A huge thank you to our friends over at Radio Archives for allowing me the pleasure of reviewing the National Public Radio 1985 classic, The Adventures of Doc Savage. Roger Rittner produced and directed both the tales in this collection with scripting aid by Will Murray. with the Variety Arts Radio Theater. Radio Archives was kind enough to bring this sought after radio show to not only eager Doc Savage devotees but pulp fans in general last year to coincide with the 25th Anniversary of it’s original broadcast. Just take a look at that cover by Bob Larkin of Doc and his cousin Pat Savage!
Unlike the Doc Savage Audiobooks, Python Isle and White Eyes, the Adventures of Doc Savage is set up a little differently. Being a radio show instead of an audiobook each chapter ramps up to precipice point much like the classic Republic serials…and then left you waiting until the next week even though you were ready to learn more at that exact moment as the show comes to a close. That is one of the great things about this collection of course, unlike in 1985 where you had to wait until the next week you can lay back and listen to the next chapter immediately. Perhaps this just shows I’m impatient? Ha, ha.
The Adventures of Doc Savage includes two tales of the Man of Bronze, Fear Cay and The Thousand-Headed Man. The first tale concerns a villain named Dan Thurden, who claims during a fight…in which he takes on Doc Savage AND his friends…that he is 130 years old. The chase for this stranger and the mystery of the “Fountain of Youth Inc.” leads Doc and his team from New York, Florida and to Fear Cay.
With the second radio adventure, “The Thousand-Headed Man”, Will Murray decided to take a different approach. He was inspired by the script of what would have been the first Silver Screen debut for the Man of Bronze starring Chuck Connors, sadly it never reached the filming stage, and the I Love A Mystery radio shows! Murray says of it, “I focused on the mood, mystery and atmospheric horror of Doc Savage’s quest for a lost expedition in 1934 Indo-China which brings the Man of Bronze in direct combat with the half-mythical menace known only as the Thousand-Headed Man”.
By the way, did the voice of Colonel John “Renny” Renwick sound familiar to you? It certainly should…he was voiced by the legendary Bill Ratner, more famous for his work on the animated G.I. Joe series as Flint!
As always with the products from Radio Archives they’ve gone and digitally augmented as well as remastered the tapes so as you can hear from their sample above, it’s crystal clear and more importantly preserved for future generations.
The Adventures of Doc Savage can be purchased from the Radio Archives link up top for a mere $24. 98 on CD or $17.98 for the digital download version. Each option also comes with The Sound of Bronze: Making “The Adventures of Doc Savage”, as well as The Adventures of Philip Marlowe: The August Lion, and The New Adventures of Michael Shayne: A Problem in Murder.
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