As Talking Pictures TV are reshowing the late 70’s TV version starting on Monday, I was wondering if there had been any recoveries of the Radio series recently? As far as I am aware no complete story exists, not even the BBC 50th Anniversary special survives intact, unless anyone can tell me anything different? 🤞
BBC Audiobooks released (in no particular order, just from my shelf : Dick Barton : Special Agent (2009) : The Mystery of the Missing Formula (2010) :and the Paris Adventure (2011) :and the Cabatolin Diamonds (2011) :and the Smash and Grab Raiders (2011) : and the Tibetan Adventure (2011) : and the Affair of the Black Panther (2012) : and the Case of Conrad Ruda ( 2012) : and the Li-Chang Adventure (2012) : and the Vulture (2012) : and the Firefly Adventure (2015) as well as 'Dick Barton Special Agent LIVE' (2014). The material was recovered from ABC (Australia Broadcasting Corporation) and when I last wrote to Michael Stevens at AudioGo -now Penguin Random, they had decided no more CDs were going to be issued. I guess there weren't enough of us buying these shows to make it financially viable. I have no idea what is left in the cupboard. I suspect he has left there now as I have had no response from my last three or four messages which I stopped sending two plus years ago.
Hi, Richard, A batch of episodes from the Australian re-make of the original BBC scripts have been released in recent years, but perhaps the most interesting release is a Barton compendium which collected a couple of those Australian serials and the 1972 BBC re-make of the first story and added all remaining extracts from the BBC archive. Nothing 'new' from the BBC seems to have turned up, though. Incidentally, even though the recordings that made up the BBC release were off-air recordings supplied by a devoted fan, the 1972 re-make has always been complete, as far as I'm aware? Cheers, Stuart
PS. I see Freddy was replying as I was typing! Oh, well!
Just a quick, and quite possibly superfluous, note to point out that because domestic reel-to-reel tape recorders only began being available in Britain around 1954/55, it would be impossible to tape the Dick Barton serials, as they ended in March 1951 when - legend has it - the time slot in which the show aired was requisitioned by the Light Programme for a new soap called 'The Archers'. In fact, 'The Archers' seems never to have occupied the 6.15pm timeslot in question.
Early episodes of 'Hancocks Half Hour' never turn up, even though that show only began in late 1954. I think I'm correct to point out that all the first 3 series of HHH were aired during 1955, but none of the missing episodes not preserved by the BBC have ever turned up, except one, aired in November '55. The first significant batch of episodes recovered from an off-air source taped by a listener is various episodes of series 4, which aired from October 1956 onward.
BBC Genome does not record any repeats of Dick Barton as late as 1956. Actually, it doesn't record any repeats after March 1951, which is odd to say the least, as it was very popular in its day. What is worth noting is that Radio Times keeps describing Dick Barton as 'a BBC recording' -- moreover, there was, each week, an omnibus edition repeating the 5 daily episodes, as a compilation edit in a 50 minute slot aired that weekend, so we know it was a recorded show. Yet none of the recordings survive.
In general terms, therefore, any quest for any radio broadcast prior to 1955 is restricted to episodes that the BBC themselves recorded on shellac discs, or on professional magnetic tape, or in some other manner; but recordings by listeners off-air from a broadcast simply don't exist prior to 1955.
If I had a reliable source, I'd conduct a similar analysis for 'The Goon Show', but it's unclear just which is the earliest edition of that radio show to survive as an off air recording by a listener.
Last Edit: Dec 7, 2020 15:39:20 GMT by Ed Brown: spelling