What is this site about?
Old Time Radio (OTR) refers to entertainment programmes produced by American radio stations from the mid-1920s to the early 1960s, encompassing a whole range of genres, including comedy, thrillers, science fiction and horror. The purpose of this site is to offer episode reviews of various of these shows.
I have been listening to OTR for a number of years, and decided to embark on this project to offer my opinions on some of the shows I have most enjoyed; which may, hopefully, be of some interest to others. The choice of shows reviewed is highly selective, and in no sense intended to be comprehensive. It is also worth pointing out that I won't be hosting files of any of the programmes themselves, since they are widely available elsewhere; please see the Links section for details.
How are episodes reviewed?
My reviews should speak for themselves, but I have just a few introductory comments that may help explain how they are written and presented:
1.The reviews are written from a contemporary standpoint - in other words, I write about episodes in terms of how well they play today, rather than when they were first broadcast. Thus, the question I always consider is, how good/entertaining is an episode for a modern audience? Sometimes, supposedly 'classic' episodes now seem stiff and creaky; conversely, less well-known ones can be much more rewarding for today's listener. This, therefore, is the basis of my ratings, not the historical reputation or status an episode may have.
2. As far as possible, I try to avoid giving away spoilers in my reviews. However, revealing plot points is sometimes unavoidable, so bear this in mind when reading; I will occasionally add a SPOILER ALERT message when discussing a particularly crucial plot point, but it would be distracting to do this for every minor story detail I might give away. If you are especially spoiler-averse, these reviews might be better read after, rather than before, listening to the episodes.
3. Many OTR stories were remade/rebroadcast more than once (in some cases, many times), often with different actors and changes to the scripts. The episode I review is usually the one I consider to be the 'best' version of a story, but I indicate when there are others available for those who want to compare different versions (which can often be quite fun to do).
What do the star ratings mean?
I use a 5-star rating system to assess episodes, and although this is not an exact science, they roughly translate in the following way:
* * Fair/Average
* * * Good/Above Average
* * * * Very Good
* * * * * Excellent
How do I find specific reviews?
I've organized my reviews to be searchable in three ways:
1. By episode name – click the series name in the menu on the left-hand side and then find the episode listed alphabetically in the series menu.
2. By star rating – click the series name in the menu on the left-hand side and then find episodes categorized by rating in the series menu.
3. By author – click the Authors section in the menu on the left-hand side and then find episodes categorized by the authors from whose work they are adapted.
How often is the site updated?
I add reviews on an 'as and when' basis, though usually at least some each week, depending on other commitments, mood and so on. I deliberately review episodes in no particular order (either chronological or in terms of merit), as I don't want to review just the standard classics - the intention is to present a varied mix of the good, the bad and the indifferent.
N.B. as a British writer, I am writing this site in British English - which means spellings such as 'programme' rather than 'program', and using British date format [day before month]