RogerBW's Blog

Paul Temple and the Vandyke Affair 26 November 2021

1959 remake of 1950 audio thriller by Francis Durbridge, in 8 parts. A child is kidnapped, her "sitter-in" has vanished and may be responsible, and of course Drugs are lurking in the background.

Mostly it's the formula as usual: foreigners are Suspicious, Englishmen aren't, and so it's Terribly Surprising when an Englishman turns out to be dodgy. This time it's not at all helped by Richard Hurndall doing every gay-coded cliché in the book.

Given the amount of deception going on, one can really only go along for the ride until the last few episodes when at least some of the people involved finally start telling the truth. There's a large cast, many of whom get bumped off, and if you lose track of who Palmer is and why you were supposed to care about him you aren't alone. (And I listened to this on successive days; I suspect it was originally broadcast weekly.)

But this is the acting team of Peter Coke and Marjorie Westbury, and they make a good job of it; for once, Steve even gets to do something rather than just be thrown into danger to motivate Paul. It's not much, but it's a welcome breeze in this sometimes-turgid show. Meanwhile Paul connives at an actual murder (of the villain), in a way that doesn't really suit the law-and-order personality he's generally been painted with.

Production is unambitious, with a bit of background sound but nothing challenging. Overall, the whole thing is all right, but very uninspiring.

(It might be interesting to compare this with the 1950 original, which is archived at the British Library but only available in person; as I understand it the scripts are basically identical.)

Comments on this post are now closed. If you have particular grounds for adding a late comment, comment on a more recent post quoting the URL of this one.

Tags 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s 3d printing action advent of code aeronautics aikakirja anecdote animation anime army astronomy audio audio tech aviation base commerce battletech beer boardgaming book of the week bookmonth chain of command children chris chronicle church of no redeeming virtues cold war comedy computing contemporary cornish smuggler cosmic encounter coup covid-19 crime crystal cthulhu eternal cycling dead of winter doctor who documentary drama driving drone ecchi economics en garde espionage essen 2015 essen 2016 essen 2017 essen 2018 essen 2019 essen 2022 essen 2023 existential risk falklands war fandom fanfic fantasy feminism film firefly first world war flash point flight simulation food garmin drive gazebo genesys geocaching geodata gin gkp gurps gurps 101 gus harpoon historical history horror hugo 2014 hugo 2015 hugo 2016 hugo 2017 hugo 2018 hugo 2019 hugo 2020 hugo 2021 hugo 2022 hugo 2023 hugo 2024 hugo-nebula reread in brief avoid instrumented life javascript julian simpson julie enfield kickstarter kotlin learn to play leaving earth linux liquor lovecraftiana lua mecha men with beards mpd museum music mystery naval noir non-fiction one for the brow opera parody paul temple perl perl weekly challenge photography podcast politics postscript powers prediction privacy project woolsack pyracantha python quantum rail raku ranting raspberry pi reading reading boardgames social real life restaurant reviews romance rpg a day rpgs ruby rust scala science fiction scythe second world war security shipwreck simutrans smartphone south atlantic war squaddies stationery steampunk stuarts suburbia superheroes suspense television the resistance the weekly challenge thirsty meeples thriller tin soldier torg toys trailers travel type 26 type 31 type 45 vietnam war war wargaming weather wives and sweethearts writing about writing x-wing young adult
Special All book reviews, All film reviews
Produced by aikakirja v0.1