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

25Jul/150

Audio Drama Review: The Death and the Life


The Death and the Life is another one-man play starring Roger Llewellyn and written by David Stuart Davies adapted by Big Finish Productions. The story is a mix of fact and fiction as it centers upon Arthur Conan Doyle's efforts to rid himself of his most famous creation once and for all with the writing of "The Final Problem" and failed.

The play imagines Holmes and his fellow characters reacting to Doyle's actions and scheming. Doyle's disinterest is reflected in a hilarious scene where Holmes describes a madcap adventure to a snoring Watson. The story is bolstered by the use of Doyle's own journals and letters. Another great scene is the one which Holmes learns he's a fictional character from his arch-rival who is not too pleased that he's been created by Doyle as a single-use plot device.

With its light comedy and heavy symbolism, The Life and the Death  is a story about a literary creation whose popularity transcended the writer who created him. The play is helped by another strong performance from Roger Llewellyn who manages to perfectly portray all the characters and angles of this very deep and well-written play. Overall, this is another story that's a wonderful listen for fans of Sherlock Holmes.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.0

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25Jul/150

EP1634: Dragnet: The Big Bomb

Jack Webb
Friday and Romero are in a race against time to stop a madman with a bomb who is threatening to blow up City Hall.

Original Air Date: July 13, 1950

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24Jul/150

EP1633: Yours Truly Johnny Dollar: The Wayward Money Matter

Bob Bailey
Johnny investigates a meek man whose alleged to have ran off with $160,000.

Original Air Date: April 13, 1958

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

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23Jul/150

EP1632: Nick Carter: The Case of the Nameless Blonde

Lon Clark
An unknown blonde woman is found murdered in Nick's office.

Original Air Date: May 9, 1948

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22Jul/150

EP1631: Philip Marlowe: The Monkey’s Uncle

Gerald Mohr
A Scottish animal trainer calls Marlowe into a case involving a chimpanzee.

Original Air Date: March 7, 1950

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21Jul/150

EP1630: Ellery Queen: Nick the Knife

Ellery investigates a series of knifing attacks in New York City parks.

Original Air Date: August 1, 1945

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20Jul/151

EP1629: The Saint: Strange Bedfellows

Vincent Price

The Saint is called in to investigate the disappearance of the Mayor's son.

Original Air Date: April 15, 1951

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19Jul/150

Video Theater 067: Ellery Queen: The Man Who Enjoyed Death

A vengeful former District Attorney commits a series of murders to get even with Ellery for ruining his career.

Original Air Date: March 29, 1951

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18Jul/151

TV Episode Review: The Rockford Files: There’s One in Every Port

In this Season 3 episode of the Rockford Files, Rockford is begged to take part in an illegal high stakes poker game by the daughter of Eddie Marks (Howard Duff, best known as radio's Sam Spade), an old friend from prison after Rockford visits an apparently ailing Eddie in the hospital. However, the poker game is robbed and the organizers pin the blame on Rockford.When Rockford finds Eddie gone from the hospital, he realizes he’s been had. Rockford had been used to lead the gang to the poker game so Eddie could take the pot in order to pull off a scam.

In order to avoid being killed by the gamblers, Rockford has to concoct a con of his own to foil Eddie’s scam and to reclaim the stolen money before he finds himself killed by the gamblers. To do this, his pal Angel recruits a group of conmen to help pull off the job.

As a story, the plot is intricate, and it’s different from a typical Rockford Files episode. It’s much more of heist/sting story with the big question being not who done it, but what is Rockford’s scheme to defeat the conman. It’s graced by great writing and a super guest cast including John Doehner (who played Paladin in Radio’s Have Gun Will Travel.)

As a fan of old time radio, I love seeing Duff and Doehner on screen.  Also, the appearance of Duff in The Rockford Files is interesting as Rockford's work was compared to Sam Spade's earlier in the series. However, even if that’s not a highlight for you, the episode’s clever plotting and strong acting make this story a winner.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.0

This episode is available for free streaming through Hulu.
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18Jul/150

EP1628: Dragnet: The Big Frame

Jack Webb
Friday and Romero investigate an apparent hit and run case that begins to look more and more like murder.

Original Air Date: July 6, 1950

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