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Theater Five

Entry updated 27 July 2019. Tagged: Radio.

Radio series (1964-1965; vt Theatre-Five; vt Theater 5). ABC-Radio Network. Directors included Ted Bell, Harry Nelson and Warren Sommerville. Writers included Lillian Anderson, Sherman Dryer, Richard McCracken, Robert Newman, Saul Panitz, William N Robson and Lawrence Weinberg. Announcer and host: Fred Foy. 260 20-minute episodes, of which 256 episodes survive.

A late effort by ABC to revive US radio drama, this was a general anthology drama series which although of good quality ran for less than a year, from 3 August 1964 to 28 July 1965. Almost all broadcasts were original radioplays rather than adaptations of published stories; eighteen are classifiable as sf, Fantasy, or Horror. Among the sf episodes were: "The Rebellion Next Week" (10 August 1964), about super-intelligent Children plotting to take over the world – previously aired as "The Juvenile Rebellion" for Suspense and "Star Bright" for X Minus One; "Outside Time" (1 September 1964), about an astronaut in Earth orbit who disappears from radar tracking, then appears suddenly inside Mission Control, apparently insane; "First Encounter" (10 September 1964), in which the first astronauts to reach the Moon encounter invisible Aliens; "The Odyssey of Number 14" (22 September 1964) detailing a reporter's investigation into the disappearance of a manned Spaceship from Earth orbit; "We Are All Alone" (23 September 1964), where the reception of intelligent Communications from aliens provokes world hysteria; "Point of Impact" (24 March 1965), with an alien missile targeting a US military base; and "In the Absence of All Intelligent Life" (26 July 1965), in which an expedition to an alien world that discovers the ruins of a lost civilization and a terrifying secret – a radioplay by George Bamber previously broadcast as "The Planet Zevius" on The Mysterious Traveler and as "Report from a Dead Planet" on Suspense. The series is available both online and on compact disc. [GSt]

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