Radio Drama Review: Tarzan and the Diamond of Asher

The first Tarzan radio serial, Tarzan of the Apes doesn’t exist in its complete form. It ran for 286 episodes from 1932-34, of which only the first 70+ are available. The Diamond of Asher is the earliest complete Tarzan serial available.

Tarzan (Carlton Kadell) has reclaimed his rightful title as a British Lord. He’s mistaken for the missing Brian Gregory and abducted. Tarzan learns that Gregory was an explorer who his captors believe hold the key to the possession of the Father of Diamonds. Tarzan escapes his captors and runs into the father and sister of Gregory who seek his aid in locating their brother.

Tarzan sets off for Africa and has to keep his party safe while facing challenges from man while dealing with intrigue from within and without his party.

Overall, this was actually a great serial, even though it had a bit of a downbeat ending. Tarzan amazed friend and foe like with his ability to handle every challenge. In many ways, the Tarzan portrayed here was a forerunner of the modern day superhero. The program featured several dialects, most of them well-done.

Tarzan and the Diamond of Asher doesn’t always live up to modern sensibilities in its dealing with racial, but there has been much worse heard in golden age productions. Tarzan himself remains humane and honorable to all. A truly great hero in a solid golden age adventure.

Overall, this is a well-written and engaging production.

Rating: 5.0 out of 5.0

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