Friday, February 20, 2009

Friday Radio: Zero Hour (Suspense)

Based on the story by Ray Bradbury, published in Planet Stories, Fall 1947.

Originally broadcast on CBS, May 18, 1958.

(Another story by Ray Bradbury, "The Irritated People," is in Thrilling Wonder Stories, Volume 1—its first-ever appearance in an anthology.)

"Zero Hour" is one of the science fiction stories most adapted for radio. During the Golden Age of Radio, it appeared on Dimension X, Escape, Lights Out, twice on X Minus One, and three times on Suspense. There were later adaptations on Experiment in Drama (1973), Future Tense (1974), and RadioWest (2006). And these are just the ones I knew about, and found with a quick Google search.

This one, as you can tell from the introduction, was its second performance on Suspense.

I wonder how old the actors playing the children were. For radio of the time, they sounded surprisingly genuine, which helps the production immensely. It just wouldn't be half so creepy with obviously-adult actors.

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