Saturday, August 10, 2013

QuasarDragon Spotlight on Tales of Tomorrow

Tales of Tomorrow was the first U.S. televised Science Fiction series that was not aimed primarily at children (e.g. Captain Video and Tom Corbett) and was also the first television science fiction anthology.  Developed by Theodore Sturgeon and Mort Abrahamson, this show featured stories adapted from stories by contemporary and past science fiction greats (e.g. Sturgeon, Wylie, Bradbury, Clarke, Sheckley, Kuttner, Moore, Wells, etc), but later shows were written mostly by studio writers.

Operating on a shoestring budget that didn't allow for real special effects or much in the way of props and costumes, Tales of Tomorrow relied on generally decent acting and stories as it paved the way for later SF shows. If you watch any of these, remember that they were filmed live and are therefore much more akin to a theater play than a contemporary television series.

After the jump break, each extant episode is linked to its Internet Archive page, where it can be streamed and downloaded.  Many episodes are also available streaming at Hulu, IMDb, and YouTube. All description are from the always useful IMDb.

There was also a very brief radio series spinoff that has few episodes available.  Though be warned, the sound quality of the ones at the Internet Archive can be painfully bad. 

At The Internet Archive:
 "Verdict from Space" Aug. 3, 1951.  Written by Theodore Sturgeon.
     "Verdict from Space Gordon Kent is on trial for allegedly killing a scientist in an underground cavern. Desperately, he tries to explain what they found inside the cave, and the the implications for the future of mankind."

"Blunder" Aug. 10, 1951. Written by Philip Wylie.
      "Scientists race to warn a colleague that his experiment could destroy life on Earth."

"A Child is Crying" Aug. 17, 1951.
     "A young child with a genius I. Q. is taken away from her mother to work at a military base. Unfortunately her intellect is so stellar she can only predict absolute doom for everyone in the future."

"The Woman at Land's End" Aug. 24, 1951.
 No Information

"The Last Man on Earth"  Aug. 31, 1951. Written by Frederick Brown.
     Very loose adaptation of Brown's seventeen-word story.

"Errand Boy" Sept. 7, 1951. Written by William Tenn.

"The Monsters" Sept. 14, 1951. Written by Robert Sheckley.

"The Dark Angel"  Sept. 28, 1951. Written by Henry Kuttner and C.L. Moore.
      "A man searches for the cause of his wife's unprecedented physical and mental transformation."

"The Crystal Egg"  Oct. 12, 1951. Written by H. G. Wells.
     "A crystal egg reveals live tableaux of the planet Mars. A 19th Century scientist is obsessed with investigating the crystal, but the antique shop owner who came across the seemingly worthless glass hopes to sell it ASAP to a tall, insistent stranger, for whom no price is too dear."

"Test Flight" Oct. 26, 1951.  Written by Nelson Bond. 
     "An ambitious, headstrong businessman uses his huge personal fortune to construct a spaceship that will take him to Mars"

"The Search For The Flying Saucer"  Nov. 9 1951, Written by Mel Goldberg.
     "An airman travels to a small town looking for clues about flying saucers and only meets denial."

"Enemy Unknown" Nov. 23 1951, Written by Theodore Sturgeon.

 "Sneak Attack" Dec. 7, 1951. Written by Russell V. Ritchey
      "When unmanned Soviet planes land at 25 big city airports and threaten to detonate their payloads, America's only hope is a covert agent in an Iron Curtain hospital."

"The Invader" Dec. 12, 1951. Written by Robert Foshko and Mort Zarcoff
     "A research team led by Dr. Burroughs witnesses a UFO crash into the sea. Burroughs' son Roy makes a dive on the ship, but when he surfaces, his father begins to realize that Roy is not himself."

"The Dune Roller" Jan. 4, 1952. Written by Julian C. May.
     "On isolated Lightning Island, a rock mysteriously crashes out of a house after pebbles combine and grow. Scientists discover the rocks consist of an unknown mineral. But long-time resident Cap Zanse believes it's an Ouroboros or hoop snake, a legendary creature which rolls with tail in mouth, and is blamed for the mysterious extermination of local animals on the Lake Michigan isle."

"Frankenstein" Jan. 18, 1952, Written by Mary Shelley.
     "Dr. Victor Frankenstein, working in a castle on a remote Swiss island, attempts to create a perfect man but his resultant creation turns out to be a murderous beast who must be destroyed."

"Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea: The Chase: Part 1" Jan. 25, 1952. Written by Jules Verne.

"Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea: The Escape: Part 2" Feb. 1, 1952. Written by Jules Verne.

"What You Need" Feb. 8, 1952. Written by Henry Kuttner.
     "An unscrupulous free-lance writer extorts the elderly owner of a seedy second-hand shop who is prescient about the future"

"Age Of Peril" Feb. 15, 1952. Written by Fredric Brown.
     "In 1965 an intelligence agent is assigned to discover how national secrets are being stolen from a high security plant."

"Memento" Feb. 22, 1952. Written by Thomas Thompson

"The Children's Room"  Feb. 29, 1952. Written by Raymond F. Jones.
      "A couple -- Bill and Rose -- are having increasing difficulties with their son Walt: he talks down to his parents like they are stupid and reads books written in a language that no one understands. The books come from a "children's room" that supposedly does not exist. Once the room is discovered its true meaning is revealed."

"Bound Together" March 7, 1952. Written by Mel Goldberg

"The Diamond Lens" March 14, 1952. Written by Fitz-James O'Brien.

"The Fisherman's Wife"  March 21, 1952.

"Flight Overdue" March 28, 1952. Written by Jim Lister.
     "An internationally acclaimed aviatrix is recruited ostensibly for a flight over the Pacific over her husband's misgivings. Years after she disappears, her angry husband is informed of the true nature of her mission and her ultimate fate."

"And a Little Child" Apr. 4, 1952. Written by Ingram.

"Sleep No More" Apr. 11, 1952.

"Time to Go" Apr. 18, 1952. Written by Mann Rubin
     "An alien race is dying, but Earth can save them - by depositing saved time in their bank. Natalie loves that she can get her time back with interest, adding years to her life, while the aliens manipulate the stored hours to save their advanced civilization. She hates to waste a minute anyway, but her husband enjoys his time so much, he's not eligible to be a depositor."

"Plague from Space" Apr. 25, 1952 Written by Harry Guth.
      "USAF Colonel Jeffrey Ward's abilities are put to the ultimate test when a Martian spaceship lands at his base. At first glance the craft has only one passenger, but when an infection breaks out it becomes clear that there was more than one Martian on the ship."

"Red Dust" May 2, 1952 Written by Theodore R. Cogswell
     "The first human mission to another solar system loses 2 crew on a red dust-covered planet, which once had an advanced civilization. Due to allergies, neither of the shipmates got anti-radiation shots, so the remaining crew aren't concerned about their own return to Earth. But then the red dust starts to appear everywhere on the space ship."

"The Golden Ingot" May 7, 1952. Written by Fitz-James O'Brien.
     "A chemist has been trying time and again to make gold from lead. He has been laughed at and his bills are overdue. Will he ever succeed? Or what would happen if someone were to fake his success?"

"Black Planet" May 16, 1952.

"World of Water" May 23, 1952. Written by M.J. Gorley and James V. McGlinchey   
     "A disgruntled refugee scientist, frustrated in both his professional and personal lives, develops a universal solvent, which threatens to turn all solid material into water."

"Little Black Bag" May 30, 1952. Written by Cyril M. Kornbluth. 
"A depressed, tired doctor with a shrewish wife is ready to end his practice. Instead he comes into possession of a doctor's kit with miraculous properties. He and his wife disagree ethically on how to use their new found luck."

"The Exile" June 6, 1952. Written by Alec Coppel.

"All the Time in the World" June 13, 1952. Written by Arthur C. Clarke.
     "A woman proposes to rob New York's Metropolitan Museum, using a wristwatch which accelerates time for the wearer, so their movements go undetected by anyone more than 5 feet away. The small-time crook she hires for the job doesn't care where the artworks are going or why the woman who identifies herself only as "The Collector," wants the masterpieces."

"Miraculous Serum" June 20, 1952.  Written by Stanley G. Weinbaum
     "A physician invents a serum allowing animals to overcome any illness or injury, by magnifying their adaptability. He tests it on an impoverished young woman, who's moments from death. Becoming healthier than she's ever been, she thanks him for "giving her the world," which for her is much more than a figure of speech."

"Appointment on Mars" June 27, 1952.  Written by S.A. Lombino.
     "Three astronauts land on Mars, hoping to find valuable minerals. After discovering a rich deposit of uranium ore, one of the men becomes increasingly paranoid. Is it just his imagination, or are they really being watched?"

"The Duplicates"  July 4, 1952. Written by Richard M. Simon
    "Bruce Calvin, an engineer, has been let go from his place of employment and considers an unusual want ad in the newspaper"

"Ahead of His Time"  July 18, 1952. Written by Paul Tripp
     "The world in 2052 is a pretty wonderful place - no wars, no poverty, no famines - but all humankind is about to be destroyed because of a small miscalculation in a scientific experiment a century earlier set off a chain reaction that will contaminate the Earth with a lethal amount of radiation."

"Sudden Darkness" Aug. 1, 1952.

"Ice from Space" Aug. 8, 1952. Written by E.H. Frank.
     "During a Congressional appropriations investigation, an Air Force sounding rocket returns to Earth with an unexpected cargo: a block of ice with unusual chemical properties. Soon the base commander, Major Dozier, is forced to deal not only with the bullheaded Congressman Burns, but the fact that the ice seems to be able to freeze everything around it."

"A Child Is Crying" Aug. 15, 1952. Written by John D. MacDonald .

"A Bird in Hand" Aug. 22, 1952. Written by Mann Rubin.

"Thanks" Aug. 29, 1952. Written by Mann Rubin.

 Season 2
 "The Seeing Eye Surgeon" Sept. 5, 1952. Written by Michael Blair and Ed Dooley
     "Faced with performing a very difficult brain operation on an important scientist, a neurosurgeon is given a pair of glasses with special powers."

"The Cocoon"  Sept. 12, 1952.

"The Chase"  Sept. 19, 1952. Written by Mann Rubin.

"Youth on Tap (aka: Young Blood)" Sept. 26, 1952. Written by Lorna Kenney and Mann Rubin
     "A man named Jeff definitely has his share of problems: his truck has been stolen, his girlfriend Kitty is impatiently waiting to be married, and he only has one week to come up with a thousand dollars to buy a gas station with so he can earn money. When a mysterious Dr. Platan shows up offering the thousand dollars for a pint of Jeff's common blood type (type A), Jeff accepts at first, but then has doubts..."

"Substance 'X'" Oct. 3, 1952. Written by Frank De Felitta.

"The Horn" Oct. 10, 1952. Written by Alan Nelson.
      "The Horn An inventor labors on a horn to directly communicate emotions in an all-powerful way, while he's building violins in a factory. A scientist begged the company owner to let the inventor use his factory. The shop foreman, a failed pianist, is jealous of the respect the owner feels for the inventor's dedication and idealism. The foreman connives to sabotage the inventor's masterwork."

"Double Trouble" Oct. 17, 1952. Written by Selden M. Loring.

"Many Happy Returns" Oct. 24, 1952. Written by Raymond Z. Gallun.
      "An alien on the Moon persuades an Earth boy to build a gadget, accidentally electrocuting the boy's father, who disbelieves the machine can work with no visible power-source. The alien telepathically communicates instructions to the thrilled boy, who's reluctant to be candid with his family, referring to the hideous creature merely as Mr. White, a handyman helping him with a basement science project."

"The Tomb of King Taurus" Oct. 31, 1952. Written by Mann Rubin.

"The Window" Nov. 7, 1952. Written by Enid Maud Dinnis
"Live telecast of Tales of Tomorrow keeps being broken into by a phantom broadcast of a cheating couple preparing to launch her soused husband out a window. The Tales crew scramble to investigate if the caper's real & if so, how can they interrupt the murder already in progress?"

"The Camera" Nov. 14, 1952. Written by Mann Rubin.

"The Quiet Lady" Nov. 21, 1952. Written by Henry Christopher Bailey.

"The Invigorating Air" Nov. 28, 1952.

"The Glacier Giant" Dec. 5, 1952. Written by David E. Durston.

"The Fatal Flower" Dec. 12, 1952. Written by Frank De Felitta
    "A botanist breeding a monstrous carnivorous plant spars with his assistant, in the isolation and oppressive heat of their research compound in a remote sector of the Amazon. Dr. Alden's gleeful obsession with his hybrid plant buoys him along, until his aide Merriman's boredom inspires a means to play on the older man's weak heart and narrow mind."

"The Machine" Dec. 19, 1952. Written by John W. Campbell Jr.

"The Bitter Storm" Dec. 26, 1952. Written by Armand Aulicino (adaptation)
     "An embittered scientist secretly invents a receiver which picks up sounds from anytime in the past. As a savage hurricane closes in on the island where he lives, his family press him to demonstrate the instrument, and overcome the hatred which paralyzes him into staying in isolation on the otherwise-abandoned island."

"The Mask of Medusa" Jan. 2, 1953. Written by Nelson Bond.

"Conquerer's Isle" Jan. 9, 1953. Written by Nelson Bond.

"Discovering Heart" Jan. 16, 1953. Written by David E. Durston. 

"The Picture of Dorian Gray" Jan. 23, 1953. Written by Oscar Wilde.

"Two-Faced" Jan. 30, 1953. Written by David E. Durston.  

"The Build Box" Feb. 6, 1953.

"Another Chance" Feb. 13, 1953. Written by Frank De Felitta
      "The mysterious Dr. Borrow transports cornered petty thief Harold back in time to avoid both capture and his wife leaving him. Borrow's price is right for the shattered Harold: a stolen brooch that he couldn't cut down or fence anyway. Supplied with the new identity of handsome, unmarried John Marshall, the young man gains the 7 futile years back.

"The Great Silence" Feb. 20, 1953. Written by Jeffery Farnol
      "A mysterious phenomenon that causes people to lose the use of their vocal cords appears in a remote corner of the northwestern United States and begins spreading. The government blames the event on freak fallout effects from H-Bomb testing, but an illiterate mountain man (Burgess Meredith) discovers the real source of the affliction."

"The Lonesome Village" Feb. 27, 1953.

"Fury of the Cocoon" March 6, 1953. Written by Frank De Felitta
     "After a scientific expedition to a meteorite impact site in the jungle disappears, a three-man relief team sets off for the expedition's camp. The lone survivor tells them that the expedition was attacked by invisible insect-like creatures that came out of the meteorite. The scientists must find a way to defeat the insects before they are overwhelmed."

"The Squeeze Play" March 13, 1953. Written by Mann Rubin.

"Read to Me Herr Doktor" March 20, 1953. Written by Alvin Sapinsley.
      "Patricia Kinworth is surprised to discover that her father has built a robot and named it after an old teacher nicknamed "Herr Doktor". Professor Kinworth built the robot to read his books"

"Ghost Writer" March 27, 1953. Written by Mann Rubin.
      "An out of work writer accepts a well-paying offer from a mysterious man to help ease the burden on his wife. Soon, however, he becomes increasingly disturbed as the incidents he writes about begin to occur in real life"

"Past Tense" April, 3. 1953. Written by Robert F. Lewine.
     "Physician invents a time machine to go back in time and make a fortune by selling penicillin to a pharmaceutical firm. His wife is more concerned about paying bills because he's neglecting his practice, so she threatens to destroy the device. If she does, could he be trapped in the past?"

"Homecoming" April, 10. 1953. Written by Ray Bradbury.

"The Rival" April 17, 1953.

"Please Omit Flowers" April 24, 1953.

"The Evil Within" May 1, 1953.Written by  David E. Durston and Manya Starr.
     "Scientist perfects a chemical unleashing the beast within, but before he can create an antidote, his neglected wife accidentally is dosed when he has to rush a batch home to keep it refrigerated. Her mild resentment of his endless hours at the lab accelerates into a torrent, after she gobbles pie on which the potion dripped."

"The Vault" May 8, 1953. Written by A.E. van Vogt.

"Ink" May 15, 1953.

"The Spider's Web" May 22, 1953. Written by Frank De Felitta

"Lazarus Walks" May 29, 1953. Written byJames P. Cavanagh.

"What Dreams May Come" June 6, 1953. Written by Walter De La Mare.

Old Time Radio
At Relic Radio: "The Other Now" January 22, 1953
At Relic Radio: "Watchbird" Feb. 19, 1953. by Robert Sheckley.
At Internet Archive:
  • "Betelgeuse Bridge" by William Tenn.     
  • "Martians Never Die" by Daniel Lucius.
  • "The Girls From Earth" by Frank M. Robinson.
  • "The Old Die Rich
  • "Morrow On Mars"

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