US tv series (1955-1957). ZIV/WRCA-TV. Produced by Ivan Tors. Hosted by Truman Bradley. Technical adviser Dr Maxwell Smith. Three seasons, 78 25-minute episodes. First two seasons black and white, last season colour.
This anthology series, presenting a different sf play each week, went out of its way to avoid the sensationalism so prevalent in sf films of the period. Unfortunately the result was prosaic. In 1956 the producer said, revealingly: "One of the traps into which such a series may fall is complete dependence on science for interest. This is avoided at the story conference by excluding the scientists at the start and depending on the writers to come up with a story with human interest . . . After the story is developed it is up to . . . the research people to suggest some scientific fact on which the story can be hung."
Each episode began with dignified Truman Bradley sitting at a desk covered with "scientific" objects (some of which were spinning, or had flashing lights) and introducing the audience to the theme of the story. A typical episode from 1955 involves a hurricane moving towards Miami. A young meteorologist and his wife sit worrying about their son, who is on a camping trip. But, just as the hurricane reaches the shore, a high-pressure area pushes it back again and Disaster is averted. The sf element in the story consists of the discovery that the hurricane was created by a meteor landing in the sea. [JB]
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