Mysterious Traveler, The

Tagged: Radio

Radio series (1943-1952). The Mutual Broadcasting System. Writers were primarily Robert Arthur and David Kogan. Created by Arthur and Kogan. Directors included Kogan. Narrator: Maurice Tarplin. 370 30-minute episodes.

This was primarily a suspense-crime drama anthology series, but included much Fantasy, Horror and sf. Radioplays are by Arthur and Kogan unless noted otherwise. Surviving sf instalments include "Beware of Tomorrow" (1944), dealing with a professor who has constructed an intelligent Robot; "Zero Hour" (1948), with a professor investigating the crash of a supposed Martian spaceship in the western US (not to be confused with the Ray Bradbury story of the same name, itself several times adapted for radio); "The Man Who Knew Everything" (1948, rebroadcast 1951), in which a small-time criminal steals a formula which gives him the power of Telepathy and leads to a series of increasingly ambitious crimes; "The Planet Zevius" (1949, rebroadcast 1951) with radioplay by George Bamber, where an expedition to an another planet discovers a lost civilization and its terrifying secret; "The Man who Tried to Save Lincoln" (1950), in which a Scientist sends his mind back in time to inhabit the bodies of others and tries to prevent the assassination of Abraham Lincoln (this and "The Planet Zevius" were later remade as episodes of Suspense); "Operation Tomorrow" (1950) concerns a Scientists who has discovered Time Travel, found perpetual War in the future, and tries to alter the past to prevent this; "The Most Famous Man in the World" (1951) also involves time travel, with visitors from the future who attempt to prevent the rise of the first US dictator; "Fire in the Sky" (1951) deals with the impending collision of a Comet with the Earth; "Murder in 2952" (1952) has a man travelling to Jupiter's satellite Ganymede to forget a romance, only for his rival to follow and attempts to murder him. "The Green Plague" (1952) involves the disastrous results of the discovery of a new type of fertilizer. Only about 70 episodes of the series are believed to have survived; the lost episodes undoubtedly include further sf. Two spin-off series were The Strange Dr Weird (1944-1945) and The Sealed Book (1945).

In addition to the spinoff fiction magazine The Mysterious Traveler Magazine, two Tie Comics appeared. The first was a 1948 one-shot from Trans-World Publications which included "Five Miles Down", dealing with the discovery of hostile Monsters from within the Hollow Earth; this radioplay is lost. Charlton Comics issued Tales of the Mysterious Traveler which saw eleven issues 1956-1959 and included a good deal of artwork by Steve Ditko, more recently reprinted by other publishers; two final issues were published in 1985 near the end of Charlton's existence. [GFi]

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