Monday, October 11, 2010

Mars is Heaven Dimension X radio broadcast

Mars is Heaven
Dimension X radio broadcast
Original Air Date: January 7, 1951
Story by Ray Bradbury
Adapted for radio by Ernest Kinoy

This adaptation was written by Ernest Kinoy and aired on the Dimension X radio program on Friday, January 7, 1951.

I really enjoy old time radio, having become hooked listening the CBS Radio Mystery Theater as a teenager. The Internet introduced me to a much larger world of radio broadcasts from the 1930 through the 1970s.

Radio shows like Dimension X and X Minus 1 have allowed me to enjoy the works of writers, such as Murray Leister, whose books are now out of print.

Dimension X was probably the best of a number of science fiction shows. The show adapted the works of Golden Age giants such as Bradbury, Robert Heinlein, Robert Bloch, and Murray Leinster. However, it was radio writer, Ernest Kinoy that adapted Bradbury and he always did a magnificent job.

The distinguishing characteristic between Bradbury’s story and Kinoy’s radio play is the nature of the crew. In the story, they are scientists and soldiers. In Kinoy’s story, they are Navy men. They are simple men, much like one would find on a naval ship of the 1950s. The script even notes that the rocket is a naval vessel. Perhaps this was done to contemporize the story for a radio audience of the 1950s who were familiar with classic naval portrayals through film, newsreels, and real life experience in World War II.

Other than that, Kinoy is true to the story. The 1951 recording, transcribed onto vinyl and then digitized for the Internet does hurt the voice actor’s ability to emote. Radio drama requires strong verbal emotion from the actors since there is no visual medium through which to emote. When the actors scream, the distortion makes the sound comical.

This, however, is a minor point. Bradbury’s short tale of the Third Expedition to Mars is brought to life for the first time on Dimension X. The voice talent did a fantastic job with an excellent Kinoy script.

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