Vanishing Point is “The point between reality and fantasy”

Vanishing Point is the title of a Canadian radio drama series produced and aired by CBC Radio from 1984 to 1986, and then under a variety of different subtitles until 1992. Created and produced by Bill Lane, Vanishing Point was the CBC’s follow-up to Nightfall, which had instilled new life into its many regional drama centers. Like that series, Vanishing Point drew from the CBC’s entire coast to coast network, gathering together the CBC’s finest production, engineering, writing, and acting talent to mount one of the better radio dramas in CBC history.

While primarily a science fiction series, the anthology presented a wide range of genres including thriller, horror, detective, psychological drama, comedy and even the occasional musical. A number of episodes were adaptations of short stories from famous authors like Ray Bradbury, Roald Dahl or Evelyn Waugh, but many were original plays from Canada’s top talent. Bill Lane workshopped plays from the winners of various Canadian literary competitions as a way of “reaching an audience by developing the talents of new playwrights.”

The regular series ran for two seasons, taking a hiatus in the summer of 1986 and returning in September with a six-episode adventure called The Black Persian, followed by a miniseries of modernized Nathaniel Hawthorne adaptations, setting a new direction for the series. Now Vanishing Point would act more as an umbrella program under which shorter miniseries would be developed. Some were serialized adaptations of classic science fiction works from authors like Arthur C. Clarke and Ursula K. Le Guin, while most were mini-anthologies, linked by a writer or theme. While still being promoted as Vanishing Point, these series all featured a unique title and opening. In some cases, two subseries ran simultaneously on different days of the week, creating considerable confusion for radio historians. Things continued like this for several years until Vanishing Point went off the air for good in January, 1992