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EXPLORING TOMORROW

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  • Curt Phillips
    I m researching the SF radio series EXPLORING TOMORROW and am trying to assemble a complete set of all existing shows. Here s a message that I m posting to
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 15, 2007
      I'm researching the SF radio series EXPLORING TOMORROW and am
      trying to assemble a complete set of all existing shows. Here's a
      message that I'm posting to Trufen, PulpMags, OTRDAYS, and the OTRR
      group today. All comments and any help are very welcome.



      Here is some additional info about the radio series that I've
      compled from various sources. EXPLORING TOMORROW: broadcast history -
      Dec 4, 1957 to June 13, 1958. Mutual Radio Network. 25 min.
      Wednesdays at 8:05 p.m. – 29 episodes; 28 of which are said to be
      available to collectors. Cast: New York radio personel: Mandel
      Kramer, Bryna Raeburn, Lawson Zerbe, Lon Clarke, etc. Host: John W.
      Campbell, Jr. Producer-Director: Sanford Marshall. Theme: "As Time
      Goes By".





      Several things can be inferred from this scant intormation. 1957-
      58 is very late in the history of OTR, and radio drama in America
      was clearly on the way out at that time. Yet, some of radio's
      finest quality work was done in those days as can be seen - or
      rather heard - in comtemporary series like GUNSMOKE or HAVE GUN-WILL
      TRAVEL. Also, that late period is usually quite well documented for
      many shows, but ET was on Mutual; a second rate network that was
      struggling to survive. ET is described as consisting of "29
      episodes - 28 of which are available to collectors", yet even this
      is questionable since a look at any calender will show that the
      number of weeks from Dec 4 to the following June 13 is only 28. And
      it's recorded that this series had no audition show, so what
      accounts for the report of a 29th episode? My best guess is that
      though only 28 shows actually aired, a 29th show may have been
      recorded (and this series was indeed transcribed ahead of time) and
      never aired due to an abrupt cancellation in June of 1958. TV shows
      today are routinely sold into syndication after their initial run is
      over and for all I know, radio shows *may* have been marketed in
      that same way in 1958, but *this* series would have been
      particularly hard to sell in syndication because it was a 25 min.
      show instead of a more convient 30 min. show. (Mutual radio did a 5
      min newscast at 8:00 p.m. in 1958 and ET was evidently designed
      specifically to fill in that next 25 min. Cutting out the
      commercial breaks means that all episodes of ET only run about 18 to
      19 min anyway, so programming it in syndication would have been
      unattractive to many radio stations. Thus it's possible that ET
      never had any sort of second run on the air and thus no chance for
      any 29th episode to have aired at all, and thus no airchecks would
      exist. This is all speculation of course, but it would explain why
      that 29th episode is mentioned in the series logs, but never found
      in collections. And that's assuming that it was ever recorded in
      the first place. I think that the only way to resolve this question
      is to gain direct access to either Mutual's records (anyone know if
      they're archived anywhere?) or to the records of John W. Campbell,
      Jr - whom I assume had some creative control over the series even
      though at least a couple of the scripts seem to be retreads from X-1
      (and I'm in the process now of searching through the two published
      volumes of Campbell's letters and am attempting to contact his
      estate).



      No one even seems to know the correct airdates for the entire
      series. I found three different sources and all three contradict
      each other in some details. This is complicated by the fact that
      most ofthe shows I've actually listened to so far don't have any
      sort of episode name. Those that do have names that reflect the
      name of the written story they were based on "like "Liar" by
      Asimov), but even this is less than completely reliable as evidenced
      by the episode variously titles "The Happiness Effect, in some
      dealer's catalogs and as "The Gift" in others. I've seen one
      commercially offered set (partial set, actually) that has the same
      episode listed under both names, and another that lists episodes
      that don't exist in any other catalog or listing but which do appear
      in the program logs of a similar SF series, X-1. Some OTR dealers
      are less careful with this sort of thing than others.



      And worse than that, this series which is supposed to have 28
      episodes in the hands of collectors is proving very ellusive to
      actually find. I currently have 14 episodes that I've gathered from
      the Library of the OTRDAYS group and I've located another 4 esipodes
      (after eliminating duplicates) in the Library of the OTRR group
      which I soon hope to get copies of. That's makes 18, so where are
      the other 10? So far I've not found them in any listing on the
      Internet or on eBay, so I'm appealing to OTR fandom for help. Here
      is a list of the titles I've found or accounted for thus far (The
      dates and the episode numbers represent my best estimates to date):





      * Exploring Tomorrow - Ep01 - The Convict.mp3(57-12-11)

      * Exploring Tomorrow - Ep02 - The Gift.mp3 (The Happiness Effect)(57-
      12-18)

      * Exploring Tomorrow - Ep03 - Venus Diamond Mountain.mp3 (57-12-25)

      * Exploring Tomorrow – Ep04 - Dreams.mp3 (58-01-01)

      Exploring Tomorrow – Ep07 - The First Men On The Moon.mp3 (58-01-
      22)

      * Exploring Tomorrow – Ep12 - Liar.mp3 (58-02-26)

      * Exploring Tomorrow - Ep15 - The Mimic.mp3 (58-03-19)

      * Exploring Tomorrow - Ep24 - Time Traveler.mp3 (Meddler's Dream)
      (58-05-21)

      * Exploring Tomorrow – Ep25 - The Trouble With Robots.mp3 (58-05-28)

      * Exploring Tomorrow - Epxx - The Adventure Of The Beauty Queen.mp3
      (58 xx-xx)

      * Exploring Tomorrow – Epxx - First Contact.mp3

      Exploring Tomorrow - Ep18 - Overpopulation.mp3

      * Exploring Tomorrow - Ep23 - Telepathic.mp3

      * Exploring Tomorrow - Ep26 - Country Boy.mp3

      Exploring Tomorrow – xxxx - Time Heals.mp3

      Exploring Tomorrow - Ep17 - The Martian Queen.mp3

      Exploring Tomorrow – Ep19 - Planet Of Geniuses.mp3

      * Exploring Tomorrow – Ep28 - Space Baby.mp3 (58-06-13)



      ? Exploring Tomorrow – xxxx - The_Cold_Equations.mp3 (Possibly not
      a ET title, or is it # 29")





      I would be very grateful if anyone who has any episodes of
      EXPLORING TOMORROW other than these in their collection could
      contact me to at least confirm their existence, and if possible to
      discuss with me how I might obtain a copy. Does anyone reading this
      believe that they already have a set of all 28 episodes? I
      particularly want to hear from you! Some of the episodes that I do
      have are in good sound and some are pretty terrible so I'm very
      interested in getting copies of any episode even if I already have
      it so that I can compare the sound quality and sort out a set of the
      best possible episodes. My aim is to assemble such a set on an mp3
      disc and give it to the OTR community and anyone else who wants it.



      So, if you can help me with this effort, please contact me at
      Absarka_prime@.... If you don't have anything to contribute
      but are interested in ET and would like to know how I'm doing with
      this project or would like a copy of the final assembly of ET
      episodes, send me your e-mail address and I'll add you to my address
      book and will keep you informed. If you have *ANY* other
      information about EXPLORING TOMORROW - scripts, newspaper clippings,
      a radio schedual that ties a specific episode to a specific airdate,
      anything at all - then I certainly want to hear from you.



      If anyone would like to send me an mp3 cd of anything of interest
      sometime, my mailing address is:



      Curt Phillips

      19310 Pleasant View Dr.

      Abingdon, VA 24211



      I should mention that I'm not persuing this effort with any
      financial gain in mind. I don't sell OTR and never will - I give it
      away freely to other collectors. I do have many hundreds of discs
      of OTR that I'll gladly trade for anything that you might be able to
      send though, and if someone knows of a commercial source where I can
      buy all 28 episodes of ET I'd like to hear about it. Any questions
      or comments will be received with great interest.



      Curt Phillips

      Absarka_prime@...





      Here's the most complete log of EXPLORING TOMORROW that I've found:




      Log Comments:

      This list is based on a list of 28 titles of the 29 shows in the
      series supplied by Jim Widner. I have used his titles as the primary
      title. Jim also included alternate and published titles. These are
      below primary title, preceded by "Alt:" for alternate or "Pub:" for
      published.

      Information was also obtained from vendor and club catalogs. Titles
      that didn't match Jim's list but could be identified are included as
      alternate titles, listed below the primary title, preceded by "Alt:".
      Titles that could not be identified are listed below Jim's list of
      28 as "unmatched titles"

      Since no reference had broadcast dates, the list below is in
      alphabetical order.


      Alphabetical Log:

      Title Author Avail
      --------------------------------- ----------------- -----
      1. The Convict yes
      2. Country Boy yes
      3. Desert Object yes
      Alt: The Alien
      4. Dreams yes
      5. The Escape Don A. Stuart yes
      (John Cambell)
      6. The First Baby in Space yes
      Alt: Space Baby
      7. First Contact Murray Leinster yes
      8. First Men on the Moon Robert Silverberg yes
      Pub: "The Moon Is New"
      9. Flashback yes
      10. Gift yes
      Alt: The Happiness Effect
      11. How Big is a Man yes
      12. The Last Doctor yes
      13. Liar Isaac Asimov yes
      14. Look Out! Duck! David Gordon
      (Randall Garrett)
      15. Made in Avack Philip K. Dick yes
      Alt: Fair Fight
      Pub: "War Game"
      16. Mimic yes
      17. The Mutant yes
      18. The Martian Queen Randall Garrett/ yes
      Alt: Sound Decision Robert Silverberg
      Do It And Like It
      19. Overpopulation Robert Silverberg yes
      Alt: Solution Impossible
      Immigration Impossible
      Pub: "No Way Out"
      20. Planet of Geniuses Poul Anderson yes
      Pub: "Genius"
      21. The Secret Randall Garrett yes
      Pub: "With All the Trappings"
      22. The Stowaway yes
      23. Telepaths Gordon Dickson
      Alt: Telepathic yes
      24. Time Heals Poul Anderson yes
      25. Time Traveler George O. Smith yes
      Pub: "Meddler's Dream"
      26. The Trouble With Robots yes
      27. Venus' Diamond Mountain yes
      Alt: Inferiority
      28. Vincent Deem - 1997 yes
      Alt: The Man From the Past

      ------- unmatched titles --------
      Adventure Of The Beauty Queen yes
      Speak No More yes
      The Secret that Cannot Be Cracked yes
      Eathan yes
      Experimental Planet yes


      References:

      * "Science Fiction on Radio: A Revised Look At 1950-1975" by James
      F. Widner and Meade Frierson III. (Available from A.F.A.B, PO
      Box 130969, Birmingham, AL 35213-0969).

      * "The Ultimate History of Network Radio Programming and Guide To All
      Circulating Shows", by Jay Hickerson, Box 4321, Hamden, CT 06514

      * House ad: ASTOUNDING SCIENCE FICTION magazine, April 1958, pg. 36.
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