Grace Gibson Productions have been busy digging into their archives and have made available another batch of vintage Australian radio serials which haven’t been heard for decades.
The Australian radio version of Dragnet is now available on CD or as a digital download.
The Australian version of Dragnet, narrated by Howard Craven, was adapted from the original American scripts to suit listening tastes Down Under. Based on actual police cases each episode takes us step by step through the investigations as Sergeant Joe Friday (Frank Waters) and his partner Ben Romero (Joe McCormick) attempt to bring wrongdoers to justice.
The cross-section of crimes these brave law enforcers are confronted with is certainly diverse. The show kicks off with a police officer being gunned down on the steps of his own home, elsewhere a depraved criminal disguised as a cop goes on the rampage bashing and robbing innocent members of the public, and in another sickening incident an elderly woman is robbed and beaten senseless.
Joe and Ben find themselves on the trail of the top dog of a narcotics ring, perverts begin flooding local high schools with obscene literature, and a middle-aged woman goes on a spending spree with rubber cheques. Meanwhile, dozens of schoolgirls have been brutally slashed by an insane maniac, bandits hold up a hospital stealing a huge quantity of drugs, and foul play is suspected when an elderly couple vanish without a trace.
Other cast members in Dragnet include Sheila Sewell, Lloyd Berrell, Alan White, and Reginald Goldsworthy. Lloyd Berrell can also be heard topping the bill as Steve Mitchell in volume 3 of Dangerous Assignment. In this latest release, Steve’s ceaseless war against the enemies of freedom continues as he carries out top-secret government assignments in the Far East and behind the Iron Curtain. Along the way he encounters evil individuals including spies, murderers and members of the brutal secret police.
There is more derring-do in Dangerous Assignment Volume 3.
Also newly available is volume 2 of Grace Gibson Radio Classics – Drama & Serials which features sample episodes of a number of vintage hits. In the selected edition of Strange Wills, the distinguished probate lawyer John Francis O’Connell tells us of a will which was intended to bring happiness and security to two young men, but which instead brought them only tragedy. There is an edition of The Clock narrated by Harp McGuire and featuring Wendy Blacklock of Number 96 fame, and in Shadow of Fate, we meet a tall young man who has lost his memory but who will finally learn to live for the very first time.
Men of the Sea was a serial which told stories of the brave men who endure discomfort and danger on the high seas but who revel in the adventure and challenges of the ocean, in the episode on this release we learn the true story of the biologist and underwater diving pioneer Dr Hans Hass (played by Robert Peach). If you enjoy supernatural tales then The Uninvited will be just up your street, a new parson experiences a drastic change in personality whilst taking a walk in the woods, and it appears that he has been the victim of a witch who lurks there or thereabouts. Last up we have an edition of City Hospital which followed the lives, loves and tragedies of the patients and staff of a large metropolitan hospital. In this episode, Dr Marlowe (Keith Eden) has to deal with an elderly janitor who has been skittled in a hit and run accident.
All of these classic Australian radio serials and a wealth of others are available to listeners worldwide on CD or as digital downloads exclusively from the Grace Gibson Productions website. http://gracegibsonradio.com/
Left: Volume 2 of Grace Gibson Radio Classics – Drama & Serials is now available, Right: Keith Eden stars as Dr Marlowe in City Hospital.
Images copyright IRS Grace Gibson Productions.