Saturday, November 13 2010: The 'X' Zone Weekend Tribute To X Minus One



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Initially a revival of NBC's Dimension X (1950–51), the first 15 episodes of X Minus One were new versions of Dimension X episodes, but the remainder were adaptations by NBC staff writers, including Ernest Kinoy and George Lefferts,[1] of newly published science fiction stories by leading writers in the field, including Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Philip K. Dick, Robert A. Heinlein, Frederik Pohl and Theodore Sturgeon[2], along with some original scripts by Kinoy and Lefferts.

Included in the series were adaptations of Robert Sheckley's "Skulking Permit," Bradbury's "Mars Is Heaven," Heinlein's "Universe" and "The Green Hills of Earth", " Pohl’s "The Tunnel under the World," J. T. McIntosh’s "Hallucination Orbit," Fritz Leiber’s "A Pail of Air" and George Lefferts' "The Parade."

The program opened with announcer Fred Collins delivering the countdown, leading into the following introduction (although later shows were partnered with Galaxy Science Fiction rather than Astounding Science Fiction): (Some would argue the intro countdown should have stopped at X minus one. As it was, the show should have been called :"Fire" with the resolution of the countdown as aired.)

Countdown for blastoff... X minus five, four, three, two, X minus one... Fire! [Rocket launch SFX] From the far horizons of the unknown come transcribed tales of new dimensions in time and space. These are stories of the future; adventures in which you'll live in a million could-be years on a thousand may-be worlds. The National Broadcasting Company in cooperation with Street and Smith, publishers of Astounding Science Fiction presents... X Minus One.
The series was canceled after the 126th broadcast on January 9, 1958. However, the early 1970s brought a wave of nostalgia for old-time radio; a new experimental episode, "The Iron Chancellor" by Robert Silverberg, was created in 1973, but it failed to revive the series. NBC also tried broadcasting the old recordings, but their irregular once-monthly scheduling kept even devoted listeners from following the broadcasts. All episodes of the show survive.

SEGMENT 1: 10 pm - 11 pm Eastern / 7 pm - 8 pm Pacific
X MINUS ONE - The Embassy - Episode 11 - 07-28-55:30:00 -
A man appears at a detective agency wanting to hire them to find the Martians that he says are on Earth. The script is by George Lefferts. The cast includes Joseph Julian and Barry Kroger. Writer: Donald Wollheim.

SEGMENT 3: 12 am - 01 am Eastern / 9 pm - 10 pm Pacific
X MINUS ONE - The Cold Equation - Episode 15 - 08-25-55 :30:00 -
This is the tale of a female stowaway aboard an emergency ship bound for her husband's planet. She finds out what it means not to have enough fuel. George Leffert did the script. The cast members were Court Benson and Jill Meredith. Writer: Tom Godwin

SEGMENT 3: 12 am - 01 am Eastern / 9 pm - 10 pm Pacific
X MINUS ONE - Sea Legs - Episode 49 - 05-01-56 :30:00 -
Story of a colonist heading for Earth after sixteen years. He finds Earth and Earthmen not to his liking. The script is by George Lefferts. The cast members were Bill Redfield, James Stevens, Stan Early, Charles Penman, James Dukas, Dick Hamilton, Jack Orrison, Jack Grimes, Craig MacDonald, Ralph Bell, Kermit Murdock and Frederick Chandler. Writer: Frank Petrocchi

SEGMENT 4: 01 am - 02 am Eastern / 10 pm - 11 pm Pacific
X MINUS ONE - Jaywalker - Episode 47 04-17-56 :30:00 -
A rocket pilot and his wife are breaking up because of the dangers in his job. But, her pregnancy causes a jaywalker problem when the ship's routine has to be changed. George script. The cast includes Bob Hastings, R.E. Johnson, Terri Keane Connie Leinke. Writer: Ross

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