The Top Ten Police Foils In Old Time Radio, Part One

For many radio detective programs featuring private detectives or amateur sleuths, the friendly or not-so-friendly recurring police officers become a key part of the series. Sometimes they lay down the law and warn against involvement. Other times, they might ask for help and drag the detective in. Whatever the case, some of these characters were far more helpful than others, and became huge positives for both the sleuth and the series. Over the next two weeks, we’re going to take a look at the top ten police foils.

10) Captain Logan (Bernard Renfroe) fromĀ Casey, Crime Photographer

Captain Logan was reliable. While not endowed with any genius or great intuition, Logan was competent and did a solid job at typical police investigations. While he and crime photographer Jack “Flash” Casey were friends, he would be careful not to give Casey and his newspaper any unfair advantage over their competitors. Captain Logan generally remained open with Casey and reporter Ann Williams about the status of his investigation and even took their suggestions when warranted. Logan showed concern for the civilians by offering them protection when needed, and rarely thought of having them serve as decoys or do undercover work that really should be handled by the police.

9) Noah Danton (Norman Fields) from Mystery is My Hobby

Danton may have been the one with official authority, but that was merely to give an air of legitimacy to the investigations of Barton Drake (Glenn Langan). While Danton could go wrong, he always got there in the end and was often smarter than the suspects gave him credit for. He had a high arrest record, which was impressive, even if his success was due to a guy who only viewed solving crimes as a hobby.

8) Inspector Farraday (Joe Forte) from Michael Shayne, Private Detective

Not to be confused with the better-known Inspector Farraday from Boston Blackie, Michael Shayne’s Farraday was a competent, good cop and a friend of Mike Shayne’s. He had plenty on the ball, which was evident whenever he, Mike Shayne (Wally Maher), and Shayne’s secretary Phyllis (Cathy Lewis) talked over a case. He respected Mike and was never too territorial. If only the literary version of Michael Shayne could be so lucky.

7) Lieutenant Ray Mallard (Henry Neff) from Candy Matson

Ray Mallard was not only the police foil, but the love interest of model-turned-private investigator Candy Matson (. While Mallard could be unduly dismissive of her hunches, he also was a great help and came to her aide in some big cases.

6) Detective Louie Parker (Bill Zuckert) from Crime and Peter Chambers

Louie Parker was both friends with Peter Chambers, and a good, honest cop. This could lead to some difficult situations, as his friendship and sense of duty could come into conflict. Parker always seemed to do the right thing. He might bend a rule, but he’d never break it. He would be fair, but always believed in Chambers as a person and as a detective. Zucker gave a good performance and his take on Parker is of a cop who is lovable while still being tough and fair.

To be continued next week.

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