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Red for Danger by Edward J. Mason
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Red for Danger

A BBC Radio 4 Vintage Thriller from the writer of Dick Barton

$15.90

Get for $14.99 with membership
Length 2 hours 51 minutes
Language English
Narrators Ysanne Churchman, Anne Cullen, Arnold Peters, Bernard Rebel, Dudley Rolph, Gerik Schelderup, June Spencer, Peter Wilde, Chris Gittins, Harry Stubbs, William Avenell, Michael Ford, Eddie Robinson & Full Cast

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A vintage BBC suspense thriller from the creator of The Archers and Dick Barton

When David Conway attends a birthday party for his beautiful fiancée Pat, he expects a few drinks and a good time, but what he discovers is that his beloved is in fact in terrible danger. Following the clues, and a tip off about her missing bracelet, David and Pat are led first to a steel works, then a circus, but instead of finding the bracelet, they uncover both a body and a realisation that they have enemies - enemies who will stop at nothing to get what they want...

Edward J. Mason wrote for the BBC for decades, creating the radio serials The Lady Craved Excitement, What the Butler Saw, and the world's longest running series The Archers. He later wrote for television on series including The Days of Vengeance, Flower of Evil, and Outbreak of Murder, and this thrilling production is just the adventure for listeners of Dick Barton: Special Agent, Down Payment on Death and Hand in Glove: The Casebook of Dr Wallace.

Cast and credits

Anne Cullen

Arnold Peters

Bernard Rebel

Chris Gittins

Dudley Rolph

Eddie Robinson

Gerik Schelderup

Harry Stubbs

June Spencer

Michael Ford

Peter Wilde

William Avenall

Ysanne Churchman

Written by Edward J. Mason
Produced by Philip Garston-Jones

Originally broadcast on BBC Radio Midland Home Service:
26 October - 30 November 1954

©2023 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd (P)2023 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd

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. Noël 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. Noël 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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