However, I think that The Adventures of Philip Marlowe, from a technical and writing stand point, set a standard of quality that very few OTR private detective shows could reach.
The sound effects, music, actor voices, even the announcer, blended together in such a way that we were given a true "noir" radio show. I think the music is some of the best with that low saxophone-based theme. Gerald Mohr, with his voice of gravel, who played Marlowe, added another element with his weekly introduction:
Get this and get it straight, crime is a suckers road and those who travel it wind up in the gutter, the prison or the grave. There's no other end; but they never learn.
Simply typing those words doesn't give the intro justice. You must hear Mohr's delivery, followed by the musical blast that follows.
Gerald Mohr is, I think, the definitive radio voice of Marlowe. He sounds absolutely wonderful. (Mohr also played Archie Goodwin in the Nero Wolfe show beside Sidney Greenstreet for a few episodes.) He missed a day of work now and then, so in a few episodes you'll hear other guys, including William Conrad, but none of them had Mohr's spark.
It's easy to be so overwhelmed by the production quality of the Marlowe show that you can make the case that saying it's inferior to another show isn't a valid criticism; that's not what I was saying last time when I crowned Richard Diamond the best of the OTR private detectives. From the production quality side, Marlowe beats 'em all; from a character stand point, I still give the tip to Richard Diamond. Diamond is the more satisfying show to listen to. Marlowe is just another thriller. A very well-produced thriller. I'm listening to an episode right now!
Don't worry, Phil, I'll only travel that "sucker's road" in my books!
Of course typing this makes me think of the BBC audio adaptations of the Marlowe novels. Have you heard those? I'll talk about them soon....