- Audio CD: 4 pages
- Publisher: BBC Physical Audio (5 Jan. 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1445865149
- ISBN-13: 978-1445865140
- Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 61 x 14 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 103,697 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Dick Barton and the Vulture Audio CD – Audiobook, 5 Jan 2012
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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!"
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Top Customer Reviews
Whilst it does sound a little dated compared to radio programmes of today, if you enter into the spirit of it then you will find yourself swept away. This is an enjoyable way to pass some time - I recommend it if you like tales of adventure.
If you were one of those people who used to be glued to the radio for the next thrilling installment of the intrepid Dick Barton, then this CD set is for you. There are several episodes on each CD so you can listen to fifteen or twenty minutes at a time and not miss the plot.
It brought back some wonderful memories of when I was a child sat on the sofa with my siblings and parents with a nice fire blazing in the hearth (before we had a television) we couldn't wait for the wonderful signature tune to start playing so that we could listen to the exciting world of espionage and adventure that Dick Barton ex-commando captain turned secret Service Agent and his pals Snowey and Jock became embroiled in.(Listening to them now makes me realise how tame they were but such a pleasure and not a swear word in earshot).
In this story, Dick, Snowey and Jock are on the trail of the 'Vulture' Tony Patelli, a criminal mastermind who has stolen a lorry-load of gold bullion. The trio have to save a kidnapped girl from Patelli's clutches and recover the gold.
There's plenty of action with car chases, a train smash a ship wreck and plenty of bullets flying as the trio try to accomplish their task to nail the Vulture.
Little gems well worth another listen and throughly enjoyable.
"We'll let you know in about ten minutes time, ducks."
AudioGo's latest 4CD set offers another chance to take a trip back to the golden age of radio potboilers and for modern audiences to try to work out whether their predecessors ever took this sort of thing seriously or whether the show was written and listened to with tongue firmly in cheek. Setting Barton and his sidekicks on the trail of a notorious blackmailer and master criminal who holds the country in terror, it's filled with more stereotypes than you can shake a stick at and enough ethnic stereotyping to induce palpitations in the more zealously politically correct. Take the villain himself, ana oudrayjuss Eyatalyano wivva da mows ova da topp aksend you's evva deed heyah - even Barton berates him for his "ice cream accent," unable to take seriously a mastermind who doesn't speak proper English: "You the Vulture - a cheap little hash slinger? Oh come off it, old horse, you haven't the nerve!" As if that wasn't bad enough, in later episodes we're also treated to what might just be the world's worst Chinese accent, not to mention women who break down over the slightest little thing, like being left to die in a burning building ("Sorry I got depressed for a moment") before finally bucking up and realising their proper place in the Boys Own Adventure scheme of things ("Don't worry about me just because I'm a girl. I don't want to be a hindrance.").
As with AudioGo's other Dick Barton serials, since the original BBC broadcasts no longer exist, this is presented in an Australian version with a different cast that was performed from the same scripts with all the political incorrectness intact, and particularly good audio quality too.Read more ›
For me the most enjoyable aspect of the programmes is that they transport the listener back to a period very different to the one we live in now - I wasn't around back then but this set allows me to get a feel for what it must have been like to huddle around the wireless eagerly awaiting the next instalment - a simple pleasure not experienced in these high tech times.
I will certainly be purchasing further sets if the rest are as good as this!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I do enjoy Dick Barton adventures. Some times is very serious action another laughable. Always good to listen to.Published 21 months ago by Hazel Anne
I was really looking forward to listening to these CDs. I had loved Dick Barton in my youth and would often plead with my parents to allow me to listen on a weekday evening. Read morePublished on 21 July 2012 by Richard M. Seel
From the minute you hear the introductory music you will be transported back to when radio was at its finest. Read morePublished on 11 July 2012 by JamesW
The announcer chips in and the theme tune plays to pump the adrenaline and get the radio listener ready for the the next exciting adventure of Dick Barton- Special Agent.... Read morePublished on 17 May 2012 by TMUK
I've listened to a few of these Dick Barton CDs and with the caveat that they are incredibly dated, they are always reasonably enjoyable. Read morePublished on 29 Mar. 2012 by Pardo
This 4CD set is a lengthy adventure starring the legendary man of action, Dick Barton. The most familiar aspect to most people will be the iconic theme music, which sets the tone... Read morePublished on 24 Mar. 2012 by Seaburgh
It's great listening to these recordings with modern ears - Barton's attitude to women seems positively prehistoric in our current climate and a lot of the terminology used would... Read morePublished on 18 Mar. 2012 by JackMartin
Dick Barton - Special Agent! The name and the theme music promise adventure a-plenty, all the more so when a thoroughly despicable blackmailer is at work. Read morePublished on 15 Mar. 2012 by Mr. Gtj Charmley