Paul Temple and the Gregory Affair by Francis Dubridge

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Paul Temple and the Gregory Affair on BBC Radio 4

BBC Radio 4, 3 July - 4 September 2013
First broadcast in 1946, Paul Temple and the Gregory Affair is another one of those 'lost' episodes of the old radio series, brought to life once again using the old radio scripts - apparently discovered in a cupboard in Norwegian radio - plus authentic incidental music and vintage microphones.  Crawford Logan and Gerda Stevenson take the central roles of Temple and his wife Steve.
Patrick Rayner's production wisely decided to situate the series in its original socio-historical context, complete with RP-speaking continuity announcer.  This gave the series an old-time-radio kind of appeal: listeners were transported back in time, to a period when characters addressed one another in formal terms (mostly using the prefix "Mr..."), and class-divisions were reinforced.  'Low-class' characters such as Charlie (Greg Powrie) know their place in society; they exist to serve their upper-middle class employers.  The foreigner is an object of suspicion; even if they are not threatening, their very strangeness threatens the complacency of an acutely English world.  Hence Peter Davos (Richard Greenwood) is someone not to be trusted.
The plot of this thriller advances in leisurely fashion, through two- or three-person conversational exchanges, culminating in the classic cliff-hanging end.  We know that Paul and Steve will emerge unscathed in the end, but it's still interesting to see what kind of scrapes writer Durbridge puts them through, and what kind of mysterious people they will encounter.  Despite the archaic scripts, the series remains compelling listening.