OTR Plot Spot

is an ever-expanding, online resource for exploring audio drama in the grand tradition of Old Time Radio. It specializes in plot summaries and reviews of programmes in the Science Fiction/Fantasy, Horror/Thriller, and Action/Adventure genres, but also offers much more...

This site is intended as an interactive resource, your feedback and contributions are welcome.

Intro | FAQ


Intro

What's New
A chronicle of recent changes to this site. These are mostly new plot summaries, reviews submitted by users, and details of episodes posted in the Listening Booth, but occasionally new pages or features are added.
Plot Archives
The core of this site. An episode-by-episode guide to many radio series from the 1930s up to the present day. Beyond the 1800+ plot summaries and 800+ reviews, you will find brief histories, themes, cross-referencing, and comments from many other fans.
Famous Authors on Radio
Fairly complete listing of the stories dramatized for radio by well-known authors, from Isaac Asimov to H.G. Wells, with links back to The Internet Speculative Fiction Database where you will find more material written by these same authors. If you'd like to see authors added, please email me and I'll research them.
CD Artwork
OTR-based art, sized to fit standard CD jewel cases. Most of the images were created by Jeff Dickson and are a mix of his own artwork and cover art culled from old pulp magazines.
Recommendations
The best shows out there, as recommended by other fans! This page offers listeners a chance to tell the world what shows they think are the best of the best, as well as providing newcomers to the hobby exposure to recurring perennial favourites.
Listening Booth
The most popular feature of the site. A place to sit back, turn off the lights, turn on your imagination, and get lost in some great old shows. Shows change on a bi-weekly basis, usually late Saturday night. Serials are updated weekly, usually in one-hour instalments, but each episode remains in the Listening Booth for two weeks.
Futures Past
A visual archive of Sci-Fi magazines of the past from which radio producers of the day drew their inspiration. Not specifically about OTR, but entertaining.
Contact Me
Please send any plotlines, reviews, recommendations, favourites, banner art, CD artwork, radio scripts, biographies, comments, suggestions, criticisms or questions to me! I'm always interested in hearing from other OTR fans!
Links
Why would you want to go to any other web site? Okay, okay. Here's is a list of my favourite OTR sites, as well as a warning to stay away from scraper sites.


FAQ

How come when I click on a show title in the Plot Archives, it doesn't download?

The Plot Archives are NOT sound archives; they are for information purposes only. It would be nice if I could afford the web storage and traffic needed to offer shows in that manner, but alas, I am but a mere mortal....

So how do I download shows?

I offer bi-weekly downloads in the Listening Booth. All you have to do is left-click on the show you want, or right-click and choose 'Save Target As' from the pop-up menu. I try to offer as wide a variety of shows from different series as I can, on a rotational basis.

What if I want a particular show I read about in the Archives?

No problem, usually—just send me an email with your request, and IF I have the show in my collection, I will add your request to the queue. Usually it takes 2-3 weeks, depending on how many requests have come in before yours.

What if I can't wait that long?

Hmm... well, if instant gratification is your thing, there is a way you can bribe me to put your request at the head of the list. See the the Request Policy.

How come there are only two shows per week?

My web host imposes limits on how much download traffic is permitted for the site. I've found that 2 is about all my allotment will allow without incurring heavy fiscal penalties.

Can I help out by making a small contribution to help defray the costs?

Very kind, but the managing of this site is a hobby and a labour of love, and I don't feel comfortable accepting cash for it, even if it is not-for-profit.

So there's no way I can help?

Au contraire! My one disappointment with the site is that it has not proven as interactive as it was intended to be. There are plenty of people out there who download shows, but very few who give something back in the way of plots or reviews—especially reviews. I had hoped the Plot Spot would be a forum for fans to exchange opinions and ideas, but sadly, most OTR fans seem to be a rather quiet bunch...

OK, OK, so now that I feel all guilty-like, what do I have to do to write a review?

It's easy—just email me a brief statement to say why you liked or didn't like any show listed in the archives. Only remember to keep it clean (profanity will be edited out) and to tell me whether you wish to be credited or remain anonymous. If you're totally flummoxed, check the writer's guide for more info.

Do you sell or trade CDs or tapes?

Nope. Sorry.

Some of the shows in the archives intrigue me, but you don't have them for download. How can I get hold of them, on either cassette or mp3?

My only suggestion is to surf the net. Start by following the Links. Or put your favourite search engine to work. Or post a query for trade at an online collector's clubs, like Yahoo's OTR group. Or check out one of the OTR ftp sites.

How come some archives only list certain episodes from a series rather than the whole lot?

The Plot Spot is devoted primarily to the genres of Sci-Fi and Horror, though I do include a number of shows which are straight Adventure, as well. Some series, like Suspense, Crisis, CBS Radio Mystery Theater, and Theatre Five, covered multiple genres. Generally, an episode must have some element of the fantastic to qualify, and it must be a 'genuine' one; in other words, a show using the supernatural only as a red herring to spice up a mundane explanation at the end of the story doesn't cut the mustard. Occasionally, I may make an exception or two to these rules but, hey, after all it's my website... As time allows, I may branch out and include more episodes and series, but that would require a lot of help from other fans (to write plotlines and reviews). Are you volunteering?

Why don't you list broadcast dates with the episodes?

First, I feel there are plenty of sites out there already that deal with air-dates. There are VERY few, however, which deal with plots, and NONE which have cross-referencing, themes, or author listings, so I will stick to what I feel makes the Plot Spot fairly unique. Second, I just don't want to get caught up in the morass of conflicting info regarding air-dates. Third, I just don't give a hoot about the exact date a show was aired. I refuse to get bogged down by minutiae.

Whatever happened to Jeff Dickson?

Jeff retired as webmaster in 2011... after 11 years of service and many thousands of hours of relentless toil.

He graciously allowed me to take over the site so I could continue to provide this content to others (and to build upon it if I could), in the hope that the audio drama art form won't be lost forever. But I miss him; I miss his succinct plot summaries, perceptive reviews, and wry sense of humour. It's just not the same around here without him.

So, if I go away on vacation, will you take care of my cat?

Er.... no.