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

17Jun/150

EP1601: Philip Marlowe: The Hairpin Turn

Gerald Mohr
A man calls in Marlowe to investigate the man his child is about to marry.

Original Air Date: January 28, 1950

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16Jun/150

EP1600: Ellery Queen: The Vanishing Magician

An old vaudeville magician makes a wager for $25,000 that he can disappear from a house under the nose of New York's finest.

Original Air Date: November 6, 1943

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15Jun/150

EP1599: The Saint: Button, Button

Vincent Price

The Saint is called by a wealthy man who tells him to go home. The Saint is then knocked out and finds his host missing.

Original Air Date: March 11, 1951

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13Jun/151

Audio Drama Review: The Twilight Zone Radio Dramas, Volume 1


The Twilight Zone was one of television’s most remembered and enduring dramas from the 1950s and 60s, running from 1959-64 and then being revived for a movie in 1983, and revival TV series from 1985-89 and again from 2002-2003.

Carl Amari, best known for his work at Radio Spirit, brought the Twilight Zone to radio in a series starring Hollywood actors and narrated by Stacey Keach, who took over for Rod Serling as narrator. The stories are often expanded and updated to the reflected the twenty-first century technology and society. We’ll take a look at the first volume of Twilight Zone Audio Dramas from Audible.com which collects six stories.

“Night Call” features Mariette Hartley playing an old shut-in who begins receiving disturbing calls with nobody there. The story is creepy and Heartley's performance is perfect as she manages to play this character with gusto and depth. I found the ending a little disappointing but that is due to the original story.

“Long Live Walter Jameson”-Lou Diamond Phillips plays Walter Jameson, a professor with a secret. The father of the woman he’s about to marry discovers photos of Jameson dating back to the 19th Century. Phillips turns in the best performance of the set and the story has a classic Twilight Zone feel to it.

“The Lateness of the Hour”-In a house full of androids, with a middle-aged couple and their daughter, the daughter (played by Jane Seymour) is fed up with their artificial life and wants something far more real. It’s a wonderful Science Fiction story with a classic twist at the end.

“The 30-Fathom Grave”-Is a good and proper ghost story with kind of a classic feel as a 1960s Submarine comes upon the wreck from World War II and one crew member goes a little beserk over it.The story has a period feel---for the most part. The series had the idea of giving a woman the role of the ship's doctor, but you don't have to be an expert in military history to know that wouldn't have been the case. Either moving the story forward a couple decades or having a male doctor would have made sense. In the case, the woman doctor on the 1960s Naval vessel came off as a distracting anachronism.

"The Man in the Bottle" features a modern day genie that offers a couple who owns a pawnshop four wishes Ed Begley, Jr. stars in a tale that's amusing and has its own subtle lessons, though some of them unintended.

"The Night of the Meek" is probably the biggest disappointment of this collection. As made starring Art Carney, the story was a Christmas classic. Chris McDonald steps into Carney's role and almost sleepwalks through it. The expansions and the revisions of the story make it even weaker. I will admit that, on reflection, "Night of the Meek" had its problems and if done wrong would have come off almost as bad as the audio version if not for the fact that Art Carney was in the lead and the future Oscar-nominated Actor was able to take a performance that would have been forgettable and make it gripping and real. Sadly Mr. McDonald was out of his depth in terms of doing this for radio.

Overall, this is a good collection with some good audio quality, some solid soundscapes, and mostly well-done musical production. I will admit the appeal of these audio dramas is probably a bit less than it was in 2002 when they first began. With the development of Netflix and Amazon Prime, coupled with 4G networks, many people can watch any episode of the original Twilight Zone anytime and anywhere they want and in most cases the originals are still better.

Still, if you're a fan of audio drama, these are worth a listen. It's particularly noteworthy for allowing us to hear many modern American actors in audio drama. Beyond those in this first set John Rhys-Davies, Louis Gossett, Jr.  and Jason Alexander are among the stars who found themselves in the Twilight Zone.

In addition to the sets on Audible, you can download three episodes off their website with a subscription to their newsletter.

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This post contains affiliate links, which means that items purchased from these links may result in a commission being paid to the author of this post at no extra cost to the purchase

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13Jun/150

EP1598: Dragnet: The Big Fake

Jack Webb

Friday and Romero investigate an allegation of robbery by a police officer.

Original Air Date: June 1, 1950

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12Jun/154

EP1597: Yours Truly Johnny Dollar: The Diamond Dilemma Matter

Bob Bailey

Johnny is called in to prove that diamonds weren't stolen by extraterrestrials.

Original Air Date: March 2, 1958

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

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11Jun/150

EP1596: Nick Carter: The Case of the Absent Clue

Lon Clark

A shopkeeper is killed and suspicion falls on a racketeer who beat him up for not going along with his number's racket.

Original Air Date: March 7, 1948

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10Jun/151

EP1595: Philip Marlowe: The Bid for Freedom

Gerald MohrA mentally imbalanced woman escapes from a sanitarium and Marlowe fears her husband will be a target.

Original Air Date: January 21, 1950

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9Jun/150

EP1594: Ellery Queen: The World Series Crime

Carleton Young

Ellery is called in to find a baseball star's lucky bat.

Original Air Date: October 2, 1943

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8Jun/150

EP1593: The Saint: The What-Not that Got Hot

Vincent Price

The Saint and Louie witness the Saint's house being robbed and the Saint is set on to a series of deaths.

Original Air Date: March 4, 1951

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