The Twilight Zone Radio Dramas, Volume 1

  • by Rod Serling, Richard Matheson, Charles Beaumont
  • Narrated by full cast
  • 4 hrs and 4 mins
  • Radio/TV Program

Publisher's Summary

Experience one of television's greatest science fiction series: The Twilight Zone.
This collection of episodes is fully dramatized for audio and features a full cast, music, sound effects, and performances by some of today's biggest celebrities.
"Night Call", starring Mariette Hartley: An elderly, invalid woman begins receiving strange, anonymous phone calls on a stormy night - phone calls that, she finds out, are routed directly through the Twilight Zone.
"Long Live Walter Jameson", starring Lou Diamond Phillips: Professor Walter Jameson is an excellent history teacher who talks about the past as if he had lived it. His soon-to-be father-in-law suspects the worst.
"The Lateness of the Hour", starring Jane Seymour and James Keach: A young woman, bored with the precise, faultless routine of her family's life, persuades her father to dismantle their robot servants.
"The 30-Fathom Grave", starring Blair Underwood: When a naval destroyer picks up a signal from a ship that sank 20 years ago, a crewman is haunted by a strange memory buried at the bottom of the sea.
"The Man in the Bottle", starring Ed Begley, Jr.: An impoverished pawnbroker is granted four wishes by a genie in a bottle. The problem isn't just that his wishes end up not being what he expected - it's what they did end up being.
"Night of the Meek", starring Chris McDonald: Henry Corwin, a down-at-the-heels department store Santa, dispenses Christmas cheer to a mission house with the help of a sack that will produce whatever one asks for.

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The Dimension of Imagination

When I grew up in the Midwest, television was analog broadcast only, in VHF and UHF. There were five stations that had mostly clear pictures except during thunderstorms, and each signed off every night with a color test pattern and a high pitched whine. Saturday nights on one of the independents - Channel 11 maybe? - were the best. That's when it showed black and white reruns of "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" followed by "The Twilight Zone" before a special late 1 am sign off. Seeing the outline of Sir Alfred was always a thrill, although the stories weren't always great. "The Twilight Zone" never disappointed, though, from the eerie music to the cigarette-smoking Rod Serling.

The Audible plays in "The Twilight Zone Radio Dramas Volume I" are modern reimaginings of the actual shows I watched so many years ago. The scripts are fairly close to the original television broadcasts, but have sound effects and additional dialog that's needed to set the scene by audio only. There are also a few modern references sprinkled in that explain older technology - Richard Matheson's "Night Call" (1961), adeptly narrated by Marriette Hartley, wouldn't have worked without explaining telephone land lines.

These radio plays were made with the cooperation of the late Carol Serling, Rod Serling's wife, but Rod Serling's voice wasn't used as narrator. Instead, Stacy Keach, Jr. narrated. That was a nice complement to Rod Serling's "The Lateness of the Hour" (original, 1960) starring Jane Seymour and her then-husband, James Keach, Stacy Keach's brother.

I really enjoyed Blair Underwood in Serling's "The Thirty Fathom Grave" (original 1963). Christopher McDonald did fine in the famous Christmas Eve tale, "The Night of the Meek", but for me, Art Carney will always be the department store Santa with grime on the fur trim of his worn suit, carrying a bottle in one hand and dragging a forlornly empty bag in the other.

These radio plays were a scary good listen.

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- Cynthia "Always moving. Always listening. Always learning. "After all this time?" "Always.""

Fun trip to the past

Even before I found sci-fi in books, I discovered some of the wonder of it on TV in The Twilight Zone. TTZ was already in reruns even when I was a kid, but I would watch every chance I got and I loved the show. The episodes on Volume 1 are all original Serling dramas that have been rescripted for radio vs. TV. Some have sort of been updated, most are fairly true to the 50's and 60's. Although I remember a couple of these stories from the show, none of the ones on Volume 1 were among my favorites. However, I didn't realize the radio remake was being done and that these episodes were available on Audible until Volume 1 was offered on the Daily Deal so I am really happy I picked this up. Now that I know, I will go look for the volumes that might have some of my old favorites. (Best episode of all time for me was The Lonely with Jean Marsh - my brother had bad dreams for weeks after that one!)

If you loved the old TV show, you'll enjoy this - just the old TTZ music (doo doo dah, doo doo dah) brought back the anticipation I used to feel when the show started. If you never watched the TV show, you still might enjoy these dramas because the performances are really good, but you won't really understand why some of us still miss the master of delicious creepiness, Rod Serling.
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- Tango "Two great passions - dogs and books! Sci-fi/fantasy novels are my go-to favorites, but I love good writing across all genres."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-16-2013
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.