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Dick Barton and the Cabatolin Diamonds [Abridged, Audiobook] [Audio CD]

Dr Geoffrey Webb
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
RRP: 18.35
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Book Description

7 April 2011 Dick Barton
Douglas Kelly stars as 'Dick Barton - Special Agent' in another thrilling adventure for radio's greatest hero. Heralded by an instantly memorable signature tune, the adventures of special agent Dick Barton and his friends Jock and Snowey, were essential listening for an entire generation. Originally starring Noel Johnson, Duncan Carse and Gordon Davies, in an exciting world of criminal masterminds, espionage and adventure, it ran on the BBC Light Programme between 1946 and 1951. Sadly very few original recordings still survive. However, in 1949 a number of early Barton tales were re-recorded for transmission overseas. Starring Douglas Kelly, these re-stagings found new audiences in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. These recordings were rediscovered in the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia in 2009 and allow listeners to finally relive the escapades of the great Dick Barton. In this recording from Spring 1949, Dick's plans for a Mediterranean cruise are cancelled, when the Home Office ask him to help them crack a gang of international diamond smugglers. Can Dick thwart the evil Henri De Flambeau, before it's too late? Find out in "Dick Barton - Special Agent!" Guidance: as this contains archive material the sound quality may vary. The language reflects the era of the first broadcast.

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Dick Barton and the Cabatolin Diamonds + Dick Barton and the Paris Adventure + Dick Barton - Special Agent! (Radio Crimes)
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Product details

  • Audio CD: 4 pages
  • Publisher: BBC Audiobooks Ltd; abridged edition edition (7 April 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408468107
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408468104
  • Product Dimensions: 13.4 x 12.2 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 413,532 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sparkles like a Cabatolin Diamond. 16 Jun 2011
Format:Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
One word. Brilliant!
This CD set dazzled me. I was amazed at just how good the episodes were.
Let me explain further.
I'd heard of Dick Barton but had never actually heard the series being far too young to listen to the original series when they were first transmitted.

This set of episodes fairly rattles along at a brisk pace and not a moment is wasted by the full dramatic cast on the writer Geoffrey Webb's story.

The series was written for radio and lasts a full 4 hours over 4 CDs.
Each CD has 4 episodes of the show split in to 3 parts and each one ends with a brilliant cliff hanger where the listener is asking themselves will Dick and his cohorts escape this time?
I can only imagine the tension and expectation of the original listeners when each exciting episode came to its shattering close. Of course Dick does and how he escapes is often a wonderful piece of writing and plot. I say original but this is not quite the case for the series has an interesting history.
The original series although never transmitted live was not saved by the BBC think of the original Dr Who and Patrick Trough ton's reign for examples of short sightedness. The series rights were bought under licence by an Australian company and then a South African one and rerecorded. (Don't worry about the accents they are all stiff British upper lips and the North African baddies and residents sound authentic.) The series were left secure in vaults to be rediscovered and about 340 of the original 360 survive so more releases should be on their way. I for one would love to hear more.
Now back to the CD set. I must I admit I was expecting to be amused at how twee the series was but I was really pleasantly delighted with how much I enjoyed them.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars That Special Agent is back...... 27 April 2011
Format:Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
My wife and I like audio books (especially when travelling by car). We recently bought and listened to 'Dick Barton - Special Agent' and, although we'd only heard of Dick Barton before, we'd never listened to one of his tales. We enjoyed it so much that, when 'Dick Barton and the Cabatolin Diamonds' was made available, we immediately obtained a copy.

OK one has to accept, this was re-recorded in 1949 for transmission overseas as the original recordings were lost, so the quality is not that of a modern recording, having said that, the quality of the reproduction is excellent.

As to the storyline, if one accepts that the production is from the 40's and not the second decade of the 21st century and that, to an extent, is dated, I still feel that the listener will still enjoy this story.

This recording is from Spring 1949 - Dick's plans for a mediteranean cruise are cancelled to foil a gang of international diamond smugglers. Can Dick thwart the evil Henri De Flambeau before it's too late????

Can I recommend this - Yes, especially for fans of radio thrillers of yesteryear
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yet another treasure from the BBC archive 27 April 2011
By David Spanswick VINE VOICE
Format:Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The fact that this Dick Barton series exists at all is mystery in itself, and a bit of a miracle. Since few of these recordings from the 1940s survived ~ who knew they would ever be so popular and much needed forty years on?! ~ some brilliant archivist discovered that many of these early series were re recorded for audiences in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa ~ all outposts of all things English 60 years ago. Due to this foresight we, modern audiences, can experience these stories that may well have become otherwise lost.

To try and give a précis of this current CD "Dick Barton and the Cabatolin
Diamonds " would be pointless and anyway each episode is introduced with a "the story so far..." recap just as each episode finishes with the famous cliff-hanging questions, "Will Dick Barton be in time to rescue the ladies?" " Who is the man in the taxi? " "Is this the beginning of another adventure?" "Will they be in time to find the antidote to the poison?" etc

Dick and Jock and Snowey get in to more scrapes and end up in more perilous torture situations than even the mindless airheads in the "Saw" films. Trapped in mines, lifts and creepy basements, chained and tied and tricked until the writers run out of ideas, though that rarely happens. A rat on a treadmill that will release a poisonous gas unless stopped in time is just one example of the intriguing near-death experiences undergone by our intrepid team.

I confess that my favourite clue to the whereabouts of the artificial diamonds being manufactured by the baddie Henri Flobo (sic Fleurbeau) is found by Jean in a knitting pattern when knitted up; another highlight is Dick's impersonation of a "Macnoon" apparently a mad Arab.
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5.0 out of 5 stars great 12 Jan 2014
By ralphy
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Worth the money great picture and sound quality, my father was really pleased with both of the dvds would recommend
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4.0 out of 5 stars Pure archive gold! 8 Dec 2011
Format:Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
My Father used to talk about Dick Barton Special Agent and so I was fascinated to see this collection deep from the archive come available.

I have enjoyed listening to four hours of fabulous vintage radio.

Fascinating and enjoyable in equal measure.
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Format:Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Let me begin by saying that the original recording is over 60 years old. To many, Dick Barton was in the 1940's who Dr. Who and Merlin are today. People made a mental note and turned on their radios to ensure that they didn't miss it.

I wasn't around in the 1940s and my Dad told me this information. When I showed him this CD set, he literally bit my hand off for it and I haven't seen it since!!

I would describe this 4 disc CD set as great value, lasting for a total of 4 hours. Each disc contains four short 15-minute episodes, each ending on a cliffhanger ('Who is the man in the taxi?', 'Will he be in time?' etc).

The recordings sound crisp, especially given their age and the story is enjoyable. I would describe the story as charming in a period English kind of way (lots of upper-class accents and stereotypical characters) but it's definitely worth a look, particularly if you enjoy a touch of nostalgia.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Dick Barton Classic
If you like Dick Barton then this is must have listening. This is a quality recording with full dramatisation. Read more
Published on 7 Oct 2011 by Robert Hardie
5.0 out of 5 stars dick barton and the cabatolin diamonds
i really enjoyed listening to Dick barton again it took me back 60 years,thank the Aussies for saving it,i`ve just discovered there are more dick bartons and i`ve just aquired Dick... Read more
Published on 5 Oct 2011 by norm
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable late 40's hokum
Look, this is Dick Barton, not War and Peace. I think some reviewers are imposing their own views of what 'entertainment' should be. This is radio entertainment from the 1940's. Read more
Published on 18 Sep 2011 by Steve
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent stuff.
Well, you know what to expect, but this is still good stuff. It's got enough twists and turns to keep you guessing, and many are non-obvious, and it moves along at a good pace too. Read more
Published on 15 Sep 2011 by AlanMusicMan
3.0 out of 5 stars An excellent period radio drama that now sounds a bit dated
Dick Barton and the Cabatolin Diamonds is a quartet of audio CDs totalling four hours of original BBC recordings from 1949. Read more
Published on 18 Aug 2011 by Mr. P. HAIGH
4.0 out of 5 stars Very dated, but not without charm
In spite of the fact I am by no means young anymore, the Dick Barton radio shows are way before my time. Read more
Published on 26 July 2011 by M. D. Harris
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor story that relies far too much on contrivances
Customer Video Review
Length: 9:59 Mins
Published on 3 July 2011 by BS on parade
5.0 out of 5 stars ripping yarns and daring do!
First rate stuff if you like your upper lip stiff, your moustache's pencil thin and your action brought in a civilised manner via the radio. Read more
Published on 25 Jun 2011 by Ed.F
4.0 out of 5 stars Back to the past
I enjoyed the story both in terma of interest and nostalgia for the days of my childhood. Those were the days. My only criticism is the number of times the theme tune is included. Read more
Published on 23 Jun 2011 by F. Manning
4.0 out of 5 stars "Knit, Jean - Knit by Billy-O!"
For most of us Dick Barton is probably just a name. His theme music - the Devil's Gallop - is that piece hummed by Mitchell and Webb for The Amazing Adventures of Sir Digby... Read more
Published on 22 Jun 2011 by wolf
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