: SoundStories (out of Minneapolis)

En route back from Mars, three astronauts intercept a lonely asteroid which they intend to use as a nuclear test site as an experiment to evaluate the viability of diverting such objects away from Earth. However, 407 Arachne is not your typical asteroid—it is covered in alien hieroglyphics.

Reviews:
Martian Odyssey, A
Year:
Duration: 50 min
Genre: Mars / Aliens
Available for Listening Booth: N
Produced by: Star Quest Entertainment (1997)

An adaptation of the Stanley Weinbaum classic novella about the pilot of a scout ship that crashes in a remote region of Mars and must endure a long and arduous trek across the Martian hinterland with his adopted native companion.

Reviews:
Centropolis
Year:
Duration:
Genre: Dystopian Future
Available for Listening Booth: N
Story by:

A glimpse into the lives of a couple living in a dystopian mega-city of the future. The wife works in a 'hospital', retrieving organs from arrested social insurgents and undesirables, while the recently unemployed husband finds work as a political puppet of the city's secret ruling class, a figurehead to act as an expendable living decoy in the war between the haves and the have-nots.

Reviews:
Mission: Andromeda
Year:
Duration:
Genre: Space Exploration / Aliens
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by:

Following a deep space explorer ship's encounter with a strange EM pulse from a dying alien vessel, one crew member becomes convinced the others are possessed.

From a brief series called Tales From the Other Side.

Reviews:
Program Completed
Year:
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Sci-Fi
Available for Listening Booth: N
Produced by: unknown

The lone monitor of a deep space relay station must call on all his resources to survive when an incoming ship crashes into his asteroid and his facility is damaged beyond repair. The antenna is gone, and the oxygen is leaking out...

The producer of this show is unknown, but its style suggests a reasonably contemporary production date.

See also 'Kaleidoscope': Bradbury 13, Dimension X, Mindwebs, Suspense, and The Shape of Things to Come (BBC).

Reviews:
A thriller with some thrills. But lacking in the necessary plotting, characterization, dialogue, acting, and intensity to take it above just a passable level. --- Bruce Fisher
Rogue Moon
Year:
Duration: 90 min
Genre: Space Exploration
Available for Listening Booth: N
Produced by: Chicago Radio Theatre
Story by: Algis Budrys

Reviews:
Scientists in the late '50's discover a method of copying a man and beaming his duplicate to the surface of the Moon to explore the mysteries of a million year old structure. The original remains in contact with his counterpart, but no copy has ever survived more than a few minutes inside the structure, and the original usually ends up insane.


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