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Dick Barton and the Cabatolin Diamonds Audio CD – Abridged, Audiobook

4.2 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD: 4 pages
  • Publisher: BBC Physical Audio; abridged edition edition (7 April 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408468107
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408468104
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 63.5 x 14 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 679,001 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!"


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Glenn Cook HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 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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By Aremess TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 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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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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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The sound quality is excellent,it sounds as if it was recorded last week which is remarkable
when it was made in 1949.It's as clear as a bell. In this one Dick Barton is out to crack a
gang of international diamond smugglers.Lots of danger and near scrapes along the way.
The cast are very good and Douglas Kelly makes a great Dick Barton, he sounds rather
like Noel Johnson (the best in my opinion).You get 4 CD's and it's 4 hours long
so you get your moneys worth.I can't find fault with this drama and recommend it highly.
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