100th podcast of this series! This week I want to return to two series with detective elements as well as what I call radio noir aspects in their productions. A special double-header focusing on the writing, the darkness and the pulse of two of the better radio series with crime detection themes. Night Beat with its gravel-voiced character played by Frank Lovejoy (right) and its use of darkness through the writing and images and Broadway Is My Beat with its haiku-style narration, dark jazzy undertones and layered sound effects both combine to create a sizzingly summertime and dark feel to the big city “beat.” Both of these series were excellent examples of evoking the dark side of city life.
The two series were both from the early fifties, a time when film noir was at its height. It was the beginning of the cold war; it was a time of spies and communists under every rock. People were edgy – after all, they had survived a world war and were now in an undeclared one – Korea. Yet it was also a time of great prosperity for the United States.
This will be my last podcast for a few weeks as I take a break to recharge!