Original image: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Countdown for blast-off ... X minus five ... four ... three ... two ... X minus
one ... Fire!
X Minus One was an anthology science-fiction series, broadcast by NBC from 1955-1958, and is probably the best OTR programme of this genre. It was a successor to the earlier series Dimension X, and included remakes of a number of the stories first broadcast by its predecessor. Many episodes were adapted from stories by the major science-fiction writers of the era, including Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov and Philip K. Dick, and generally remained faithful to the originals. What may surprise modern listeners - used to Hollywood's takes on stock science fiction ideas - is how dark and bleak many of the stories could be, with downbeat endings in which the dashing hero does not save the day. This reflects the time in which the series was made, with Cold War-era paranoia and anxiety infusing many of the tales - thus, fears of communism, nuclear annihilation, the pace of post-war technological development, and the rise of the mass electronic media are all explored, through metaphors of alien invasion and global catastrophe. Yet the best stories transcend their time and still offer powerful and exciting visions, both of the future and the present.
There were 126 episodes in total (equalling 115 individual stories, taking into account remakes).
** ALL EPISODES REVIEWED **