Is Radio An Overlooked Medium?

I have previously detailed a few of Stephen King's work that has been adapted to radio.  I love that format!  Did you know that the Martian Chronicles was originally done as a series of radio plays, long before it became a mini series.

Know what would be cool. . . a Stephen King radio playhouse.  Consider:

1. Everything is scarier on the radio.  Just listen to "Lights out everybody."
2. Radio can take you more places on a cheaper budget.
3. Radio drama's often go on and on for many episodes.  They are not locked in to a single episode.
4. Stars on the radio don't demand a trillion dollars.

Just suggesting that with all the Dark Tower drama about budget -- maybe there is another (better) format that had been largely overlooked in the Stephen King universe.  Hard to do a modern story on the radio?  Did you know that Lucas put all three of the true Star Wars movies to radio?  Yep!  And the first one was something like six hours!  It is great.

Radio doesn't cut out any other medium.  But it does open the door to some greater creativity.  Frankly, I would love to travel with Larry Underwood through the Lincoln tunnel on radio.  Now that would be scary.  It just can't be done visually -- but I'll bet it can be done as a radio play. 

Imagine Christine as a radio drama.  All that music in the background!  Car sounds.  You'll get to know the sound of Christine's engine quickly.

Even though radio drama's don't really play so much on. . . radio. . . that should not shut out the format.  In fact, with mp3, I listen to more radio now than ever.  It is a format that Dickens' works have been well represented. 

Works already in radio format: Misery, Pet Sematary, The Mist 3D sound.

For a fuller treatment of the subject, see my earlier article.


  1. I would love to have Stephen King's (and other writer's work) on the radio. I travel a lot by car and often grow weary of listening to the same ten songs over and over again. This wouldn't happen with novels though. It would be creepy as well. During my last road trip I had to stop at a dark rest stop in the middle of the woods at two in the morning. I'm not sure this would have been possible if a Stephen King tale had been playing for the last 100 miles.

  2. You know, one of the reasons I'm looking forward to "Ghost Brothers of Darkland County" so much is that the three-disc release of it which will supposedly be happening is the closest King has come to producing an original radio drama. I love that medium, even though I'm not terribly familiar with it; the "3D sound" version of The Mist was the first King audiobook I ever owned, and I must have listened to it close to a hundred times back in high school.

    I also can recall sitting in front of my parents' big stereo to tune into the radio version of "Star Wars" back when that happened.

    And serious "Doctor Who" fans, of course, know that the audio-drama format can yield pure gold; Big Finish Productions has made hundreds of them, featuring some of the actors who played the Doctor reprisnig their roles to great effect.

    All of which is a long-winded way of saying: David, I couldn't agree more!