Title: The Cosmic Express
Producer: Joseph C. McGuire
Production Company: Radio Theater Project
Genre: Sci-Fi, Speculative
Length: 16 minutes
Availability: Free to Listen – Radio Theater Project
Greetings, Audionauts – Captain Radio here, brought to you by RØDE Microphones, with a review of The Cosmic Express from Joseph C. McGuire and Radio Theater Project.
Be ever so careful what you wish for!
In the far future, when, for most, work is more past-time than drudge, Eric Stokes-Harding (voice by Carl Waluconis) relieves his techno-lifestyle boredom by authoring adventure stories in former exotic Earth locales now erased by urbanization. He does so the hard way, speaking to an antiquated, voice-activated typewriter-replicant. Though less inclined to stray from her own modern voicewriter, Nadia (voiced by Laura Hale) shares her husband’s wistful longing to interact with more natural apparata:
Their commiserating heightens until they genuinely long to abandon their sterile modernity for somewhere far more primal and sensually extreme – somewhere, perhaps, like …:
Providentially, an experimental new long-distance travel mode exists, The Cosmic Express, a means so quaint and so familiar to a modern listener that perhaps it was restored from off a dusty shelf in an old 23rd century relic shoppe.
Or perhaps the reverse: Three-and-a-half decades after sci-fi author Jack Williamson penned this short story, perhaps a Los Angeles beat cop, and a wannabee Hollywood screenwriter, named Roddenberry conceived something akin to the Cosmic Express as he prepared to make a little television history.
Regardless, the Stokes-Hardings eventually bribe Cosmic Express operator Charlie (voiced by Matt Clausen) with a metal flask of rare, very aged ambrosia. Faster than you can say, “Beam us up, Scotty”, the pair finds themselves stalking the showery alluvial jungles of Venus. All too soon, though, unexpected reverse nostalgia sets in just as neighbors come to call:
It helps the couple’s cause little, meanwhile, that Charlie has met his liquor-holding Waterloo in the rare, very aged ambrosia.
The Cosmic Express is the first episode in producer Joseph C. McGuire’s public radio series project, Future Past, which debuts in September, 2011. Produced at Skagit Valley College radio station, KSVR, Future Past will dramatize stories written during the pre-World War II Golden Age of Science Fiction.
While this premier effort might seem, and sound, unpretentious compared to current flashier independent audio production benchmarks, it does authentically recall the audio austerity broadcast during the prime years of network AM radio drama.
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Until next time, Audionauts, this is Captain Radio™, signing off!
* Rating based on the Audio Drama Directory Ratings System.