The Great Detectives of Old Time Radio The great ones are back in action.

24Jan/140

EP1165: Yours Truly Johnny Dollar: The Star of Capetown Matter, Part Five and Kudos for Khan (PT 3)

Bob Bailey

Johnny goes ashore and finds danger in his search for the Star of Capetown.

Original Air Date: July 20, 1956

Joe Khan is caught by gangsters as he searches for a missing woman.

Original Air Date: 1958

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17Jan/140

EP1159: Yours Truly Johnny Dollar: The Midas Touch Matter, Part Five and Kudos for Khan (PT 2)

Bob Bailey

Johnny has found the killers but he's staring down the barrel of a gun.

Original Air Date: July 6, 1956

The missing person Joe Khan's investigating gets richer---by $200,000.

Original Air Date: 1958

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10Jan/140

EP1153: Yours Truly Johnny Dollar: The Longshot Matter, Part Five and Kudos for Khan (PT1)

Bob Bailey

Johnny knows who the killer is but can he prove it.

Original Air Date: June 29, 1956

A private eye named Joe Khan gets hired to find a woman's lost sister.

Original Air Date: 1958

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3Jan/140

EP1147: Yours Truly Johnny Dollar: The Pearling Matter, Part Five and The Lady Was Lethal (PT 4)

Bob Bailey

 

Johnny got a death certificate for Jean Pearling but he still thinks he's not done.

Original Air Date: June 22, 1956

Can Johnny protect the notebook from the mob and bring justice for his partner.

Original Air Date: 1958

 

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28Dec/130

Radio Drama Review: Gregory Keen: Deadly Nightshade

The character of  Gregory Keen was introduced in the Australian radio serial Dossier on Dumetrius. In that serial, Keen, a MI-5 Major played by New Zealand Actor Bruce Stewart, hunted down an international war criminal named Dumetrius through the streets of London. (see review here). The second Keen serial turns to more familiar territory for the writer and original audience: the streets of Sidney, Australia.

In Deadly Nightshade,  Stewart returns as Keen. Also returning was the actor who played the villain from Dossier. The character of Felix Huberman is the half brother of the Keen's archenemy. (Yes, it's contrived but work with us.) Huberman is an official with Australian federal law enforcement who is also the chief lieutenant of Carla Mingione who is trying to get organized crime established in Sidney. Keen is sent by MI-5 because of the disappearance of scientist Bruno Kesselring who is feared to have defected to the Russians, though this is largely forgotten through most of the serial as Keen finds himself trying to find the truth behind the Nightshade ring, believing it will lead to Kesselring.

Deadly Nightshade has its strong points. Like its predecessor, it is a  highly addictive and is a fairly complex 104-part story.  In many ways, it's a better  Keen story.  Dossier featured our hero, Major Keen as a somewhat dense character who did majorly stupid things for a huge number of episodes including his 40+ episode manhunt for innocent bystander Peter Ridgeway and believing the treacherous Heddy Bergner innocent for nearly 70 episodes because he was in love with her. Here Keen is not gulled for that length of time. To be sure, there are some stupid moments. Early on, Keen concludes that Huberman's up to no good but decides he has no choice but to play along with him which involves not introducing himself to the police and not meeting up with the contact that'd been designated for him by London. This stupidity ends after less than ten episodes and other lapses of sanity and reasonable judgment are short.

Keen in Deadly Nightshade  is a man to be feared in a story that's far darker than Dossier. Keen is clearly a much more ruthless character than in the previous serial.  Keen is driven and at times, seems almost mentally disturbed in his pursuit of the Nightshade Ring, even being willing to kill unarmed men to achieve his ends. He's still haunted by his memory of Heddy Bergner, much to the chagrin of Sherry Reed, a party girl who fell for Keen and became involved in his adventures, only to find Keen constantly spurning her.

The story is darker but not necessarily better in places. While Deadly Nightshade is a far more logical tale with a minimal number of plotholes, it was also a little less fun than Dossier.  The story is interesting due the concerns with organized crime making its way to Australia and the wide variety of plot twists that can fit into a story of this length.

This makes a decent listen, but definitely not for kids under 13.

Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.0

27Dec/130

EP1141: Yours Truly Johnny Dollar: The Laughing Matter, Part Five and The Lady Was Lethal, PT. 3

Bob Bailey

A young rising star has been murdered but the man Johnny was sent to protect is still alive.

Original Air Date: June 15, 1955

The truth begins to come together in the murder of a private eye's partner.

Original Air Date: 1958

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24Dec/130

EP1138: Amazing Mr. Malone: They All Confessed

A female con artist is killed and all the suspects are confessing.

Original Air Date: April 1, 1954

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17Dec/130

EP1132: Amazing Mr. Malone: The Dude

Malone is hired by a crime who has been framed for murder by a rival boss.

Original Air Date: March 25, 1954

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13Dec/130

EP1129: Yours Truly Johnny Dollar: The Indestructible Mike Matter, Part Five and The Lady was a Lethal

Bob Bailey

Johnny lays a trap for Daddy Bill.

Original Air Date: June 8, 1956

A private detective returns from a trip to find his partner dead.

Original Air Date: 1958

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10Dec/130

EP1126: Amazing Mr. Malone: The Lucky Stiff

An incredibly lucky gambler murdered.

Original Air Date: November 12, 1953

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