Studio: Decoder Ring Theatre
Category: Performing Arts
What It Is
A modern take on old time radio adventure serials.
The show has changed schedules a lot; currently, it’s at a painfully slow pace: one new episode every month. But the sound quality is phenomenal, so if that’s what it requires, so be it. Each episode runs around half an hour. The entire archive of more than 240 episodes is available on iTunes.
What About It
I’ve always like a lot of old time radio drama, like Suspense or Escape, and comedy, like Jack Benny or Lum & Abner, so it wasn’t a hard sell for this show. The show’s flagship series are Black Jack Justice and The Red Panda. The Red Panda, with trusty sidekick, The Flying Squirrel, fights crime and espionage during (and now after) World War II. Black Jack Justice revolves around Jack Justice & Trixie Dixon, a pair of wise-cracking private detectives solving cases both ridiculous and entertaining. I really love this stuff. The Red Panda is an old-fashioned serial for those interested in lengthy story arcs; characters recur, sometimes years after they last appeared; plot-lines carry over, sometimes for several episodes. Black Jack Justice is the funnier of the two shows; it really nails the hard-boiled patter and I typically laugh out loud a few times an episode. This is really entertaining stuff, just good clean fun. It’s purposely for the whole family (though with zombies, possessed robots, aliens and machine gun wielding villains, The Red Panda Adventures can get kind of intense from time to time), but adults will love it as well.
You’re tired of modern radio drama, ie. call-in shows.
Avoid Like the Plague If
You haven’t spoken of pandas since the Washington Zoo Incident of 2006.
Best Entry Point
Black Jack Justice, season one. Give it a try.