Night Beat: Railroaded

Frank Lovejoy

Randy becomes convinced that a 19-year old woman was railroaded into a conviction for manslaughter of a politician’s wife.

Original Air Date: June 19, 1952

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Video Theater 121: Dragnet: The Big Little Jesus

Friday and Smith try to recover a stolen statue of the child Jesus for a church before the Christmas Mass.

Original Air Date: December 24, 1953

Season 3, Episode 17

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EP2378: Dragnet: The Big Mask, Part One

Jack Webb

Friday and Smith investigate a series of robberies of grocery stores committed by a masked man.

Original Air Date: December 28, 1952

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Support the show on a one-time basis at http://support.greatdetectives.net.

Mail a donation to: Adam Graham, PO Box 15913, Boise, Idaho 83715
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Audio Drama Review: Lord Peter Wimsey: BBC Radio Drama Collection Volume 1

The BBC has begun release its adaptations of Dorothy Sayers novels featuring Lord Peter Wimsey. The series originally aired between 1973-1983 with one story being recorded in 1993. All feature Ian Carmichael as Lord Peter.  The first collection features radio adaptations of Wimsey’s first three novels.

The collection begins with the first novel Whose Body. It opens with his mother calling him when a dead man is found in an architect’s bathtub and the dead man is wearing nothing but a pair of pince-nez glasses.

The story does a good job of establishing Wimsey as a detective as well as much of the supporting cast. The story has a light tone. One big exception is when Lord Peter has an episode of what we would now call Post Traumatic Stress Disorder related to his service in World War I. His servant Bunter (Peter Jones) served with him in the war and has to bring him out of it.

Overall, Whose Body is delightful and at five parts, it moves at a quicker pace than the other stories in the set. It’s a well-done and pleasant puzzle mystery.

Next up is Cloud of Witnesses in which Lord Peter returns from abroad to find his sister’s fiancé has been murdered and his brother is suspected of the crime.

This is an eight-part adaptation, and the mystery is much more involved and complicated. It works and it gives some insights into Lord Peter’s family and their relationships to one another.

The final story in this collection is the seven-part adaptation of Unnatural Death which has Lord Peter investigating the death of an elderly woman three years previously that was apparently from cancer. Her heir was her great niece who had served as her nurse. A doctor became suspicious of the true cause of the death and was pushed out of the town because of it.

The question of motive is at the heart of the mystery. Lord Peter recruits a marvelous spinster to help with the investigation.

The mystery is complicated and several elements are a bit iffy. The story also suffers from a lack of Bunter, who is absent from most of the tale. By no means is it a bad mystery, it is just not as good as the other two.

Beyond the mysteries themselves, the acting is good throughout. I also love the theme music. It fits the detective like a glove.

I have to say I was impressed by the quality of the sound and the sound effects. It was better than it was on the Poirot’s Finest Cases set that the BBC released a while back, which is odd. The Poirot adaptations came later. Whether this is due to advances in audio restoration technology or due to the Whimsey production team creating a better sound, the sound design is very impressive.

Whether you’re a long-time fan of Peter Whimsey or you like old-fashioned British detectives in general, these radio plays are a delight and I highly recommend them.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.0

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EP2377: Yours Truly Johnny Dollar: The Morning After Matter

Bob Bailey

A woman is about to receive $600,000 if her husband is declared dead after seven years of being missing. She pressures the insurance company to bring Johnny in to locate her husband.

Original Air Date: March 5, 1961

When making your travel plans, remember http://johnnydollarair.com

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