Wednesday, December 16, 2015

X Minus One "There Will Come Soft Rains/Zero Hour"

This might not even be a real episode. It contains both the regular X Minus One intro and half of the Dimension X intro. I can't remember where I read about it but these might be hobbled together...I can't find it so I can't really explain it. Anyway, in some collections this mishmash exists and we reviewed it. Richard staged his usual effort to redeem Bradbury in defending the ultimately pointless House of the Future death story "There Will Come a Soft Rain" and we loved the basis for the series "The Whisperers" "Zero Hour," the story of aliens using kids to stage an invasion of Earth mostly for it's well constructed and creepy ending. Richard gave it an 8, Ryan gave it a 7.

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

X Minus One: "The Outer Limits"

While testing an experimental rocket in the outer limit of the atmosphere a test pilot encounters aliens who give him an ultimatum regarding nuclear bombs, but can he convince the people in time? We ultimately felt it was a flawed story with typical Ernest Kinoy enjoyable characters. Ryan was a little tired of it and gave it a 5, Richard had not heard it as much and gave it a 6.

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Special Bonus Mini-Episode--Who Wore it Best: X-1 vs Escape "Mars is Heaven"

In a special episode we compare the adaptation of the Ray Bradbury story Mars is Heaven from X Minus One and Escape. We find the characters more vibrant and the story telling more efficient in the X Minus One version and ultimately heaping more praise on Ernest Kinoy.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

X Minus One: "Dwellers in Silence"

After 20 years on Mars avoiding a deadly nuclear war on Earth a small contingent returns to find someone alive, a famous brain surgeon with his strangely ageless family. We ultimately found it kind of goofy and the were as frustrated as the family members that the main characters didn't catch on. Richard gave it a 4.75, Ryan a 4. Ted joined us and gave it a tepid version of his rating system.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

X Minus One: "Hello, Tomorrow"

Two thousand some years in the future we all live underground and our genetic pairings are strictly monitored and 'mu-taints' are isolated or destroyed...until, love. A decidedly goofy story, one Ryan thinks is goofy enough to make worth listening to but Richard disagreed.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

X Minus One: "Requiem"

The man who invented space travel isn't allowed to go to the moon and has to enlist a down on his luck astronaut to make that final trip. We ultimately found it charming but lacking a little bit of depth, Ryan gave it an 8 and Richard gave it a rounded up 7.

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

X Minus One: "Child's Play"

A nervous type character accidentally receives a 'build a man' kit and promptly builds himself without hang ups, that turns out to be a jerk. We were both charmed by the story while finding it largely problematic in its portrayals of just about everything. Sevens all around.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

X Minus One "First Contact"

A deep space exploration team comes in contact with aliens for the first time, but now what? We both kind of liked it but Ryan was disappointed it wasn't the version with the bombastic captain. We were both instead consoled by the fact that the ship was manned by professionals instead.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

X Minus One "And the Moon Be Still As Bright"

The fifth expidition to Mars finds that whatever the Martians did to the first wave of Earthlings chicken pox has wiped out the Martians. The crew's callous disregard for the genocide rubs the ship's archaeologist the wrong way and sends him on a killing spree. We both kind of liked it, Ryan gave it a 7.5 and Richard gave it an 8.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

X Minus One: "The Castaways"

A native population of a South Pacific island refuse to leave before the testing of an experimental bomb and cast a curse on the General sent there to blow it up. It's kind of a silly story that we ultimately found kind of charming. Ryan gave it an 8, Richard gave it a 7.5.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

"Martian Death March" X Minus One

Lead by a 'crazy' stump preacher, the martians leave their reservations to return to the mountains where they used to live. The 'true' story of the death march is told years later by the kid that accompanied them. Kind of dry, we ended up giving it a 5.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

X Minus One "Shanghaied"

It's a regular ol' Shanghaied story, but in space. The heir to a shipping fortune is shanghaied onto one of his own ships and...results are pretty predictable. Neither of us liked it all that much, Richard more than Ryan, 4 vs 5.5.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

X Minus One: "Cold Equations"

A supply ship with life saving serum and a very precise fuel load discovers a stowaway which unbalances a cold equation and has a grim conclusion. It's a somber and well acted, well written adaptation that we both like a whole lot.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

X Minus One: "Courtesy"

An expedition teams discovers that their vaccine for the deadly disease that plagues the planet they're exploring has expired so they must seek out the technology shunning natives to see if they have a cure. Spoiler, the cure turns out to not be a jerk. It's an odd episode, one of the first overtly anti-colonial ones. We were split on it being almost good or almost not bad.

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

X Minus One: "Almost Human"

A crook looks up an old flame who is a caretaker to a scientist who has created a robot with an AI equivalent to a six year old child and uses it for crime with unforeseen consequences. Adapted from a short story by the author of Psycho, it's kind of a middling robot story that ultimately we felt was a better fit in a half dozen other otr radio shows. We both rated it a 4.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Bonus Mini-Episode 1--Random Outtakes, Soundchecks, and Nonsense

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...

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

X Minus One: The Veldt

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.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

X Minus One "The Embassy"

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.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

X Minus One: Doctor Grimshaws Sanitorium

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.

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

X Minus One: Nightmare

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.

X Minus One: The Green Hills of Earth

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.

X Minus One: Perigi's Wonderful Dolls

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.

X Minus One: The Man in the Moon

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.

X Minus One: Knock

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

X Minus One: Universe

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.

X Minus One: Mars is Heaven

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 Mars Heaven? Probably not. Richard gave it a 6.5/7, Ryan gave it a 6.

X Minus One: The Parade

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...

Thursday, June 11, 2015

X Minus One: No Contact

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. 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.