Dick Barton and the Case of Conrad Ruda (Radio Collection) Audio CD – Audiobook, 5 Apr 2012
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
About the Author
The original idea for Dick Barton came from Norman Collins, Head of the Light Programme. In January 1946, he sent a memo to an assistant asking him to investigate the possibility of a daily 'cloak-and-dagger soap opera'. Matters quickly progressed and soon the fictional hero of the serial had a name - Bill Barton (later changed to Dick). Barton's history was very thoroughly researched. It was decided that he had been born on Tuesday 10 December 1912 at 5pm. The BBC went so far as to ascertain from the Town Clerk of High Wycombe and the Air Ministry exactly what the weather conditions were at the time of Barton's birth! At the time the series started, Barton was thirty-five years old. He had enjoyed a 'good' war and, in November 1945, was wondering whether he could face going back to the dutiful daily grind of the pre-war years. Having established their hero, the BBC needed to find an actor to play Barton. Noel Johnson fitted the bill perfectly: not only did he look exactly how the producers imagined Barton to be, but he was a good actor who learnt scripts accurately and quickly. However, the early days of Britain s first daily serial were inauspicious. Within two weeks, the "Daily Worker" had condemned the programme as being so bad as to be almost beyond criticism . But the listeners proved the critics wrong and soon some fifteen million were tuning in to hear the adventures of Dick Barton and his pals Snowey and Jock. Although the series had been originally conceived as a fast moving cartoon strip aimed mainly at adults, the BBC soon realised that children were abandoning their homework in their thousands in order to tune in, and it was decided that all references to alcohol or girlfriends should be cut out of the script. It was still considered too exciting for some, however, as this headline from the time shows: Dick Barton Too Thrilling for Girls? Headmistress says Yes ! The newly cleaned-up Barton went on to enjoy hundreds of adventures that enthralled listeners for six years. Noel Johnson left the series in 1949, largely due to money disputes, and was replaced by ex-boxer Duncan Carse. In the final year Gordon Davies played the hero. The series was written by Edward J. Mason and Geoffrey Webb. They later went on to write "The Archers," which was to displace Dick Barton on the Light Programme, much to many people s dismay Terry Wogan has said he has never been able to enjoy the goings-on in Ambridge because they took Dick Barton away from him!"
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
This is my fifth in the series.
A confession I was far too young to have heard the original series broadcast on BBC and now sadly lost. And I must admit I was very jaded in my opinion. An early 1950's Radio series, and for children... it did not and does not sound a very exciting purchase for today's 600 channel Nicam, 3D surround sound generation does it?
And yet I must admit I was totally blown away at just how good these wonderful episodes are.
They are simply a wonderful way to spend a car journey and are total entertainment.
Think of the first Indiana Jones Movie- it would never win any Oscars- too popular-
BUT heck it was wonderful entertainment and kept you watching from start to finish.
This is the radio equivalent, as Frank Zappa once said this is a movie for your ears and my you are royally entertained.
This follows directly on from the Dick Barton and Li Chang set (but you don't need to listen to that for this to make sense. Each set of episodes is different.
Dick Barton and the Li-Chang Adventure (Radio Collection)
I've heard about 4 of the series and they are as satisfying as a Kingsized Mars Bar and a good cup of Tea.
To say the story cracks along like a runaway rocket is an understatement.
Each of the four discs has about 3 episodes in 3 parts with at least three cliff hangers at the end of each and my.. how inventive the writer was.Read more ›
Returning from his latest adventure to find himself with a new housekeeper with one of the most terrible Yorkshire accents ever attempted, our dashing hero and his sidekicks find themselves up against protection racket The Society for the Protection of Distinguished Careers, which is insidiously targeting British celebrities - having already put the touch on a fiddler, a Frenchman and a footballer, the fiend now wants a fourth F to round out his collection with film star, who naturally turns out to be a game gel. It doesn't take long for Dick to suss out the villain behind the plot: Conrad Ruda may put on a sympathetic show, but he suspects him immediately because he's foreign and lives like `the very best kind of spiv.' Just to add to the political correctness on display, Dick finds himself in a savage land of mad doctors, priests and gullibly moronic peasants otherwise known as Ireland, where Ruda's Irish sidekick who can't do the accent has a sideline in experimenting on animals, particularly the Black Demon...
It's such gleefully politically incorrect stuff it's still hard to tell if this was intended as a tongue-in-cheek spoof at the time it was originally broadcast, the plot not only richly embracing cliché but even acknowledging the fact ("Aren't you being a little melodramatic, Mister Barton?" "Life is melodramatic, Mr Ruda. You should know.") while allowing its dastardly villain to make a chump of our hero at times ("Not only did you achieve our object but you made Barton look a fool, which is always desirable.").Read more ›
In this case, and given the title of the adventure, it is no spoiler to say that this time around Dick spends the most time pitting his wits against one particular villain - extortionist and kidnapper Conrad Ruda. However, there are other villains to be dealt with including a impressionist who can impersonate anyone and a doctor who has perfected a hypnosis inducing drug.
Despite the length of the run, the plot changes direction slightly once or twice so as to keep the story fresh. They aren't dramatic changes, but there is more than enough peril to keep you interested. There is a moment at the start of disc 3 that you think Dick really should have realised something obvious, and for purposes of keeping the story going it doesn't occur to him until the end of disc 3, but it just goes to show that Dick is only human. He's more believable than some other radio detectives of his time because he does make mistakes occasionally and that only makes his deductions seem more impressive when he makes them.
The cover art didn't match up to Dick Barton and the Vulture, which I heard previously, but that's my only real gripe, as the episodes are gripping enough to keep on listening.
One thing to be aware of is that in the very first sentence the announcer gives away the ending to a previous case. That's how it was recorded of course, but I think it would have been wise to edit it out for those who hadn't heard that one yet and didn't want to know this.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Bought as a Christmas gift this was very well received by the recipient and is listened to at every opportunity!Published on 22 May 2014 by Josie
Another exciting adventure for Dick Barton and his team. The team are off to Hollywood to help out a movie star this time around. Read morePublished on 28 Mar. 2013 by David Belson
Safely and speedily delivered and was as discribed - another case for the famous Dick Barton to solve. Read morePublished on 14 Feb. 2013 by News Editor
Dick is called into investigate a suspicious letter sent to an actress, suggesting that she might like to pay to be kept safe and threatening her if she doesn't pay the money. Read morePublished on 24 Nov. 2012 by The Kinniburgh Kid
After listening to these CDs, I wondered what different generations would make of it.
I am late 40s. Read more
The two star reviews below are a bit off to be honest. They're generally criticising the thing for what makes it so charming, the production line plotting, the earnest... Read morePublished on 23 Aug. 2012 by Stuart Burns
This is great if, like me, you're old and can remember sitting by the radio and listening to radio theatre. Read morePublished on 6 Aug. 2012 by Wilz
I must admit I did not really enjoy this vintage re-enactment of a Dick Barton adventure at first, mainly because I tried to listen to it in the car one episode after another,... Read morePublished on 13 July 2012 by B. Bello