Johnny is sent to investigate a string of department store thefts, but the situation escalates with a murder on Christmas Eve.
Original Air Date: December 24, 1949
A serial killer threatens to get Holmes before he’s executed. Episode 23 of the 1954-55 Sherlock Holmes series.
Original Air Date: April 4, 1955
While Charles Dickens is beloved for his novel A Christmas Carol, that’s far from his only Christmas work. He wrote several Christmas stories. This is the fifth one that Colonial Radio Theater has adapted.
“The Holly Tree Inn” is a short story about a man caught in a snowstorm on Christmas Eve and taking refuge at the Holly Tree Inn where he wiles away time talking with the people at the Inn. As soon as the storm lifts, he’s continuing on his efforts to leave the country as he believes his sweetheart has jilted him for his best friend..
The Holly Tree Inn is a dialogue-heavy story. There’s little movement which can be a challenge with an audio drama. However, this is helped by the fact that the dialogue is by Charles Dickens which means there are some fun turns of phrases, stories told within the story, etc. In addition, Colonial does a superb job adapting it with its typical professionalism and a nice score.
The Holly Tree Inn is a sweet little story. It’s not much more than people sitting around during a snowstorm talking but it has a moral that is well-taken, if not earth-shattering. If you’d enjoy a relaxing story while wrapping presents or de-stressing from the Holidays, this is a bit of comfort listening.
Rating:3.25 out of 5
The story of the Christmas truce in 1914 during World War I is an emotionally powerful and resonant event to anyone who hears about it. I’ve seen and/or heard several dramatic presentations of it. The Audible Originals audio drama Christmas Eve 1914 is the best dramatization of the event I’ve experienced.
The production focuses on a group of young lieutenants in a company whose captain has died. They’ve rotated in on Christmas Eve and expect a quiet night, but get word from the Colonel at HQ that a German attack is expected and they need to prepare. At the same time, a fresh young Sub-Lieutenant, who lied about his age to get into the Army, joins them on the front lines.
The play is well-written. Christmas Eve 1914 takes listeners in the thick of conflict and immerses us in the war-weary world of these young officers. The play focuses on the horrors of war and the way they relate to the war and each other for most of the run-time. The truce only comes into play in the last twenty minutes. As a result, we feel the bittersweet impact of the event, knowing, in a day, our heroes will return to the nightmares of war.
The acting is solid. Almost every character is well-characterized, and the best drama comes from hearing them interact and play off each other.
The sound design and music are superb, doing a great job creating a realistic feel and atmosphere. The sound design and music never overwhelm the listeners or the story.
The Colonel was written as a stereotypical clueless and hypocritical senior officer who was gung ho about putting other people in danger. The Colonel’s best skills is not-too-subtly trying to play the lieutenants’ ambition to become the next captain against one another. Thankfully, while important, the Colonel’s part is relatively small.
Overall, Christmas Eve 1914 is a great Christmas Story, a great drama, and a great example of how good modern Audio Drama can be.
Rating: 4.75 out of 5
Christmas 1914 is available as one of the free Audible
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Friday and Smith investigate the theft of a statue of the child Jesus from a church’s nativity scene.
Original Air Date: December 22, 1953
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The Railroad Hour has its Christmas Party and performs Holiday music including a portion of the Nutcracker Suite. Features Gordon Macrae.
Original Air Date: December 22, 1952
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