Wednesday, August 27, 2008

1950s Martian Radio: “The Martian Death March” from X Minus One

An NBC science fiction radio broadcast series of about 125 episodes, X Minus One basically ran from April 1955 to January 1958 and was initially a revival of the network’s earlier program, Dimension X (1950-51).

The Martian Death March” (MP3, approx. 25 minutes), broadcast on September 8, 1955, is a sad tale about the Red Planet in which Martians have been imprisoned on a reservation by the conquering Earthmen. The Martians manage to escape and make a long but costly march back to their homes in the highlands, only to be captured again. Here are the opening lines of the broadcast:

“I’ve always been interested in lost causes. The revolt of the Scottish Jacobites against England. The last stand of the Cherokee and Sioux Indians. And the Death March of the Martian highlanders in 1997. There’s been a lot written about that march. The U.N. commission report covers four volumes, but the whole story isn’t down on paper yet. I know it because I was on that march, from the beginning to the end. There’s one part of the story that no one ever mentions. The Martian Death March of ’97 was lead by an Earthman ..."

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