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Dick Barton and the Case of Conrad Ruda (Radio Collection) Audio CD – Audiobook, 5 Apr 2012

4.2 out of 5 stars 52 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: BBC Physical Audio (5 April 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1445865165
  • ISBN-13: 978-1445865164
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 63.5 x 12.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 69,311 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

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!"


Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Dick Barton And The Case Of Conrad Ruda follows on from the previous story The Li-Chang Adventure, but don't worry you don't have to have listened to that cd in order to enjoy this one. This adventure sees Barton and his friends helping a Hollywood film star who has been receiving death threats. Could the sinister Conrad Ruda be behind this ? This 4 cd set runs for around 4 hours. Following the BBC adventures alot of the Dick Barton stories were re-recorded for overseas broadcast in 1949. Douglas Kelly played Dick Barton. In 2009 around 300 of these recordings were rediscovered in Australia and are now being released on cd. The sound quality is excellent for their age, and is well worth listening to.
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By Glenn Cook HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 11 May 2012
Format: Audio CD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
When offered the chance to review this set through the Amazon Vine programme I jumped at the chance.

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.

A comparison?
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.
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Format: Audio CD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
"If it really is life and death, the sooner the better. If not, well you may get a glimpse of Margaret Lockwood."

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.").
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By Andromeda Descendent TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 14 Jun. 2012
Format: Audio CD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Dick Barton returns for another run of 20 serialised episodes and although this is only the second of his escapades I have listened to I am already a fan. This is good old-fashioned radio detective adventure, where the hero puts his life in danger every episode and sometimes makes mistakes, but always manages to keep one step ahead of the villains.

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.
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