So, we can only afford enough storage for four episodes a month. So I took up some of the slack from last month and threw together a mini-episode of the chattering nonsense that goes on during sound checks so that there was something going on this week at least. Highlights include a Sandwich Machine idea by Richard, some bad impressions and covers, and a lament about butt wiping. On the plus side, it's short. We return to our normal programming next week with Almost Human...
In the future automated houses do everything for you, including entertain your kids. A holodeck-style nursery takes over for a set of bridge playing parents until children's unrestrained imagination gets gruesome on the African veldt.
Ryan didn't think the story stood up over time and Richard, while not his favorite and argues again that Ray Badbury isn't really a science fiction writer, argues that there is a poetry in Bradbury's writing that makes it all worth it.
A strange man hires a private investigator to find the 'Martian Embassy,' but what are his strange motives? Not particularly hard to work out. Sort of a drier version of "The Parade," we couldn't decide if it was Lefferts being restrained by an adapted story (Lefferts wrote the Parade and adapted The Embassy) or if it was just a boring story. The best character just isn't in it enough. Both of us gave it a 4, and we established the curve of our ratings.
A private detective discovers some strange goin's on at a mysterious sanitorium in a story told from the transcript of a tiny note found in a pen from the burnt down sanitorium...shrinking. It's a shrinking story. Sorry if that's a spoiler. It's a silly episode. Neither of us liked it.
The machines rise against us for some reason. A statistician figures it out only to become their puppet. Or, it's all in his head in Nightmare, an X-1 episode based on a sci fi poem. We were so not into it that we discussed other radio programs and tv shows and speculated wildly about X-1's main writers in a story that made less sense the more you paid attention. Richard gave it a 3 Ryan gave it a 4.
A "Behind the Music" review of the life of the 'singer of the spaceways" Rhysling in Heinlein's "The Green Hills of Earth" where a Pete Seeger/Woody Guthrie style blind folk singer bounces around the space ways in an utterly charming episode complete with original folk songs about space labor. We both gave it our highest rating, 10.
An Air Force Colonel's daughter gets a shockingly realistic doll that hides a terrible secret. And it's not the doll's annoying voice. Ryan's least favorite episode, and perhaps the least thought out invasion story. Richard gave it a 2.5, Ryan gave it a 2.
A missing persons broadcaster starts receiving messages from what appears to be the Moon and then goes through the steps to figure out why. News men, weird bosses, a guy with a theory that uses the most logical conclusions first instead of jumping to the crazy one all feature in this story we both ultimately rated as 6.5.
The last man on Earth sits alone in a room, there is a knock at the door. The chillest apocalypse survivor ever meets mankind's destroyer and takes it all in stride in Knock.
We were both charmed by the main character though a little squirmy over the sexual politics of the 1950s.
We both gave it an 8
The crew of a generation ship lose track of the fact that they're on a ship or that there's anything else beyond the ship until the mutants try and remind them in Robert Heinlein's Universe.
Ryan found it dry, Richard found it compelling. You'll have to listen for the ratings.
Ray Bradbury's Mars is Heaven gets the X-1 treatment. Earth's first mission to Mars lands armed to the teeth only to find a town full of their dead relatives...is Mars Heaven? Probably not.
Richard gave it a 6.5/7, Ryan gave it a 6.
A Martian asks a publicity man to throw the Martians a parade, but why?
We generally agreed that the characters were enjoyable but that the plan was lacking.
For this one you'll have to listen for the ratings...
Just because I've never really come across a complete list of summaries of X-1 episodes I thought I'd use this space to catalog them because while as of this writing there are only 9 episodes (edited post, you see) we've done like a third of them which would make this the most complete catalog I know of. So...here goes.
The seventh expedition to the 'Galactic Barrier' between Earth and the mysterious Volta where the previous six missions have vanished. Is it radiation or something even more sinister? Establishing almost every trope of space travel science fiction this felt ultimately like the baseline episode, 5s all around.