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Future Eye


An investigator is sent back in time with a critical mission-- to secure a microchip which has a complete account of the world until 2976. It's a race against time to retrieve the technology which, in the wrong hands has the power to wipe out the future.



Air Dates

  • First Run - July 19, 1976
  • Repeat - October 17, 1976





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10 Responses to Episode 0499

Well, I started listening in November 2011, around Thanksgiving time (United States version)and I'm up to 200. I have the luxury of being able to listen and do most of my work. I'm retired. These episodes are like audio books, only better. We don't have to listen to "she said,Johnny said with gusto,Bonnie turned and looked". So these are easier to understand. I have to say I have enjoyed most of the episodes, but that one with the cat people really sucked big time. I hope they didn't pay for that one. Anyway, keep on listening, there are plenty of really good shows, and actors. Until next time...

Randy Mc

This episode is one of my absolute favorites. It is solid science fiction that actually holds up today. So many of these are painfully dated, but like much of Bester's work, this one appears timeless . . . I highly recommend it!


This episode is one of my absolute favorites. It is solid science fiction that actually holds up today. So many of these are painfully dated, but like much of Bester's work, this one appears timeless . . . I highly recommend it!


Future Eye is one of my favorite episodes, and I remember hearing it when it was originally broadcast. It is a tale of time travel, technology, and human resourcefulness. The term "digital binary master control computer" always amused me, since (according to my limited understanding of computer science), something cannot be both digital and binary at the same time. A thousand years from now, mankind will have set a technology trap for himself. E.G.M. declares that the Master Control Computer is no mechanical dictator, but "the servant of all", but this is an intentional fallacy. We can describe the service rendered by the Master Control Computer as a "Tyranny of Ineptitude". Alfred Bester presages such modern inconveniences as computer viruses and identity theft, even the Y2K near-armageddon of a decade ago. At one point in the story, the Master Control Computer even gets Quinn's identity number wrong! Come on, we expect more than that from a sophisticated digital binary master! The third act of this play is brilliant. John Quinn (played by Tony Roberts) in his encounter with O. Wilson Knight is threateningly desparate. His clever resolution to the problem at hand, employing a classic Plot Coupon, contrasts beautifully with his apparent desparation. He knows that he's diabolically clever, yet the fear of failure looms! We hear this in his voice, and in his subtle threats. I loved it! I highly recommend this episode. If you're listening to it for the first time, pay close attention to the Japanese captain's alternate history of WWII. A few amusing puns in there. Also, note John Quinn's movie critique and the Master Control Computer's response. These little details bring this story to life, and make the characters more "human", so to speak.


In the 30th century, a supercomputer accidently transmits through time a data crystal containing the future history of the world for the next 1000 years. John Quinn, a temporal investigator ventures to 1976 to retrieve the data crystal before someone reads about future history and unravels the events to come. Assisted by the same supercomputer, Quinn has some mis-adventures in alternate timelines (an Earth where humanity destroyed itself and a USA domininated by Japanese occupation after losing World War II) before tracking the data crystal, in the shape of a match box. To add to Quinn's problems, the data crystal has transmitted the information into 100 copies of an Almanac. I always had a fondness for fascination for temporal/spatial adventures. I guess it's the "what if" factor. A carefully thought out and written story line that makes one ponder about how we interact and create our future by choices. Would knowing future events help or hinder our cause and what consequences would there be? A bit of fun!


An investigator from the future is sent back in time to retrieve a microchip that has the history of time up until 2976. If somebody from 1976 finds it first, it could make the future cease to exist.

J. Cleofe

An investigator from the future is sent back in time to retrieve an almanac of history up to the year 2976 that has mistakenly been sent back to the year 1976. After a couple of false starts being sent back to parallel times and places he finds the almanac, but discovers that 100 copies have been distributed. A fun episode dealing with the difficult subject of time travel. A gorgeous bit of dialogue at the end when the traveller debates with one of the possessors of an almanac.


I do enjoy Alfred Bester's work and this was no exception. The only question I had was how all the data from over a thousand years would fit into a small Almanac (really tiny print?). A flash drive of today could certainly hold a lot of text (not as many pictures), so who knows what the storage of the future could hold. It's interesting that today's flash drives are smaller than the matchbox mentioned in this episode.


I think it is funny that they had the computer's voice from 1,000 years in the future sound stilted and robotic like the robot had gout or indigestion. It sounds like a 1940's communist movie. "That does not compute comrade!" On the other hand Star Trek 10 years earlier in 'Assignment:Earth' had the computer voice speak sultry and sexually like if they were real humans.


Because the Mark 747 Digitary Master Control Computer malfunctioned, the memory data bank of the year 2976 is returned in time to 1976. John Quinn, chief intelligence officer for his sector, is dispatched by the embarrassed computer to retrieve it because the information it contains, put in the wrong hands, could destroy the civilization of 2976. However, Oliver Wilson Wright, an enterprising 1976 earthling, realizing what possession of the data bank, the size of a matchbox, could mean to him, is in no mood to give it to Quinn.


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