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Publisher's Summary

Eight BBC Radio crime dramas featuring Golden Age detective Gideon Fell, starring Donald Sinden.

With his cape, canes and shovel hat, portly amateur sleuth Dr Gideon Fell cuts an eccentric figure - but his odd appearance belies his sharp intellect and astonishing faculty for deduction. Created by crime novelist John Dickson Carr and supposedly based on fellow author G. K. Chesterton, Dr Fell appeared in 23 novels between 1933 and 1967. This radio collection comprises all eight of the BBC adaptations based on Carr's best-selling books.

The Hollow Man - Dr Gideon Fell becomes embroiled in an intriguing locked room mystery when an illusionist threatens an eminent professor.

The House in Gallows Lane - 1936, and the peace of a small English village is disrupted by a mysterious death in this captivating drama adapted from the novel Till Death Do Us Part.

To Wake the Dead - On the eve of King George VI's coronation, a woman is murdered in a grand London hotel. But this death is not the first of its kind....

The Blind Barber - When a brutal killing takes place on an ocean liner, the engraving on the murder weapon provides a vital clue.

The Black Spectacles - Three people witness a murder, yet none of them can agree about what they have seen.

The Mad Hatter Mystery - A young journalist is found murdered at Traitors' Gate in fog-bound London, a crossbow through his heart and a top hat on his head.

He Who Whispers - Dr Fell becomes involved in a seemingly supernatural murder, in which the victim was found entirely alone at the top of an isolated medieval tower in France.

Below Suspicion - The stifling respectability of a South London suburb is rocked by a spate of ruthless poisonings - and as Fell investigates, he uncovers a sinister black magic cult....

Donald Sinden stars as Gideon Fell, with John Hartley as Superintendent Hadley. Among the supporting casts are Nigel Davenport, Wendy Craig, Patrick Allen, Andrew Wincott and James Fleet.

Written by John Dickson Carr.

Dramatised by Peter Ling.

Produced and directed by Enyd Williams.

©2021 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd (P)2021 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd

What listeners say about Dr Gideon Fell: The Complete BBC Radio Drama Collection

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

The Delightful Dr. Fell

Such a great listen! John Dickson Carr has been unfairly overlooked for a long time. He's a member of that golden age of mystery that includes Christie and Sayers, with his stories being notorious in the genre of "locked room mysteries." In this collection of stories, the ingenious Dr. Fell is portrayed by the wonderful British actor, Donald Sinden. He gives the role a great deal of humor, intelligence, and charm. And the supporting casts are equally talented. This is a fun production with intriguing and engaging mysteries, skilled performers, and thoroughly enjoyable scripts.

3 people found this helpful

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Baloney

John Dickson Carr is supposed to be the father of closed room mysteries. These stories so woefully shorten and abbreviate the stories that there's no real thrill or mystery. The blind barber was the worst, literally not even a story. I also didn't like the fluctuations in sound. Sometimes way to low, sometimes way too loud - annoying. I wish they'd cut out the corny music before and after each chapter too. Disappointing.

2 people found this helpful

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excellent example old time radio

Enjoyed this a lot. The actors are good, esp the lead charactors, For the most part the voices match the characters.. There is occasionally a little confusion w plots. There is a lot of jumping from past to present in some storylines.

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poor adaptations

I've read several of these in original form and in their adapting them to play form they have left out small but important points which are key to whether the solution makes sense. I recommend reading these stories instead of listening to them in this format.

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Excellent

Great stories
Great characters
Dr Fell is a fantastic character
Excellent narration
Highly recommend
Very entertaining

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  • Dawn Martin
  • 10-26-21

Sheer class.

Wonderful twisty, witty and intricate detective stories. The late Donald Sinden is just the perfect Gideon Fell.

8 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • jane
  • 12-02-21

A return to an old favourite!

I already had two of the dramas but thought it worth repeating two to gain the others. They must have been remastered because the quality of the recording was much improved. Gideon Fell is always a little off beat and unusual with magic tricks and slight of hand. In one a murder is committed in front of a select group in another a man disappears having been observed entering a room ....it was well worth it.

7 people found this helpful

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  • William Farrar
  • 12-14-21

CONVOLUTED RUBBISH

I've tried to return this title, but audible will not let me, presumable because I've listened to it too much. The truth, however, is thatI have tried to get into the stories and have failed miserable, twice even falling asleep in the attempt, while the thing played on and on, with me intermittently driting in and out of sleep, with the voice of Donald Sinden playing itself out in some kind of nightmare. However, not willing to accept that I had bought a load of rubbish and wasted £8 to boot, I persevered, but everytime, within a few minutes I had lost the plot and my mind had wandered off.
Donald Sinden did have a truly unusual voice, but in this production he sounds like Major 'what's- his-name', in a game of 'cluedo'; truly farcical and not the slightest bit convincing, and may I also say that the plots are just too silly for words.
I am a a Hugh consumer of Amazon audible, to which my library of nearly 400 titles attests, plus I also pay a monthly membership subscription, so I am obviously not trying to pull a fast one... So come on Amazon, play the game, since there is no way I can put this title in the bin, or get rid of it unless you take it back. ........ or... perhaps, maybe... I'll just have to give it one more try.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-24-21

Detective delight

Gripping and performed by superior actors,this collection of stories gives hours of pleasure for those dark winter nights.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Staffordshire Shopper
  • 03-03-22

complex but atmospheric. Dr fell is great

you have to concentrate as the plots are complex but its worth it. Dr fell is a great character

2 people found this helpful

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  • KC
  • 05-05-22

Donald Sinden is a gem

I just love Donald as the Dr, absolutely marvellous! Stories are unusual and not obvious at all, very enjoyable

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Bretton Girl
  • 04-21-22

Some very far fetched and inaccurate story telling

Ok, I had some issues with these stories. It's definitely not Agatha Christie. As an example, one particular story hinges on you not knowing who's the killer because the killer is running around after being shot in the lung. A bullet in the lung would mean that the lung filled very quickly with blood and the injured person would not be able to move around, as within seconds they would be incapacitated. However, the man is running about from house to house and up and downstairs etc, it's nonsense!
Based on performance and production value alone I would give this four stars but there is a patchy nature to the story telling and plot development which makes these subpar when compared to Doyle,
Sayers or Christie. I might be tempted to believe that it is the adaption to radio which is at fault with regard to the patchy nature of the storytelling except for the fact that the narratives do include some silly things; as with the above example of a seriously injured man running around all over the place before he eventually dies. This must surely have been an invention of the original author. I also found the use of coincidence in the narratives, a little heavily done. There is some effort to explain away these coincidences but it's a stretch of credulity to believe that any criminal would rely upon their success merely based on a few friendly suggestions from an acquaintance who might easily have been ignored. Secondly the motives for some quite seriously violent and risky crimes are very weak. One of the murderers kills his wife and her 'husband' because she stole money from him. She had married this other man bigamously! Surely a much more satisfying revenge would be to expose her criminality get the back the money she stole from him by that means, her assets would have been frozen and passed to her legal husband, and watch as she's put in jail for both theft and bigamy and the man's she has married illegally would be publicly shamed and humiliated. Resorting to murder instead frankly makes no sense! At no point are we given to believe the murderer insane!

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Profile Image for S. Bates
  • S. Bates
  • 02-07-22

Couldn't get in to it

I tried very hard to like this. Indeed, there's no reason I shouldn't, but for some reason most of the stories failed to hold my attention, so I frequently found myself lost as to who was who and what was going on.

I can't say why, as the performances were good, up there with other BBC radio mysteries like the Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie adaptations and the character of Fell is fun. I just can't see myself listening to these again anytime soon.