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Detective

The Complete BBC Radio 4 Crime Drama
Narrated by: full cast, Ray Brooks
Length: 17 hrs and 21 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (111 ratings)

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Summary

All four radio series of Robert Barr’s gripping London-based police drama.

Originally broadcast as Detective: Stories of Crime and Detection in London, this BBC radio drama ran for four series between 1980 and 1985. Written by the award-winning creator of Z Cars and Softly Softly, Robert Barr, it comprised 39 thrilling stories set in London’s criminal underworld, all of which are collected here for the first time. 

DS Dave Brook is a long-serving, ducking-and-diving police officer who takes armed robberies and violent crime in his stride. But then he is teamed up with young 'grammar school boy' DC Blair Maxton from sleepy Epsom. How will Max cope with the mean streets of his new patch?

Among the thrilling cases in these four series, the detectives tackle an armed gang, confront a notorious crime family, search for a missing wife, investigate a gruesome ax murder and the death of a reclusive young woman, and assist ‘The Sweeney’ flying squad. It’s all in a day’s work for Brook and his team....

Ray Brooks stars as DS Brook, with Christopher Blake as DC Maxton, David Daker as Chief Inspector Roach, Peter Cleall as DC Harrison, Jacqueline Tong as Judy and Stephen Garlick as DC Tully.

Written by Robert Barr

Produced and directed by Martin Fisher

First broadcast 3 January-27 March 1980, BBC Radio 4 (Series 1), 16 March-18 May 1982, BBC Radio 4, (Series 2), 27 June-15 August 1984, BBC Radio 2 (Series 3), 24 June-12 August 1985, BBC Radio 2 (Series 4)

©2019 BBC Worldwide Ltd (P)2019 BBC Worldwide Ltd

What listeners say about Detective

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

wish there were more.

thoroughly enjoyed this dramatisation. Ray Brooks excellent in title role. thoroughly recommend. wish there were more episodes.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Z cars and Sunhill rolled into one

A really good listen with a great cast. I enjoyed ever minute. None of the stories were written in such a way as to be horrifyingly gruesome or gut twisting, but nonetheless hard hitting. I felt as if I were eavesdropping in on an old fashioned police station, listening to a hard working team from a London Station CID department. I was following their every day lives whilst they carried out investigations of major and minor crimes. And just as in life - some they won and some they lost. A very satisfying listen

3 people found this helpful

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Evocative of an era

Thoroughly enjoyed this gentle detective series. Good performances and nice, easy stories that made listening a pleasure.

The background sound effects were good enough to make you believe you were listening to a TV programme and while the script irritated at times it was because the writer felt it important to ‘tell’ the action.

Solid performances from the cast and very evocative of the period it was made in.

If you like programs like good old British police shows like ‘Z Cars’ and ‘The Sweeney’, you will most likely enjoy this.

1 person found this helpful

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brilliant

absolutely loved it reminded me of my twenties great time wish there was more of this

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one of the best audio books I've heard.

a collection of well written stories performed brilliantly....would give more than 5 stars if I could.

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Easy listening

Nice series of short stories, a little dated now, but entertaing enough. Script was well delivered.

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Brilliant

Absolutely lovely one of the best I've listened too. Mr brooks has such a nice voice really good listen highly recommend

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The great ray brooks

Love this ray brooks plays a great role in this love this and Dixon of dock green two great detective stories rays narration is great

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So much better than expected

Nice short stories - BBC series never disappoints, wish there were more. There were some atleast one unfinished story I thought they will come back to. Still satisfying and a light listening for my long train journeys

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of it's time but still excellent

this is well written and performed. Just wish that they could have expanded out on the half hour format at the time. It is of it's time which is 30 years plus but not bad for that.

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  • Thomas
  • 14-11-19

Cheerful cop always one step ahead

I remember hearing a few of these high quality BBC Radio 4 dramatisations on the radio years ago and am thrilled to find them available - complete! - on Audible along with their distinctive theme tune. The scripts play it straight and the cops play it straighter but always stay one step ahead of the most serious crooks who seem unable to evade them for long.

The main character is a street smart and pretty cheerful detective sergeant with a talented but inexperienced young detective constable under his wing. As the senior officer explains what's happening to his junior, like Holmes to Watson, the audience get an explanation of the criminal's motive and means, helping us understand the story and direction. I don't mind this plotting device at all and find the stories entirely engaging without breaking the mould for solid police proceedural. I would definitely recommend them to fans of Sherlock, Poirot or Wimsey.

11 people found this helpful

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  • brian mcveigh
  • 08-04-20

Excellent radio drama

A lovely taste of the 80’s in London.
Good story lines and characters classics police drama

1 person found this helpful

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  • JudyB
  • 01-08-20

It was ok I guess.

I could do without the music and the “police radio” between each episode. I thought it was rather annoying. Some episodes were only a few short minutes long.