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The Parade

Dimension X

The Parade

Aug 25 1950



CAST:

FRANK MARTIN, your Wheaties man

ANNOUNCER

BLAINE BUTCHER, for Wheaties

VOICE

NBC ANNCR


SID RYAN, publicity agent

LUCHAR, the Martian

OLIVER, Ryan's assistant

BENNY, talent agent

PATRICK, police commissioner

RON HEILMAN, broadcaster

ADA SHACKLEY

BOY

GLORIA

SWITCHBOARD

MARTY, publicity director

ADOLF, at City Hall

OPERATOR

SERGEANT

and the CROWD at the parade


NOTE: X MINUS ONE aired another version of this play on May 01 1955. This transcript includes some material from the '55 broadcast in brackets.




FRANK MARTIN: It's National Wheaties Week!


MUSIC: CYMBAL CRASH! AND UPBEAT MARCH ... THEN OUT


FRANK MARTIN: Yes, it's National Wheaties Week! And Wheaties presents -- DIMENSION X!


MUSIC: CRASH! OF OTHERWORLDLY FUTURISTIC ACCENT ... THEN BEHIND ANNOUNCER--


ANNOUNCER: Transcribed on stage tonight: DIMENSION X -- another in the Wheaties big parade of exciting half-hour presentations!


FRANK MARTIN: It's National Wheaties Week! And here's the forecast for tomorrow morning: Bright and cheerful with occasional smiles, followed by a good morning, all morning long. (CHUCKLES) You think I'm kidding? No, sir. You can have a better morning around your house tomorrow, if you start it off with a good breakfast -- including, I hope, a bowl of Wheaties with milk and fruit. Nourishment? Say, Wheaties have it to give -- to you, right here in National Wheaties Week. There's a whole kernel of wheat in every Wheaties flake. Talk about vitamins and minerals and protein; they're yours in Wheaties. All you have to do is get 'em -- those Wheaties -- at your nearest store. Get 'em and try 'em once this week. For me. For you. Try them once and see for yourself how "Wheaties at seven / can help at eleven." Ready? Let's go! It's National Wheaties Week!


MUSIC: DIRGE-LIKE ECHOING PERCUSSION ... THEN BEHIND--


ANNOUNCER: Now -- tonight's adventure into the unknown world of the future -- the world of DIMENSION X -- where anything can happen.


MUSIC: UP FOR BIG, OTHERWORLDLY, FUTURISTIC ACCENT ... AND OUT WITH--


SOUND: OFFICE DOOR OPENS


LUCHAR: You are -- Mr. Sid Ryan?


RYAN: (SLIGHTLY OFF) The same.


LUCHAR: My name is Luchar. I'm a Martian.


SOUND: LUCHAR'S STEPS TO RYAN


RYAN: (CLOSER) Pleased to meet you, Mr. Lu-- (DOUBLE TAKE) What was that again?


LUCHAR: A Martian.


RYAN: A Martian, huh? As in "Orson Welles"?


LUCHAR: Precisely.


RYAN: (DRY) I'm a Rotarian myself.


LUCHAR: (CHUCKLES HEARTILY)


RYAN: Sit down.


LUCHAR: Thank you. (EXHALES AS--)


SOUND: LUCHAR SITS IN CHAIR


RYAN: And, uh, now that we've had our little joke, Mr. Luchar, what can Publicity Associates do for you?


LUCHAR: [I am interested in obtaining publicity.] It has been my observation that advertising and publicity are the very backbone of Earthly civilization.


RYAN: Spoken like a true Martian, Mr. Luchar. Now if you'll tell me the name of the client--


LUCHAR: The client, of course, will be the Martians.


RYAN: (CHUCKLES) You don't give up, do you?


LUCHAR: Give up?


RYAN: The gag, I mean. (CALLS) Oliver?!


SOUND: OFFICE DOOR OPENS


OLIVER: Ah, yes, Mr. Ryan?


RYAN: This is Mr. Luchar.


OLIVER: How do you do?


RYAN: Mr. Luchar claims to be a Martian. Take him outside, will you, Oliver? Get the name of the sanitarium he escaped from and tell them to bring the butterfly net.


LUCHAR: Wait, sir! I'm happy to see, Mr. Ryan, that my telling you I am a Martian has approximately the effect I supposed it would have. I believe we can do business. I have here a cash retainer of five thousand dollars.


SOUND: DURING ABOVE, LUCHAR RISES AND REMOVES WAD OF CASH FROM POCKET ... THEN DROPS IT ON DESK


RYAN: Five thou--? (CHUCKLES QUIETLY, SUDDENLY MAGNANIMOUS) Sit down, Mr. Luchar! Er, Oliver, get the client a cigar!


OLIVER: Yes, sir.


RYAN: No, no, no. The other box, the other box.


OLIVER: Here you are.


LUCHAR: Thank you.


SOUND: LUCHAR SITS


RYAN: Eh-- Well. Now, what, uh, can I do for you, sir?


LUCHAR: I wish you to manage a publicity campaign. A very large, a very important campaign.


RYAN: Is the product established or is it something brand new?


LUCHAR: Oh, something quite new. Now, what would you judge to be the most effective type of campaign?


RYAN: Well, if the client has a lot of dough to throw around, a suspense campaign is best. First, you place ads in the paper saying "Watch this space!"


LUCHAR: (THOUGHTFUL) Mm hm.


RYAN: Then about a week later, you run an ad saying "X-Y-Z" or "P-D-Q" and ya get people guessing what it means. 


LUCHAR: Mmm.


RYAN: Then finally, when you've teased 'em enough, you bust loose and unveil the product.


LUCHAR: (AMUSED) Excellent. (SERIOUS) Very well, sir. We shall conduct a "suspense campaign."


RYAN: 'Course, in this kind of campaign, secrecy is very important. Once the name of the product leaks out, it spreads like wildfire and the whole campaign is ker-floppo!


LUCHAR: (PUZZLED) Kerf--? (CLEARS THROAT) Yes, quite so, quite so. Utmost secrecy!


RYAN: That's right. Ah, you realize, of course, these things cost like crazy.


LUCHAR: Would, say, one million dollars cover the expense?


RYAN: Eh-- (DOUBLE TAKE) Come again?


LUCHAR: I said, would one million dollars cover it?


RYAN: Why, yes, I imagine-- You did say one million dollars?


SOUND: LUCHAR RISES


LUCHAR: I understood that you had handled some very large accounts. Of course, if this is too big--


RYAN: Oh, not at all, not at all! As a matter of fact, I seldom touch anything less! Er, right, Oliver?


OLIVER: Huh? Oh. Oh. Oh, of course. That's right, Mr. Ryan, absolutely right!


LUCHAR: Good. You will begin, then, by saturating the newspapers, the radio, streetcars, with a very simple statement.


RYAN: What's that? 


LUCHAR: I shall write it for you.


SOUND: DURING ABOVE, LUCHAR TEARS OFF A SHEET OF PAPER ... THEN SCRIBBLE OF PEN ON PAPER BEHIND--


RYAN: (READS SLOWLY, AS LUCHAR WRITES) "The - Martians - are - coming!" (IMPRESSED) Huh! Say, that's not a bad teaser. Got that, Oliver?


OLIVER: Yes, sir.


LUCHAR: The next ad will read, "June first is Martian Day."


OLIVER: (TO HIMSELF, AS HE JOTS THIS DOWN) "June first is Martian Day."


RYAN: What happens on June first?


LUCHAR: The parade takes place.


RYAN: What parade?


LUCHAR: I wish you to arrange a parade up Fifth Avenue.


RYAN: You mean like the, er, Macy parade?


LUCHAR: Exactly. Except that the theme will be "The World of Tomorrow, the Martian World." My client would like it to be a gay affair -- balloons, clowns, pennants, pretty drum majorettes.


RYAN: (ENTHUSIASTIC) Say! That sounds terrific! I might be able to introduce the department stores in a tie-in!


LUCHAR: Fine. The, uh, parade will climax the campaign. On June first, the product will be unveiled.


RYAN: Good enough. Ah, by the way, Mr. Luchar, just what is the product? Er, what are we selling?


LUCHAR: (LAUGHS HEARTILY) Oh, no, Mr. Ryan. Secrecy, remember?


RYAN: Oh, but, after all--


LUCHAR: All will be revealed to you in good time, Mr. Ryan. For the moment, let us say we are selling a concept.


RYAN: A - concept?


LUCHAR: (SLOW AND MYSTERIOUS) Precisely. The concept of - invasion from Mars.


MUSIC: BRIDGE


SOUND: PHONE RINGS TWICE AND CONNECTS (CALLER'S PERSPECTIVE) ... BENNY ON FILTER


RYAN: Uh, Benny Marcus, please.


BENNY: This is Benny.


RYAN: Uh, Benny, this is Sid Ryan over at Publicity Associates. Listen, Benny, how ya fixed for midgets?


BENNY: I got midgets.


RYAN: Fine. I need forty midgets for a parade. Forty. June first. And listen, Benny, I want 'em dressed in little space suits.


BENNY: What?


RYAN: You know, like men from Mars. Okay?


BENNY: Midgets.


RYAN: And I want some movie extras -- uh, maybe fifty of 'em -- also rigged up like men from Mars. Make 'em look gruesome. Got that?


BENNY: Gruesome.


RYAN: Also, I need some horses with, uh, pretty girls on top of 'em. Maybe you can get that bunch from Maroni's Traveling Circus, the ones we booked for the firemen's parade in Albany last year.


BENNY: I'll try, Sid.


RYAN: And never mind the expense, just get me the talent, okay?


[BENNY: This sounds like you landed a big client. Who is it?


RYAN: It's a secret!]


SOUND: OFFICE DOOR OPENS


RYAN: I - I gotta hang up now. Call me back, Benny.


SOUND: RECEIVER DOWN


RYAN: How ya doin', Oliver?


OLIVER: Oh, fine, Mr. Ryan, just fine. [I got a hundred small boys pasting little stickers -- "The Martians are coming!" -- on the subway platforms.] We got full-page ads in all the dailies and ten-second spot announcements on every local station--


RYAN: (CHUCKLES)


OLIVER: --but it's costing a fortune!


RYAN: The more it costs, the bigger our percentage. Spend like you were going to the electric chair, Oliver.


OLIVER: Yes, sir. Uh, how you making out on the parade?


RYAN: If it comes off, it'll be the biggest thing since Barnum invented the midget. I've got Macy's, Gimbels, and Saks to contribute floats. Everything is built around the Martian theme, see? Even the horses'll have long feelers attached to them and funny-looking extra legs. It'll be sensational.


OLIVER: Oh, yeah, yeah, it sounds fine, only, uh--


RYAN: Only what?


OLIVER: Well, Mr. Ryan, we don't even know what we're selling.


RYAN: (CHUCKLES) Oliver, my boy, do you think old Sid Ryan has been sitting here spending all this moo-lah and not putting two and two together?


OLIVER: You mean you know who Luchar represents?


RYAN: Just by accident, understand, I have learned that Century Pictures is making a big new epic [-- one of those expensive pictures they make in secret and then spring on the public because they don't want the other studios to get the jump on 'em] -- a space opera entitled "Invasion from Mars." Get it?


OLIVER: Ohhh. Ohhh, I begin to see.


RYAN: Uh, also by mere coincidence, it happens to be the premiere sometime around June first. Do you follow me?


OLIVER: (TROUBLED) But, Mr. Ryan, Century has an exclusive contract with New Features Syndicate for all their publicity.


RYAN: Suppose Century Pictures doesn't like the way New Features is handling their stuff. They want to get out of the contract, but New Features says no. So they have to get around the contract. A man named Luchar, client unknown, starts publicizing the Martian invasion. Need I go further?


OLIVER: Oh, I get it, Mr. Ryan. Gee, I suppose I should have thought of that. 


RYAN: No, Oliver, that's what I like about you! You're so innocent!


MUSIC: BRIDGE


RYAN: Er, let me talk to Commissioner Patrick, please. Sid Ryan.


SOUND: PHONE CONNECTS (CALLER'S PERSPECTIVE) ... PATRICK ON FILTER


PATRICK: Hello?


RYAN: Commish? Sid Ryan.


PATRICK: Ohhh, it's you.


RYAN: Heh heh!


PATRICK: Well, what is it this time? If you want to drop a man off the Empire State Building into a teacup full of water, the answer is no. 


RYAN: (CHUCKLES)


PATRICK: Also, we are not arresting any fan dancers.


RYAN: (AMUSED) You know I don't handle fan dancers. I want a permit for a parade -- June first, Fifth Avenue; it's a Sunday, there's no traffic.


PATRICK: Oh, come now, look, Ryan--


RYAN: Macy's gets a permit, Gimbels gets a permit, the American Legion gets a permit. The Sons of Erin march every time Morton Downey sings "The Wearin' of the Green." Don't give me a hard time, Patrick. This is too big!


PATRICK: Come on now--!


RYAN: I have the Fifth Avenue Merchants Association behind me.


PATRICK: (GIVES IN) Okay, Ryan. Fill out the forms. I'll pass 'em along to the license commissioner.


RYAN: That's my boy!


PATRICK: Oh, by the way, what's the occasion?


RYAN: Oh, don't you read the papers, Patrick? June first is Martian Day!


MUSIC: BRIDGE


SOUND: PRESS ROOM BACKGROUND ... CLACKETY-CLACK OF TYPING, ET CETERA


LUCHAR: Well, Mr. Ryan, how is the campaign going?


RYAN: Like fire, Mr. Luchar, like fire. Everybody and his brother is going along with the gag. Yesterday, we distributed fifty thousand Martian hats to school kids. [I got some the merchants doing "World of Tomorrow" displays in their windows. Every big novelty manufacturer in town is climbing on the bandwagon. They want to get into the parade with floats, giveaways, anything! Everybody smells a buck to be made! I wouldn't be surprised if the mayor himself declared "Martian Day."] I even arranged for Commissioner Patrick to accept a fifty thousand dollar check for the Policemen's Benevolent Fund from the man from Mars! [Oh, it's terrific, terrific! My blood pressure's up to two hundred! (LAUGHS)]


LUCHAR: (LAUGHS) Excellent.


RYAN: (SLY) I, um-- I understand Century Pictures spent over a million bucks making that space opera.


LUCHAR: I beg pardon?


RYAN: Oh ho -- come, come, Mr. Luchar. Sid Ryan wasn't born yesterday, you know. I know who our client is even if you don't admit it!


LUCHAR: You do?


RYAN: Always thinkin' -- that's me! 


LUCHAR: Well, as long as you know, let's keep it to ourselves, shall we, Mr. Ryan? As you once remarked, when these things leak out, it destroys the surprise and ruins the effectiveness of the campaign.


MUSIC: BRIDGE


SOUND

& MUSIC: PARADE BACKGROUND ... CROWD, MARCHING BAND, ET CETERA


HEILMAN: Ladies and gentlemen, this is Ron Heilman speaking to you from our portable transmitter atop the reviewing stand for the much-heralded Martian parade on Fifth Avenue. It's a beautiful sunlit day here in New York -- a perfect day for a parade, and the streets are packed with thousands of spectators, all eager to find out what this is all about. There's an air of shrill expectancy. [Some of the kids and their parents have been camped on the curbstones since early this morning to be sure of ringside seats when the so-called Martians pass by.]


SOUND

& MUSIC: MARCHING BAND FINISHES ITS NUMBER ... CROWD APPLAUDS ... THEN MURMURS IN BG


HEILMAN: (OFF MIKE, TO SOMEONE) Okay, tell 'em "all right." (ON MIKE, TO AUDIENCE) Uh, I just had word from Saul Brown at the Central Park Mall that the Martians have landed from big pink balloons, and, uh, while we're waiting for the arrival of the parade, we've brought some people up to our microphone to tell you their reactions to this spectacular affair. [--this most spectacular of all publicity stunts.] Uh, what's your name, madam?


ADA: (OFF MIKE) Miz Ada Shackley.


HEILMAN: A little louder, please.


ADA: (ON MIKE) Miz Ada Shackley.


BOY: Mama, I want a balloon.


HEILMAN: And, uh, where are you from, Mrs. Shackley?


ADA: Columbus, Ohio.


HEILMAN: I see.


BOY: Mama!


HEILMAN: And I see you have your family with you. Two little curly-headed boys. Are you in New York for your vacation?


ADA: Yeah, we came for the Shriners convention with their daddy.


BOY: Come on, mama, give me a balloon.


HEILMAN: Well, uh, what do you think of Martian Day, Mrs. Shackley?


ADA: Well, it all seems very strange to me, but the boys have been pestering me to watch it, so we've been standing here for two hours. I can't make head or tail of it.


HEILMAN: Well, neither can a lot of other people, Mrs. Shackley, but judging by the thousands here already, there's a lot of curiosity.


ADA: (GOOD-NATURED) Curiosity killed the cat, folks say. (CHUCKLES)


HEILMAN: Let's - let's hope not.


BOY: Mamaaaaaa!


HEILMAN: Uh, thank you, Mrs. Shackley. And now here's the--


SOUND

& MUSIC: CROWD REACTS ... MARCHING BAND STRIKES UP ANOTHER TUNE ... THEN IN BG


HEILMAN: Here they come, ladies and gentlemen, the first units of the big Martian parade swinging down Fifth Avenue -- with fanfare, colored streamers, music, confetti, floats -- all the trappings of a Mardi Gras. Let's listen to the band for a minute.


SOUND

& MUSIC: MARCHING BAND AND EXCITED CROWD FILL A PAUSE ... THEN IN BG


HEILMAN: Here in the vanguard, a whole troupe of little midgets in weird-looking pink-and-blue space suits, carrying Rube Goldberg weapons with signs painted on them. (AMUSED) I can read one which says, "Atomic Blaster." Another has a placard reading, "We're Martian Through Georgia."


SOUND

& MUSIC: MARCHING BAND MARCHES OFF ... HAPPY CROWD CONTINUES IN BG


HEILMAN: And here come the clowns, laughing and falling all over each other. They're giving free sugar candy to the kids along the way. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this is a happy, laughing crowd along Fifth Avenue today, a true reflection of the great sense of humor and good nature that makes America the place it is. Why, only-- 


SOUND: CROWD GROWS QUIET AND MURMURS UNEASILY


HEILMAN: (OFF MIKE) Huh? What--? What's that? (ON MIKE) What's this? The crowd's murmuring now. They've fallen somewhat silent. Something coming. I'll try to get it for you. (OFF MIKE) What? -- Oh. (ON MIKE) Uh-- Oh, ladies and gentlemen, here comes the Martian contingent.


SOUND: CROWD APPLAUDS BRIEFLY AND GROWS QUIET


HEILMAN: This is promised as the climax of the show. And now a great hush has fallen over the crowd. It's quite a sight to see these thousands of people standing here expectantly, hearing only the great regular sigh of their mass breathing.


SOUND

& MUSIC: OMINOUS APPROACH OF A HUGE ARMY OF MARTIANS MARCHING IN FORMATION DOWN FIFTH AVENUE ... ACCOMPANIED BY A SHARP SNARE DRUM RHYTHM ... THEN UP FULL IN BG


HEILMAN: Now here they come, ladies and gentlemen, the Martians, marching in booted, helmeted ranks, row after row of them. This is an impressive sight, ladies and gentlemen, and a rather serious contrast to the rest of the joyous, slapstick parade we've been witnessing up to now. Perhaps, oh, two hundred tall, broad-chested men dressed in metallic gray space suits with thick glass visors drawn across their faces. Each one's holding an ominous-looking ray gun at the ready position. They're marching in absolute silence, in step perfectly, as though some mute, unspoken command were marking time for them. [The crowd seems rather grim and serious now. Perhaps they're reminded of the actuality of war and possible invasion. They stand -- solemnly, silently -- watching.] Even the children are awed by the unexpected warlike realism of the Martian legion. And now the first ranks of the Martians move past us down Fifth Avenue toward the reviewing stands at the square. No one moves.


SOUND: MARTIANS CONTINUE MARCHING RELENTLESSLY, IN BG ... STARTLED CROWD REACTS WITH UNHAPPY SURPRISE AND WORRY ... CONTINUES BEHIND--


HEILMAN: (STARTLED, THEN QUICKLY) A woman--! A woman, ladies and gentlemen, just dashed out into the street -- for what reason I don't know. She just slipped through the police cordon somehow. They're after her now, but she's already reached the ranks of the marchers and she's trying to lift the visor of one of the Martian space suits.


GLORIA: (BLOODCURDLING SCREAM, OFF)


HEILMAN: Wait, wait, wait -- she's fallen. She screamed and then fell forward in a dead faint. The Martian column keeps right on coming. Unless they break ranks, they're going to trample her. No, no, no, the police have-- Policemen have got her now, they're dragging her away, out of the way. Trying to revive her now. 


SOUND: CROWD MURMURS UNEASILY ... MARTIANS KEEP MARCHING, IN BG


HEILMAN: (OFF MIKE) What's that? (ON MIKE) All sorts of rumors have begun filtering back through the crowd, for some reason whispering that the woman's dead. We don't know yet, but whatever's happened, the incident seems to have cast a slight shadow over the mood of the crowd. The carefree holiday air seems to have vanished; the crowd stirring uneasily, a little disturbed at what we've just seen. Nothing to be alarmed at, however, it just - just seems a shame that anything like this should happen to spoil our enjoyment of the Martian parade.


MUSIC: FIRST ACT CURTAIN ... GRIM


ANNOUNCER: DIMENSION X will continue in just a moment.


FRANK MARTIN: It's National Wheaties Week! 


BLAINE BUTCHER: Ah, want to take that again, Frank?


FRANK MARTIN: Oh, sure. (UP) It's National Wheaties Week! And we're celebrating. That voice you heard belongs to my severest critic, who's here to help us celebrate tonight. He's the fella who's backstage when I'm telling you about the Wheaties. He listens to see that I tell ya right: Wheaties' best friend -- next to me -- Blaine Butcher.


BLAINE BUTCHER: I think you took that introduction a little fast, Frank. Uh, now, suppose, uh--


FRANK MARTIN: (CHUCKLES) You see what I mean, folks? Seriously, Blaine -- you say the Wheaties words once.


BLAINE BUTCHER: Okay. All I'll say is this. Those of us who tell the Wheaties story believe what we say. And during National Wheaties Week, the good word is this: Get a package of Wheaties and try 'em just once. I'll be right behind you in line at your grocer's, between you and Frank Martin. Okay? Do that, now. Try Wheaties. It's National Wheaties Week.


MUSIC: BIG, OTHERWORLDLY, FUTURISTIC ACCENT ... SEGUES TO DISTANT MARCHING AS HEARD FROM THE OPEN WINDOW OF RYAN'S OFFICE ... THEN IN BG


OLIVER: (AGITATED) Mr. Ryan, did you see that? A woman fainted. She ran out into the street to get a close look at the Martians, then - then she screamed and fainted dead away!


RYAN: I'm well aware of that, Oliver, since I paid her fifty bucks to do it.


OLIVER: (STUNNED) Wha-a-at?


RYAN: The dramatic moment, Oliver! The stock-in-trade of the good publicity man! Relax.


OLIVER: Holy smokes, you sure think of everything.


RYAN: For my share of this deal -- roughly one hundred thousand dollars -- I can afford to think of everything. Shut the window.


OLIVER: Oh, okay, but don't you want to see the finish?


RYAN: We'll go down to the reviewing stand for the finish. Right now I want to make a phone call. Er, by the way, where's Luchar?


OLIVER: Oh, I haven't seen him.


[RYAN: Ah, he'll be around.


OLIVER: Boy, those Martian sure look like the real thing.


RYAN: (AMUSED) How would you know the "real thing" if you saw it, Oliver?


OLIVER: Gee, I - I don't know.]


RYAN: Well, uh-- Close the window, Oliver.


OLIVER: (RELUCTANT) Well, I-- (SIGHS) Okay, Mr. Ryan.


SOUND: WINDOW CLOSES, SHUTTING OUT MARCHING


RYAN: (HUMS TO HIMSELF BEHIND--)


SOUND: RECEIVER UP ... PHONE DIALED ... PHONE RINGS AND CONNECTS (CALLER'S PERSPECTIVE) ... BENNY ON FILTER


BENNY: Marcus Talent Agency.


RYAN: Benny?! This is Sid Ryan!


BENNY: Oh, say, listen, Sid, I was gonna call ya. I'm awful sorry about those Martians.


RYAN: What do you mean sorry? They're terrific!


BENNY: Oh, don't joke, Sid. I mean it.


RYAN: Oh, I mean it, too! They're great, great!


BENNY: (PUZZLED) Are you in the bag?


RYAN: Never felt better.


BENNY: You mean it, don't you?


RYAN: Of course I mean it! What is this?


BENNY: There are Martians in the parade?


RYAN: About a hundred and fifty. 'Course, I only ordered fifty, but, under the circumstances--


BENNY: (INTERRUPTS) Sid! Sid!


RYAN: What is it?


BENNY: Sid, don't you know? I couldn't get you a single movie extra. There's a studio strike in New York. [I was gonna call ya, but I--]


RYAN: Huh? Wait a minute. Where'd these guys come from if you didn't hire 'em?


BENNY: I don't know. [Maybe Oliver--?]


RYAN: Hold on. (CALLS) Oliver?


OLIVER: Oh, yes, Mr. Ryan?


RYAN: Did you hire those Martians?


OLIVER: Well, no, sir, I didn't--


RYAN: (INTO PHONE) Benny? This is on the level, isn't it?


BENNY: Honest, Sid, I wouldn't--


RYAN: Okay, Benny, I'll - I'll call you back.


SOUND: RECEIVER DOWN


OLIVER: What's the matter, Mr. Ryan?


RYAN: (THOUGHTFUL) I don't know. Just don't know. Wonder if Luchar hired 'em? (UP) What's, uh, Century Pictures' number?


SOUND: RECEIVER UP 


OLIVER: Tremayne Four One-Thousand.


RYAN: (TO HIMSELF AS HE DIALS) Tremayne Four One-Thousand.


SOUND: DURING ABOVE, PHONE DIALED ... THEN PHONE RINGS AND CONNECTS (CALLER'S PERSPECTIVE) ... SWITCHBOARD OPERATOR ON FILTER


SWITCHBOARD: Century Pictures, the studio of the stars.


RYAN: Uh, give me Marty Sanford, your publicity director.


SWITCHBOARD: One moment, please.


SOUND: LINE CONNECTS (CALLER'S PERSPECTIVE) ... MARTY ON FILTER


MARTY: Sanford.


RYAN: Yeah, Marty, this is Sid Ryan.


MARTY: Oh, hello, Sid. How's the--?


RYAN: (INTERRUPTS, QUICKLY) Fine, fine. Listen, Marty, this is dead serious. On the level -- get it?


MARTY: What's wrong?


RYAN: I've got to locate Luchar.


MARTY: Uh, Lou who?


RYAN: Luchar. Come on, now, Marty, this is life-and-death. The guy you sent over to hire me for the invasion picture.


MARTY: I never heard of a guy named Luchar. And, uh, what invasion picture?


RYAN: "Invasion from Mars" -- the space opera.


MARTY: Are you batty?


RYAN: Marty--


MARTY: That picture was shelved last month.


RYAN: What?


MARTY: Sure, back in the can. [Too expensive and too fantastic.] The big shots decided ya can't sell a Martian invasion to the American public. It's too incredible, Sid. Heh! Who'd ever believe it could really happen? Of all the crazy-- (CUT OFF WITH--)


SOUND: RECEIVER SLAMS DOWN


RYAN: (BEAT, QUIETLY, TO HIMSELF) Mother in Heaven.


OLIVER: What is it, Mr. Ryan? You look terrible.


RYAN: (TO HIMSELF) It's - it's too fantastic.


OLIVER: Fanta--? Mr. Ryan, is something wrong?


RYAN: Open that window, Oliver. I want another look at those Martians.


SOUND: OLIVER'S STEPS TO WINDOW, WHICH OPENS ... DISTANT MARCHING, IN BG


RYAN: (UNEASY) Look at 'em. Oliver, you were in the army. Could a hundred and fifty movie extras learn to march like that in, say, er, twenty-four hours?


OLIVER: (REALIZES) No. Not in twenty-four days, Mr. Ryan.


RYAN: Not a second's hesitation. Not one out of step. Look at the way they carry those ray guns at the ready. The only other time I've seen troops march like that was on a film of the Nazi S. S. troops marching through the streets of Paris.


OLIVER: (DISMAYED) Mr. Ryan--?


RYAN: (RAPID) Oliver, get down there. Find that woman who fainted. Her name's Gloria Montez. Get her up here! Make it fast!


MUSIC: BRIDGE


SOUND: OFFICE DOOR OPENS ... GLORIA AND OLIVER'S STEPS IN


GLORIA: (SQUEALING AND WEEPING WITH HYSTERIA, IN BG)


OLIVER: Here she is, Mr. Ryan. I can't get much sense out of her.


GLORIA: Stay away from me!


RYAN: Okay, Gloria, you can cut out the act. It's me -- Sid Ryan. 


GLORIA: Don't kid me, don't kid me -- you're a Martian! You're wearing a mask! And underneath it's - it's awful--


RYAN: Gloria, settle down. Baby, it's me -- Sid.


GLORIA: It's all big green eyes and those - those feelers -- like a catfish! (WEEPS, IN BG)


RYAN: Baby, snap out of it. Listen. What happened down there? You ran out and screamed like I told ya, but the fainting -- that wasn't in the act.


GLORIA: Go away, please. Go away. (SOBS QUIETLY, IN BG)


[RYAN: What'd ya see?!


GLORIA: Oh, no, please! It's too awful! Please, please!]


RYAN: Just one question, baby. Inside that helmet, what did you see?


GLORIA: (WEEPS HYSTERICALLY AGAIN WITH HORROR ... THEN IN BG)


OLIVER: You won't get anything out of her, Mr. Ryan. She needs a doctor.


RYAN: Okay, Oliver. I've heard enough anyway. You take care of Gloria here; get her a drink.


OLIVER: Where are you going?


RYAN: To see the commissioner. We've got to stop this parade before things begin to happen!


MUSIC: BRIDGE


PATRICK: Okay, Ryan, what's the beef?


RYAN: Listen, Patrick, I don't know what it is, see, but something's wrong. You've got to stop that parade.


PATRICK: I suppose you'd like the riot squad. That would get you a front page spread on every paper in town. Now, look, Ryan -- I've got no time for your cheap publicity gags. I'm a busy man.


RYAN: Listen, I'm trying to tell you, I don't know where those Martians came from, who they are, or anything about 'em! [All I want you to do is stop the parade and make sure they're on the level!]


PATRICK: Oh, Ryan, I'm wise to your tricks. Now if you'll let the sergeant show you out--


RYAN: You won't do it, huh? An honest citizen appeals for protection and you refuse it!


PATRICK: I most emphatically do. Now beat it.


RYAN: All right, Patrick -- I'll go right to the mayor's office. I'll have you busted flatter than a fried egg!


PATRICK: Go ahead! I'm sure His Honor will be glad to toss you out on that phony nickel-plated skull of yours!


MUSIC: BRIDGE


SOUND: CITY HALL BACKGROUND ... SECRETARIES' TYPEWRITERS CLACKING, ET CETERA


ADOLF: (FURIOUS) You heard me, Ryan -- you can't see the mayor!


RYAN: Adolf, please, this isn't a gag. I don't want publicity. All I want to do is maybe prevent something horrible from happening.


ADOLF: Case you don't know it, wise guy, something horrible's already happening. A couple o' hundred little kids are in the hospital with ptomaine poisoning from that phony Martian candy you passed out!


RYAN: What?


ADOLF: Or didn't ya know?


RYAN: (TAKEN ABACK) I - I didn't. (URGENT) We've got to stop that parade!


ADOLF: Sure! You'd like nothin' better than to start a panic now. Maybe a few hundred people'd get trampled to death. Think of the newspaper space that'd get you and your phony product!


RYAN: I won't stand for this, Adolf! This may be a matter of life and death!


ADOLF: If you don't get out of here quick, it'll be your death! Go on, beat it, get out! You and your publicity stunts! Make me sick to my stomach.


MUSIC: BRIDGE


SOUND: OFFICE DOOR OPENS ... RYAN'S STEPS IN


RYAN: Oliver? Oliver?!


SOUND: OFFICE DOOR CLOSES


RYAN: Oliver, where are you?! Oliver-- (STOPS SHORT, SHOCKED) Oliver--? Oliver!


LUCHAR: It is useless to scream at him, Mr. Ryan. Your friend is - quite dead.


RYAN: Luchar!


LUCHAR: He wanted to run to the police with some story about a Martian invasion. I found it necessary to restrain him.


RYAN: (ANGRY) Restrain him? You stinking murderer!


LUCHAR: Now, now, Mr. Ryan -- collect yourself. After all our planning, it wouldn't do to have everything spoiled now, would it?


RYAN: Luchar, start talking and talk fast, because when you get through I'm gonna take you apart piece by piece! What's this all about?!


LUCHAR: Surely you know, Mr. Ryan. After all, you've been publicizing it for months. You see, before colonizing your planet, the Martian government sent some of us as scouts in advance -- disguised as Earthmen, of course -- to study your habits, your weaknesses. We found that the people on Earth are predominantly conditioned by advertising and publicity. And so we conceived the idea of treating our entire invasion as a vast publicity stunt. (CHUCKLES) Clever, yes? After all, Mr. Ryan, who would suspect an invader who advertised his invasion in the newspaper, invited the public to his surprise attack, and spent millions publicizing his plans?


RYAN: (QUIET DISBELIEF) Holy jumping--


LUCHAR: You've done very well, you see.


RYAN: (REALIZES) Then - there was no product.


LUCHAR: Ah, but there is a product! The product - is - death.


RYAN: What are you trying [to do], Luchar?


LUCHAR: We Martians are a humane people, Mr. Ryan. We do not like to destroy thousands when a few hundred will suffice. In exactly two minutes, our troops will treat the world to a spectacle of death, which will bring the rest of your planet to its knees in horror! Nations will clamor to surrender!


RYAN: Perhaps, Mr. Luchar, but not -- (WITH EFFORT) -- if I can help it!


SOUND: DURING ABOVE, RYAN'S QUICK STEPS TO LUCHAR ... THEN RYAN REPEATEDLY SOCKS LUCHAR WHO EXCLAIMS AND GROANS ... LUCHAR SLUMPS INTO FURNITURE, UNCONSCIOUS ... RYAN'S QUICK STEPS TO PHONE ... RECEIVER UP ... TAP-TAP-TAP OF CRADLE ... OPERATOR ON FILTER


OPERATOR: Yes, please?


RYAN: (URGENT, RAPID) Operator, this is Mr. Ryan. Get me the field telephone on the reviewing stand of the Martian Day parade. Hurry!


OPERATOR: Anyone in particular?


RYAN: Just hurry!


SOUND

& MUSIC: PHONE RINGS AND CONNECTS (CALLER'S PERSPECTIVE) ... ROAR OF PARADE CROWD AND BAND MUSIC HEARD IN BACKGROUND ... SERGEANT ON FILTER


SERGEANT: Reviewing stand. Hello?


RYAN: Get me Commissioner Patrick.


SERGEANT: Hello?


RYAN: Hello!


SERGEANT: You'll have to talk louder.


RYAN: I want Commissioner Patrick!


SERGEANT: Who?


RYAN: Patrick! Patrick!


SERGEANT: Wait a minute. Things are quieting down. 


SOUND & 

MUSIC: BAND FINISHES ... CROWD QUIETS A LITTLE, THEN IN BG


SERGEANT: What was that you wanted?


RYAN: This is Ryan! I have to talk to the commissioner; it's a matter of life and death!


SERGEANT: Well, you can't talk to him now. The chief Martian is presenting the PBA check to him. The Martians are going to fire a salute.


RYAN: Listen, you gotta stop 'em!


SERGEANT: (CAN'T HEAR) What?


RYAN: Stop 'em!


SERGEANT: Sorry, Mr. Ryan, I can't hear you.


RYAN: You idiot! The worst is going to--


SOUND: MASSIVE LENGTHY EXPLOSION! WITH LINGERING REVERBERATION UNTIL END OF PLAY ... HALFWAY THROUGH THE EXPLOSION, WE HEAR THE TAP-TAP-TAP OF PHONE CRADLE


OPERATOR: (UNNERVED, ON FILTER) [This is the operator.] Mr. Ryan? Mr. Ryan? You've been cut off. [I can't seem to get them back.] I heard it. Is - is something the matter?


RYAN: (QUIET, SLOW, HELPLESS) No, operator. Doesn't matter.


SOUND: RECEIVER DOWN AWKWARDLY


RYAN: (EXHALES, TO HIMSELF) Nothing matters now.


MUSIC: CURTAIN ... THEN DIRGE-LIKE ECHOING PERCUSSION ... THEN BEHIND--


ANNOUNCER: Tonight, DIMENSION X has transcribed "The Parade," an original radio drama written by George Lefferts. Featured in the cast were Joseph Curtin as Ryan, Berry Kroeger as Luchar, and Alexander Scourby as Ron Heilman. Your narrator was Norman Rose. Music by Albert Buhrman. Engineer, Bill Chambers. DIMENSION X is produced by Van Woodward and directed by Edward King. In a moment, we'll tell you about next week's show. And now here is your Wheaties man, Frank Martin.


FRANK MARTIN: It's National Wheaties Week! Have you had 'em today? Had your Wheaties? It's National Wheaties Week -- the time of the year to buy Wheaties and try 'em -- at least once, for goodness sake. Because once you sit down to a bowl of Wheaties with milk and the fruit of your choice, I don't worry about you. Nope. I know there's a whole kernel of wheat in every Wheaties flake, and that's good. Besides, I know that starting a better breakfast with Wheaties can help ya feel better, look better, and work better all morning. But, honest now, you have to do your part before Wheaties can do theirs. Sure! Buy Wheaties -- that's what you have to do. That's what I have to do. Buy 'em and see how "Wheaties at seven / can help at eleven." And a happy National Wheaties Week to you!


MUSIC: BIG, OTHERWORLDLY, FUTURISTIC ACCENT ... THEN BEHIND--


ANNOUNCER: Listen next week when we present the Robert Heinlein story "The Roads Must Roll," another adventure into the world of tomorrow -- the world of--


MUSIC: ECHOING CYMBAL CRASH


ANNOUNCER: (HEAVY ECHO) "DIMENSION X - x - x - x - x--" 


MUSIC: UP FOR BIG, OTHERWORLDLY, FUTURISTIC ACCENT ... AND OUT BEHIND--


FRANK MARTIN: And this is the Wheaties man, Frank Martin, inviting you to listen Saturday -- that's tomorrow night -- to Joel McRea in TALES OF THE TEXAS RANGERS on the Wheaties Big Parade! See ya then. And remember -- it's National Wheaties Week!


MUSIC: SQUARE DANCE FIDDLE BEHIND VOICE--


VOICE: (SPEAKS) Swing your partners, right and left! It's National Wheaties Week!

(SINGS)

Come on, everybody, to the Wheaties party;

Eat a lot of Wheaties like the champions do;

Dance together cheek to cheek;

This is National Wheaties Week;

Eat a lot of Wheaties like the champions do;

Wheaties, the Breakfast of Champions!


SOUND: TRANSITIONAL PAUSE


MUSIC: DIRGE-LIKE ECHOING PERCUSSION TO FILL A PAUSE ... THEN FADES OUT


NBC ANNCR: This program came to you from New York. Jack Lait's coming up. October sixth, it's Bill Bendix on NBC.


MUSIC: NBC CHIMES

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