Suspense - "2462"

Saturday, 30 January 2016 16:00 Dave Truesdale

Suspense (1940-1962) aired "2462" on January 21, 1962 as its 909th episode out of approximately 950. This original radio script is pure SF. In the year 2462 a man awakens in a padded cell, brilliiantly lit in white, with no furniture, doors, or windows. We soon learn that he is in a prison cell awaiting trial. His crime? "Writing unproductive literature and wasting government time." In this over-populated future when many live underground and resources are at a premium, this lowly clerk in the Space Office has taken pen to paper and committed wasteful "doggerel" in the eyes of the State. What happens at his trial--with a computer as judge and jury--tells a story we might view as a cliche today, but is at the same time a worthy reminder of how societies--depending on external forces and needs--prioritize what they deem essential.

Suspense was one of radio's longest-running, most popular and well produced shows, so much so that when it went off the air in September of 1962 as one of the last, great radio shows in history, critics proclaimed the Golden Age of Radio dead. Television was now the medium of choice for American households. Of Suspense's roughly 950 episodes we have showcased 35, many outright classics in the annals of Old Time Radio history. While an entire run (except for the vendor with which I deal) is prohibitively expensive, I plan on adding another 50-100 episodes to my collection in the near future. Suspense drew many of Hollywood's biggest stars to perform in its shows (they loved appearing on Suspense), and it dramatized all variety of material over its 20+ year run: drama, adventure, mystery, SF, fantasy, and horror, so hopefully any new batch will hold worthwhile surprises I will be happy to bring your way.

Play Time: 22:45

{The frigid cold of a January 1962 winter couldn't keep our hearty neighborhood rapscallians from bundling up and heading for the corner drugstore, there to peruse in wide-eyed wonder the SF and F magazines from which they could afford to choose but one apiece (prices had risen over the years, and a portion of their allowances and/or snow shoveling money was now divided among the magazines, comic books, and model cars and airplanes). Analog (now 50 cents) had made the final title transition from Astounding to Analog in October of 1960--for those interested in such things--and was holding to its long-standing monthly schedule in 1962, as was The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (now 40 cents). Worlds of If (or just If for short, the cheapest of this lot at 35 cents) was a bi-monthly in 1962.}

[Left: Analog, January 1962 - Center: Worlds of If, January 1962 - Right: F&SF, January 1962]


To view the entire list of weekly Old Time Radio episodes at Tangent Online, click here.