Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday Radio: The Veldt (X Minus One)

Based on the story by Ray Bradbury, originally published in The Saturday Evening Post, September 23, 1950.

Originally broadcast on NBC, August 4, 1955.

A previously uncollected story by Ray Bradbury, "The Irritated People," appears in Thrilling Wonder Stories, Volume 1.

Yes, it's virtual reality, imagined about forty years before "virtual reality." (I just checked Wikipedia to make sure I had the time right, and found this: "An early short science fiction story--'The Veldt'--about an all too real 'virtual reality' was included in the 1951 book The Illustrated Man, by Ray Bradbury and may be the first fictional work to fully describe the concept.")

Even though the same writer, Ernest Kinoy, adapted "The Veldt" for Dimension X in 1951, he didn't simply reuse his script for X Minus One. This adaptation includes a new envelope about the "New Chicago Institute of Human Engineering," which allows the character of George Abbott to deliver as dialogue what was narration in the first version. Unfortunately, it seriously blunts the impact of the story's end.

(So why didn't I post the Dimension X version? Well, there's a reason behind that, and I'll get to it in, oh, nine or ten weeks...)

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