Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Dick Barton - Special Agent: The Paris Adventure [radio]

I reviewed the 1970s television version of Dick Barton - Special Agent quite some time ago. However, this week BBC Radio 4 has been broadcasting the original Australian radio version from 1949, (Dick Barton: The Paris Adventure) and it's excellent.

That the series has survived at all is pretty miraculous; anyone with more than a passing interest in vintage television or radio programmes will tell you that the BBC used to delete their old shows. These programmes, made by the Australians from the BBC scripts, and using the classic 'Devil's Gallop' theme tune, are as close to the lost BBC originals as can be. The one thing that has surprised me is how very English the voices are, as while it's fitting for the characters to have English accents, I'd have expected the continuity announcer to sound more Aussie. I guess that's the last vestiges of Empire coming through...

In this week's episodes Dick, Jock, Snowey and Jean are in Paris on the trail of a load of stolen gold bullion. The story is very much of its time (if you can't bear to hear Jean being patronised, you might want to avoid it, although she does play a good part in the action so far), but terrific fun nonetheless. You've only missed two episodes of 20 if you haven't heard it, and there's a recap at the start of each one so you'll easily catch up.

(Damn! Now I'm going to have the theme tune in my head for the rest of the day...)

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