The 86th Floor
Doc Savage, 1934

ANNOUNCER: Hear that?
ANNOUNCER: That was a strange sound, wasn't it? It is
           the sound of Doc Savage, and it means that
           Cystex is on the air with another fifteen
           minutes of smashing action and mystery 
           with Doc Savage...

So opens another 15-minute adventure of the Man of Bronze, first heard Sundays at 9pm, over the Don Lee California network, starting in February 1934, and syndicated nationally starting in October 1934.

Little remains from the 1934 Doc Savage radio show: no known cast, no recordings, just Lester Dent's own carbon copies of the scripts of the 26 episodes. These were written by Lester Dent himself in the early days of Doc's career! Half of these "lost" Doc adventures were resurrected, along with unbroadcast scripts in Odyssey Publications' "The Incredible Radio Exploits of Doc Savage" Volume 1 (c.1982). A second volume, covering the last half of the series was advertised, but never saw print. One of these unpublished exploits was finally printed in issue 20 of the Bronze Gazette. Hopefully others will follow.

Lester Dent, given the rights to sell Doc Savage to other media, landed this one-year radio deal when the Knox Company of St. Louis couldn't pick up The Shadow. Historically, these were written between December 1933 and May 1934, and caused Lester Dent to contract his first ghost writer -- Harold Davis for The King Maker.

With only 15 minutes, the supporting cast had to be limited to Monk only (with Ham making occasional appearances), and with each story only one of Doc Savage's amazing faculties or gagets gets showcased. What's left? Brisk pacing and terse, hard-boiled characterization that gives 30-minute programs a run for their money!

Speaking of characterization, Doc's personality was still being ironed-out in Dent's pulps, and the Doc Savage we're all familiar with doesn't emerge until the later scripts. And there's a lot more of Doc's trilling sound than usual, since radio couldn't rely on a bronze countenance to set Doc apart.

Source: the introduction to The Incredible Radio Exploits of Doc Savage Volume 1, by Will Murray

A Word From Our Sponsor | My Sample Scene

Episodes posted without consideration of copyright infringement

B A M A   P R E F E R R E D   |  S I T E   M A P

Site by Chris Kalb || Doc Savage © Copyright Conde Nast Publications
novels   comics