They - Robert A. Heinlein - MINDWEBS

Retro Radio Memories: They (1941)

Welcome back to a new Retro Radio Memories installment, friends. For this go around we are going to be revisiting Michael Hanson’s exceptional 1970’s radio show Mindwebs. And while we have heard adaptations from the likes of Ray Bradbury and Roger Zelazny in the past few months, today we will be listening to the 1941 story by Robert A. Heinlein entitled They.
They - Robert A. Heinlein - Dark City

They is a short story that was originally published in the pages of Street and Smith’s Unknown. The same publishers responsible for the pulp hero and later radio icon The Shadow as well as Doc Savage. Heinlein collected this short story and others in 1959’s The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag – the title of a 1942 story that helped to inspire Alex Proyas’ 1998 film Dark City!

[Via] Movieclips Classic Trailers

Dark City is a powerful film, one that doesn’t quite get the recognition it truly deserves – especially Proya’s Director’s Cut of the film. It certainly has some elements that are echoed by 1941’s They. In a nutshell the protagonist of our story is an asylum, he has been placed there because he truly believes he has seen behind the curtain of his existence. He has come to accept that the majority of those around him are fakes, placeholders of a malfunctioning system. That those around him, including his Wife, are merely in place to convince him that everything is fine and that he too is just another human being. He knows better though, he has been fortunate…well…I suppose that is actually unfortunate enough in this case – to see that what he has been raised to believe is nothing but a lie. Obviously what the main gist of the story boils down to is the protagonist right or is this merely a sign of his mental illness?

Find out for yourself when you listen to Robert A. Heinlein’s They!


VicSage

Editor at Retroist
Searching through the alleys for useful knowledge in the city of Nostalgia. Huge cinema fanatic and sometimes carrier of the flame for the weirding ways of 80s gaming, toys, and television. When his wife lets him he is quite happy sitting in the corner eating buckets of beef jerky.

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