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Last update December 2000
The Radio Detectives
 Text File Log

Professor Jeffrey Richards presented programmes on classic detectives.


Series One - May to June 1998

1: `Send for Paul Temple'. 20/05/98
  In an affectionate look at Paul and Steve Temple, detective aficionado Professor Jeffrey Richards revisits the Temples' world of car bombs, poisoned cocktails, gentlemen and rogues, where the villain is always caught.
Features an interview with Peter Coke, and many recordings from the archives featuring Coke, Marjorie Westbury, and even Hugh Morton - the first "Paul".

  2: `The Voice of Sherlock Holmes'. 27/05/98  
  Equipped with pipe, hansom cab, tortured violin and other sound effects, Professor Richards investigates the numerous incarnations of Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson. Featuring interviews and classic recordings by Orson Welles, Basil Rathbone, Sir John Gielgud, Carleton Hobbs and Clive Merrison.  

  3: `Sexton Blake, the Other Baker Street Detective'. 03/06/98
  Blake was an instant hit when he was born and made resident of Baker Street in the very month Sherlock Holmes was `killed off'. His career, like that of his faithful assistant, Tinker, spans 100 years. Featuring Norman Wright, William Franklin from a 1967 series, and excerpts from various films including the voice of George Curzon, who also featured in a lost radio series.
   William Franklin.

  4: `Enter The Saint'. 10/06/98  
  Tracking down the history and various portrayals of the Robin Hood of crime, Simon Templar, aka The Saint.
Featuring the voices of Roger Moore (TV Series), George Sanders (Film), Vincent Price & Tom Conway from US radio series, Neville Teller adapter of 1995 BBC Radio episodes featuring Paul Rhys.

    5: `The Shadow Knows'. 17/06/98  
    Unraveling the history of Walter Gibson's legendary force against evil, The Shadow. Featuring the classic Orson Welles portrayal and an interview with Simon Callow. Also Agnes Moorehead and Peter Bogdanovich. This programme focuses on Welles portrayal or the role, and does not have clips of later actors.  


Series Two - May to June 1999

1: `As My Whimsy Takes Me'. 18/05/99
The casebook of Lord Peter Wimsey, Dorothy L Sayers's aristocratic amateur detective, who appeared on radio as well as in books, films and on television.
Featured in the programme, Simon Brett (original radio producer), Jill Paton Walsh (novelist who completed Sayers "Thrones, Dominations" fragment), the voice of Robert Montgomery, Gary Bond (The Nine Tailors), and Ian Carmichael and excerpts from a number of his shows.
Photo shows Ian Carmichael, star on both Radio and Television as Lord Peter Wimsey


TV "Poirot" David Suchet.
  2: `The Little Grey Cells of Hercule Poirot'. 25/05/99  

Radio "Poirot" John Moffatt
  Agatha Christie's fastidious Belgian detective with the genius for lateral thinking. Featured in this programme, a number of "Poirot's". Orson Welles, John Moffatt, Peter Sallis, David Suchet, Peter Ustinov, adapter Michael Bakewell, producer Enyd Williams and the voice of Agatha Christie.  

  3: `The Wisdom of Miss Marple'. 01/06/99  

Examining the appeal of Agatha Christie's spinster detective from Saint Mary Mead, featuring June Whitfield, dramatist Michael Bakewell, producer Enyd Williams and the voices of Margaret Rutherford & Joan Hickson.

Photo shows Joan Hickson as Miss Marple.

 BBC Radio series star June Whitfield.

  4: `A Case for Doctor Morelle'. 08/06/99    
A look at how Harley Street psychiatrist-turned-detective Dr Morelle uses psychology as well as criminology to solve cases.
"Presenting the secret papers of perhaps the strangest personality in the annals of criminal investigation". Series created by Ernest Dudley - debuted in July 1942 with Dennis Arundall as Doctor Morelle and Jane Graham as Miss Frayle. A second series followed in April 1946.

A full series of half hour mysteries began in April 1957, with Cecil Parker and Sheila Sim. This series was titled "A Case for Doctor Morelle".
Additional details from "The Golden Age of Radio" - Denis Gifford. Photo shows Cecil Parker - "Dr Morelle" - seen in the film "Father Brown, Detective" 1954. (Alec Guinness played Father Brown)

  5: `On the Beat with PC 49'. 15/06/99  

Created specifically for radio, PC 49 is an ordinary bobby on the beat, solving crime in the late 40s and early 50s. Professor Jeffrey Richards uncovers a combination of light comedy and sleuthing in a character who also appeared in comic strips and films as spinoffs. Taking part in the show; Vernon Harris (producer), Norman Wright, Susan Stranks.

"Incidents in the career of Police Constable Archibald Berkeley-Willoughby" were first heard in "The Adventures of PC 49" in 1947 and lasted till 1953. 112 episodes were made, sadly only 2 are know to survive. The series created by Alan Stranks, featured Brian Reece, Leslie Perrins & Eric Phillips, Joy Shelton.

Additional details from "The Golden Age of Radio" - Denis Gifford.
Brian Reece as PC 49 & Joy Shelton as Joan


Series Three - February to March 2000

Delving into the cases of five more radio detectives, comparing British with American.
1:`Sam Spade - the Original Private Eye'. 29/02/00
 Humphrey Bogart
  The development of the tough, hard-boiled, wisecracking but principled detective. The programme features cultural historian Peter Stead, the voice of Humphrey Bogart as Sam Spade, and others from "The Maltese Falcon" - which transferred to radio, with the principals from John Huston's film cast, and also Howard Duff from the later radio series featuring Dashiell Hammett's character.  

2:`Down the Mean Streets with Philip Marlowe'. 07/03/00
  More from the hard-boiled school.
The programme features the voices of Van Heflin and Gerald Moore from the 1940s US series, and Ed Bishop as Philip Marlowe in the BBC version which debuted in 1977. Also featured from this series, Bill Morrison dramatist and producer John Tydeman.

  3:`The Innocence of Father Brown'. 14/03/00  
  A look at G K Chesterton's most celebrated creation.
featuring Andrew Sachs from a 1984-6 series, also adapter John Scotney and producer Alec Reid, & cultural historian Owen Dudley Edwards.

 BBC Radio series "Father Brown" - Andrew Sachs.

4:`The Genius of Gideon Fell'. 21/03/00
  A look at Dr Gideon Fell, an archetypal English eccentric created by American-born John Dickson Carr.
featuring Dickson Carr's biographer - Douglas Green, outlining Carr's contribution to US series "Suspense" and the BBC's "Appointment with Fear" - including an extract of "The Clock Strikes Eight", and the recent BBC radio series of Gideon Fell stories starring Donald Sinden. Also taking part; Peter Ling dramatist, and director Enyd Williams.

"Inspector West" in all 6 series, Patrick Allen.
  5: `Stand By for West'. 28/03/00  
  An examination of the top-class detective fiction of John Creasey and one of his most popular creations - Inspector West.
Featured in this programme, John Fawcett Wilson (original producer), Richard Creasey, Norman Wright, and stars Patrick Allen & Sarah Lawson.