(In its last gasp, radio got really creative)
If I was to tell you there was a time people paid more attention to radio than anything and that Television was the stuff of experiments and shrugged shoulders, you would call me insane. Listening to radio now bears no resemblance to radio of even 20 years ago, let alone over 50 when this broadcast first appeared.
But radio was an important part of culture, and in some parts of the world it still is - America just abandoned it and left it for the wasteland to consume. Too bad.
But when radio was in its twilight, it did do some interesting things. It's that mentality that says "when you've got nothing, you've got nothing to lose" where sometimes brilliant events occur.
One was a short-lived radio series produced in conjunction with Galaxy Magazine, one of the more popular Science Fiction periodicals of the day, and NBC Radio.
Before technology made all things possible in the visual arts (i.e. Science Fiction film), radio was the perfect medium to convey that sense of mystery and suspense. You could say the world was destroyed by an atomic war and, through the use of sound effects, it was destroyed. Imaginations ran rampant and everyone had their own visual concept of just what a devastated world looked like.
And so X-Minus One took advantage of that - and did it wonderfully well with virtually no budget - it doesn't cost anything to imagine.
Tunnel Under The World was an adaptation from a short story by Frederick Pohl which appeared in the January 1955 issue of Galaxy. This broadcast, from September 4, 1956 adds all the elements of drama, sound effects and mystery to make it one of the most memorable episodes in radio.
If you're going to go out, you might as well go out with a bang.