X Minus One

From Academic Kids

X Minus One was a half-hour radio program broadcast in America from April 1955 to January 1958 on NBC.

A revival of Dimension X, X Minus One is widely considered among the finest radio dramas ever produced. The first fifteen episodes were new versions of Dimension X episodes, but the remainder were adaptations of newly published science fiction stories by respected writers such as Frederik Pohl, Theodore Sturgeon, Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov and Robert Heinlein, with a few original scripts.

Among the best episodes are Pohlís "Tunnel Under The World", J.T. McIntoshís "Hallucination Orbit", and Fritz Leiberís "A Pail of Air."


Announced by Fred Collins, the listener was greeted with the following introduction each night (although in some instances it slightly differed):

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 maybe worlds.

The National Broadcasting Company in cooperation with Street & Smith, publishers of Astounding Science Fiction, (later changed to Galaxy Science Fiction magazine) presents: X... Minus... One...


The series was cancelled after the 126th broadcast on January 9th, 1958. However, the early 1970s brought a wave of nostalgia for old-time radio, and an experimental new episode was created in 1973, "The Iron Chancellor" by Robert Silverberg, but failed to revive the series. NBC also tried broadcasting the old recordings, but their irregular once-monthly scheduling kept even devoted listeners from following broadcasts.


All episodes of the show survive, and are available from various retailers.

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