Friday, February 24, 2017

Old Time Radio: The Adventures of Ellery Queen (1939)

The Adventures of Ellery Queen radio program (1939-48) had an extra element that its television counterparts didn't, which may explain its longevity.

You see, the show's producers thought it would be a great idea to have an audience participation element added to the show, with two contestants acting as "guest armchair detectives" to match wits with Ellery, who was created as a sort of American analogue for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's legendary sleuth, Sherlock Holmes. When Ellery transitioned to television, first in the 50's, then for a brief period in the 70's, the audience participation angle was nixed, as in the eyes of television producers, it made the show have a game show-type feel that didn't really belong in a detective show.

Years later, there would be a crime drama/game show hybrid. Whodunnit began in England, and had a brief run in the US on NBC in 1979.

Let's take a trip back in time to October 1943 and "The Adventure of the Singing Rat":

One other element didn't make the transition to TV, and that was Ellery's girlfriend, Nikki. Apparently she was created strictly for the radio program.

Rating: A.

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