Month: February 2019

EP2750s: Yours Truly Johnny Dollar: The Alvin Summers Matter Omnibus

Johnny goes to Mexico in search of a man who embezzled $75,000.

Original Air Dates: October 24-28, 1955

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EP2750: Dragnet: The Big Lift

Jack Webb

Friday and Smith investigate a series of high-priced shop-lifting incidents.

Original Air Date: April 27, 1954

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Audio Drama Review: Wizard of Oz

Big Finish’s adaptation of the Wizard of Oz harkens goes back to L. Frank Baum’s original novel. Dorothy (Ally Doman) is thrown into Oz along with her dog Toto where she kills the Wicked Witch of the East when her house lands on the witch.

The adaptation is faithful to the novel and its darker tone rather than the more universally known 1939 film version. People who have only seen the film will be surprised by Dorothy getting the Wicked Witch of the East’s Silver Slippers, and even more shocked by the grisly tale of how the tin woodsman was changed from a normal woodsman to his tin form.

That’s not to say that the story is oppressively dark or over-accentuates these elements. It only does enough to convey what was in the original. The story moves at a good pace from one fantastical scene and setting to another, and the characters develop throughout. The score is nice, doing a good job setting the tone without overwhelming the story.

While Big Finish is a British company, the accents were very good for the most part. Canadian Actor Stuart Milligan was good as the Wizard and the narrator throughout the rest of the story. They did decide to make the lead flying monkey a British “Jobsworth” character, but I actually enjoyed it.
Overall, this an enjoyable take on a classic story.

Rating: 4.0 out of 5.0

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EP2749: Yours Truly Johnny Dollar: The Rilldoe Matter

Mandel Kramer

Johnny goes fishing with a friend who may know whether a missing insured man is still alive.

Original Air Date: July 8, 1962

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AWR0065: Doctor Christian: My True Valentine

Amazing World of Radio
A couple is separated over a false criminal allegation.
Original Air Date: February 14, 1940

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EP2748: Boston Blackie: The Cobb and Vale Trucking Murder

Richard Kollmar

A man turns to Blackie for help when the dead body of his business partner is found in the back of his car.

Original Air Date: March 3, 1948

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EP2747: Rocky Jordan: The Man with No Name

Jack Moyles

A man who was in the Tambourine and refused to give his name is murdered. Some people think Jordan knows all about the man.

Original Air Date:October 9, 1949

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EP2746: Stand by for Crime: Mr. Hendrick’s Mines of Death

Glenn Langan

Chuck thinks something’s fishy when multiple men have been killed at a mine with the mining company collecting on the insurance.

Original Air Date: 1952

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AWR0064: Lux Radio Theater: Abe Lincoln in Illinois

Amazing World of Radio

The story of Abe Lincoln’s rise in Illinois from humble country storekeeper to President-elect of the United States.

Original Air Date: April 22, 1940
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EP2745: Mister Keen, Tracer of Lost Persons: The Rented Cottage Murder Case

So lost, I'm fading

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

A man is murdered after making a deal to rent a cottage for $25 a month.

Original Air Date: April 3, 1952

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Video Theater 149: Boston Blackie: Revenge

A man Blackie sent to prison for ten years is out for revenge.

Season 2, Episode 15

Original Air Date: January 23, 1953

EP2744: Dragnet: The Big Net

Jack Webb

Friday and Smith organize a massive manhunt for a robber who targets women.

Original Air Date: April 20, 1954

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Graphic Novel Review: The Prisoner: The Uncertainty Machine

The Prisioner, Volume 1:The Uncertainity Machine collects Titan’s four-issue Prisoner mini-series . Set in modern times, an MI-5 agent resigns in disgust when his partner (and romantic interest) is left behind on a mission in the Middle East and he finds himself captured and taken to the Village.

There’s some good things to say about the book and most of it has to do with the art. The art is pretty good throughout, with some really nice high points. The big two-page spread when our hero wakes up in the Village is spectacular. The writing isn’t bad. Each individual chapter throws our hero and the readers for a new loop, so there’s cleverness behind these stories.

What doesn’t work is  the big picture stuff. What writer Peter Milligan really fails to capture with the Village is the dissonance of it. In the TV show, it was a place that appeared to be the most pleasant place you can imagine, but it was contrasted by a sinister secret. In addition, the nice feel of the Village is designed to make it easy and comfortable to turn traitor. In this book, the Village never tries to make itself seem alluring. Instead, it’s full of people who do nasty things while wearing 50-year-old clothes for no good reason.

In addition, the book’s explanation of who is Number 1 is not only nihilistic, it’s also a bit daft. Overall, if you’re looking for a psychological spy thriller comic, this is not a bad one to read. However, as a comic book take on the Prisoner, it leaves a lot to be desired.

Rating: 3.0 out of 5.0

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EP2743: Yours Truly Johnny Dollar: The Vociferous Dolphin Matter

Mandel Kramer

Johnny goes to investigate the possibility of insuring a dolphin.

Original Air Date: July 1, 1962

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EP2742: Boston Blackie: The Twin Midnight Murders

Richard Kollmar
Blackie has to find out how a man committed two murders in two different places at Midnight while one of Blackie’s friends insist that he was with the man at the time of the murderer.

Original Air Date: February 25, 1948

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