A Few Worth A Listen
I am a huge fan of radio dramas. There is something about listening to a story and imagining what you would see based on what you hear. It’s magical. So much so that my college senior thesis was an original radio drama. Well, in truth, it was a superhero radio adventure. But there was something about telling the story through sound that made me want to do it.
Sadly, with some exceptions, radio dramas have fallen out of favor. There are some still in production, but the golden age of the radio drama is gone. Thankfully, we still have a number of internet sites and podcasts that work to keep these dramas alive.
Escape – Escape was an anthology series that ran from 1947 to 1954. Most of the episodes, original and adapted from many literary greats, were geared towards adventures, though other genres did appear often, and usually with the hero (or heroine) in a situation from which they much (obviously) escape. Many classic adventure yarns, like The Man Who Would Be King, and Beau Geste were adapted, along with short stories from H.G. Wells, Edgar Allen Poe, and Ray Bradbury appeared on the series.
Suspense – A very long running anthology series spanning three decades, Suspense focused on thrillers. A number of episodes from the series have become classics in their own right, like Sorry, Wrong Number.
Richard Diamond, Private Detective – Gritty film noir inspired detectives were all over radio in its heyday. What set Richard Diamond, Private Detective apart was that it was much more light-hearted in nature. The stories revolved around the titular character, played by Dick Powell, a wise cracking former cop (and sometime singer) who always seem to get himself in the middle of trouble.
Dimension X/X-Minus One - Two related anthology series (X-Minus One was a revival of Dimension X), these two series focused on science fiction. The stories spanned from the frightening to the comedic. Like Escape, the series featured many great authors, many who have become giants in science fiction.
Inner Sanctum Mystery – Another anthology series, easily recognizable by its creaking door and its ghoulish host with the ghastly puns, Inner Sanctum became a franchise spreading to books and movies. The stories often featured murder in some way, along with excursions into the supernatural.
Lights Out – There is something to be said about a radio show that told people to turn the show off if they scare easily. Lights Out kicked out the creep factor from both Suspense and Inner Sanctum by playing the stories is straight tales of the “supernatural and the supernormal,” often relying on sound effects and suggestion to really play up the chills.
Collections of many of these shows are available for purchase through a number of different websites (Radio Spirits the most notable). Podcasts of a number of these shows are also available. Personally, I have subscribed to a number of the channels available from Relic Radio, which can be accessed through iTunes.
Posted on June 8, 2012, in Media, Radio and tagged Anthology series, Dimension X, Escape, Inner Sanctum Mysteries, Lights Out, media, Private Detective, Radio, Radio drama, Richard Diamond, Suspense, X-Minus One. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a Comment.