Dimension X -- No Contact

Saturday, 28 July 2012 12:52 Dave Truesdale

Dimension X (1950-51) was the forerunner to science fiction on radio's most highly regarded series, X Minus One (1955-58), the latter's approximately first 15 shows being adapted from the former's before striking out on its own, adapting new scripts from the pages of Galaxy magazine, while Dimension X took most of its material from Astounding SF.

Dimension X aired "No Contact" twice, first on April 29, 1950 and then again on October 28, 1950 in a second version, the one we present here. Ernest Kinoy and George Lefferts were responsible for adapting most of the original magazine stories for both shows, but they co-wrote "No Contact" and Lefferts worked up the actual script. The story takes place when mankind has explored the moon and nearer planets, but attempts to travel farther into space have proved disastrous. Five exploratory missions have encountered an invisible barrier preventing any outward expansion...and none of them have returned. Transmissions of any kind cannot penetrate the strange barrier, so the fate of the first five missions is unknown. Destroyed? Flung into deep space? Alive in some unfathomable limbo?  "No Contact" tells the tense story of the next mission's attempt to penetrate the invisible barrier, for Man has discovered a new planet and desperately wishes to visit it for the usual reasons (lifeforms, habitability, etc.).

"No Contact" proved so well received that it became X Minus One's first episode in a third incarnation, launching the series on April 24, 1955.

While SF fans were listening to "No Contact" (twice) in the Spring and Fall of 1950, they were also reading stories from the SF magazines such as Damon Knight's "Not with a Bang" (F&SF, Winter), Ray Bradbury's "There Will Come Soft Rains" (Collier's, May), Cordwainer Smith's "Scanners Live in Vain" (Fantasy Book, June), Alfred Bester's "Oddy and Id" (Astounding, August), C. M. Kornbluth's "The Silly Season" (F&SF, Fall), Frtiz Leiber's "Coming Attraction" (Galaxy, November), and too many more to mention here. 1950 also saw the first stories of Cordwainer Smith, Gordon R. Dickson, Mack Reynolds, Richard Matheson, Chad Oliver, and J. T. McIntosh. And Tom Corbett: Space Cadet debuted on TV.

Play Time: 29:15