Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


From 1951 to 1953, the American Broadcasting Company presented one of the earliest and most successful science fiction anthology series, Tales of Tomorrow.  The show, which was filmed live, was the brainchild of writer Theodore Sturgeon, Mort Abramson, and their nascent Science Fiction League of America*.  This allowed the producers to select from over 2,000 stories by members of the League to adapt for television. 
There were 85 episodes televised.  The series also appeared on radio.

Here's a list of the stories televised:

What a fantastic (in every sense) line-up.

Here's A Child Is Crying, based on John D. MacDonald's short story:

And one from "Lewis Padgett" (Henry Kuttner and C. L. Moore), The Dark Angel:

And because I love Kuttner, What You Need, from the "Lewis Padgett" short story:

And C. M. Kornbluth's The Little Black Bag:

Tales of Tomorrow was also the first to adapt one of Arthur C. Clarke's stories.  Here's All the Time in the World :

* The Science Fiction League of America should  not be confused with The Science Fiction League, a fan-based group that started in 1934 in Hugo Gernsback's Wonder Stories.  The Science Fiction League of America was formed in an effort to allow science fiction writers script their own stories.  Unfortunately, this didn't work out and most -- if not all -- of the episodes of Tales of Tomorrow were scripted by others.


For more Overlooked Films, stop by Todd Mason's Sweet Freedom blog.

1 comment:

  1. I remember first reading about this project in, of all places, the first issue of IF, which I picked up in 1978 along with a double-handful of other vintage magazines...though I didn't get a chance to see any episodes for a few years, until the NIGHT FLIGHT umbrella-program/weekend marathon started running a few episodes as part of their mix (on the early days of the USA cable channel, when Nickelodeon was still their afternoon children's block...). It was as hampered by budget and the live format, as the examples here suggest, as was most early television, but compared favorably with such "competition" as the tv versions of LIGHTS OUT and is a pity that they didn't shoot more of the original stories presented in that pot to them, indeed. Radio's DIMENSION X and X MINUS ONE remained the best of the electronic-media sf of the 1950s in the US, at least on average, that I've encountered...