Month: May 2018

EP2510: Dragnet: The Big Gun, Part One

Jack Webb

A stolen rental truck leads Friday and Smith into the middle of an investigation involving stolen cars and narcotics along the Mexican border.

 

Original Air Date: May 24, 1953

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Audio Drama Review: Agatha Christie: The Lost Plays:

Agatha Christie: The Lost Radio Plays collects three BBC radio plays that aired between 1948 and 1960. It also includes some bonus material.

“Butter in a Lordly Dish” from 1948 stars Richard Williams as Sir Luke Enderby KC, a skilled prosecutor who is also a philanderer, who is headed out on his latest fling. Then there’s Personal Call, a 1955 original story about a man receiving calls from someone claiming to be his dead wife. It stars Ivan Brandt and Barbara Lott. Finally, Williams stars as Poirot in the hour-long adaptation of Christie’s “Murder in the Mews.”

The acting is mostly solid with a few exceptions. There is a slight bent to the melodramatic in the original radio plays, and Williams isn’t the best Poirot ever.

As for the writing, anyone expecting new masterpieces will be disappointed. “Butter in a Lordly Dish” is comparable to an above average episode of the 1960s American series Theater Five.  “Personal Call” is comparable to an average mid-1950s episode of Suspense. “Murder in the Mews” is a good story undermined by direction and style that is competent at best and Williams is a somewhat mediocre Poirot.

The extras include Agatha Christie-related audio recordings and interviews with actors who appeared in the original London stage production of her play the Mousetrap. In addition, comedian Toby Hadoke interviews the last-surviving cast member of the radio plays. In that extra, they discuss his showbiz career and how he became a successful costume designer on both sides of the pond. Hadoke is a talented interviewer who shows great interests in his subjects and makes this far more interesting than you might otherwise expect.

Overall,  major fans of Agatha Christie will enjoy this release. It features rare and little-heard radio productions featuring her work that are okay, but not remarkable. In addition, the bonus material is well-presented and engaging.

Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5

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EP2509: Yours Truly Johnny Dollar: The Wrong Doctor Matter

Mandel Kramer

Johnny is called back to Corpus Christi to protect an insured who has run afoul of several drug traffickers.

Original Air Date: August 13, 1961

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EP2508: Boston Blackie: Blackie Breaks Into Langley Penitentiary

Richard Kollmar

Blackie breaks into prison into prison to warm a young convict with a chip on his shoulder and finds himself a suspect in a prisoner’s murder.

Original Air Date: May 21, 1947

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EP2507: Rocky Jordan: The Man in the Morgue

Jack Moyles

Rocky opens the newspaper to find a story saying he was found dead.

Original Air Date: November 21, 1948

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EP2506: Man From Homicide: The Wee Willie Barnes Case

Dan Duryea

Lieutenant Dana investigates the murder of a hood who was about to testify before the crime commission.

Original Air Date: August 20, 1951

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EP2505: Mister Keen, Tracer of Lost Persons: The Case of the Strange Display

So lost, I'm fading

photo credit: Greyframe So lost, I’m fading viaphotopin (license)

A hated window dresser is found murdered in his own display. The fiancée of the prime suspect asks Keen to bring him home.

Original Air Date: March 16, 1944

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