1950 - 1952
2,000 Plus was the first science fiction anthology to play on network radio.
Did you know that by the year 2,020, the interplanetary age begins as we routinely mine uranium from the moon? Or that scientists will devise a machine that will make us ultra-intelligent after just one session? And you probably thought we were still struggling to find a cure for the common cold. But according to this series, life after the year 2,000 is filled with "strange adventures and exciting things." Announcer / narrator Ken Marvin delivered his lines with so much authority, listeners were likely to believe the predictions on his word alone. The overflowing optimism and flood of technological proclamations were two of the charming aspects of this show. It may not be as mature as X Minus One, but it sure is fun to listen to. Some of the episodes are intentionally comic, like "The Brooklyn Brain." Others are sobering and timeless, as was "A Veteran Comes Home." This was a tale of a soldier who returns from Mars to unite with his wife and meet the child he's never seen. It paralleled what was happening to various soldiers in the Korean War at the time, only the science fiction version had them returning from Mars. And years before Klatuu visited Earth to warn us of the dangers of war (in Day The Earth Stood Still), Two Thousand Plus delivered a similar message in "When The Worlds Meet." It was both depressing and hopeful at the same time, and yet, pretty darn creepy!
This series deserves a lot of credit for being the first serious science fiction anthology on network radio (Mutual) beating out the premier of Dimension X on NBC by a month. It may not have achieved the popularity of the sci-fi shows that followed in its wake, but not for lack of trying. Producer Sherman H. Dryer directed a regular cast of professional New York actors. The show also featured original music by Elliott Jacoby, which was conducted by Emerson Buckley. Both the music and acting can sometimes seem dated by today's standards, but that just makes it more fun in my opinion. Downbeat endings were not uncommon. Surprises were to be expected! Alas, out of nearly 100 logged episodes, only about 15 or so survive today. Perhaps in the future, we'll discover a machine that can reach out into space and retrieve old radio waves. After all, who knows what we'll find in the world of tomorrow?
"The Green Thing" was one of the rare surviving episodes of 2,000 Plus. Artist depiction courtesy of Tune In For Terror © 1992
The Standard Intro
"Let's send our imaginations forward in time into the years 2,000 AD. What strange adventures, what exciting things will we find in the world of tomorrow? 2,000 Plus!"
An Opening Narration:
"Today, an adventure of outer space, 'When The Worlds Meet.' It is the year 2000 plus 20. In the giant space port of Washington, DC, temporary capital of the Federated World Government, an enormous throng tenses with expectancy-- jams every available inch of space surrounding the rocket field. All eyes strain upward into the clear blue sky, for today is the day: April 21st, 2000 plus 20. And audio and Telivox networks of the world are at the rocket field to cover the epic event..."
A Typical Closing:
"Next week, another exciting drama on 2,000 Plus. 'The Silent Noise.' In the year 2,000 plus 20, an important man is murdered. How will the police of the future track down a killer? And what new methods of assault will the criminals of tomorrow use? Listen next week and you'll find out."
Hear it now, FREE!
Hear an actual episode in RealPlayer (courtesty of www.otr.net)
A Veteran Comes HomeThe Flying Saucers The Robot Killer The Rocket and the Skull Worlds Apart
The Men from Mars (3/.29/1950)
When the Machines Went Mad (4/26/1950) The Giant Walks (5/11/1950)
The Insect (5/17/1950)
(RealPlayer allows you to continue to browse other sites while you listen.)
Hear 16 different episodes courtesy of Archive.org
Some Suggested Samples
The Brooklyn Brain : A comedy tale about a simplistic fellow who wants a date, but the girl involved wants a man with "culture". He volunteers for an experiment that multiplies his intelligence with humorous results.
When the Worlds Meet - An advanced race of aliens from a neighboring planet come to Earth to establish first contact. The military is dispatched and cautiously awaits to see if the visitors are a threat. The aliens see and hear all that is prepared for them, and are not amused.
"The Flying Saucers" - While testing new weapons, the Air Force is watched by UFOs. It decides to attack one, and suffers strange consequences.
Read more OTR Plot Spot synopsis of various episodes from this series: http://www.otrplotspot.com/2000_plus.htm
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