For this fifth episode of the Pop Culture Retrorama Podcast I dive into the origins of one of the greatest pulp heroes of all time – The Shadow. A character that is certainly a true icon – featured in radio as well as novels and even comic books and film. In the show I give a broad overview of the The Shadow from a humble beginning as narrator for Street & Smith’s Detective Story Hour old time radio show to selling out on the newsstands thanks to the 282 pulp novels written by Walter B. Gibson. In addition I share in this podcast how I was first introduced to The Shadow as well as where I developed my love of old time radio.
As always I do my best to share with you the elements of The Shadow that hooked me from my youth. Mainly the fact that many of the things I love about the character of Batman all began in 1931 when newspaperman Walter B. Gibson began to build the mythos for this avenging and dark agent of justice – such as having a dual identity – being wealthy and using various gadgets in his effort to wage war against criminals. Although in thee case of The Shadow as I point out in the show itself – his alter-ego is entirely a different person – at least that is how it went down in the original pulp novels. In addition I was able to find some facts about Gibson and the character I wasn’t aware – courtesy of the ShadowSanctum.Net!
I do touch upon the numerous creators that helped bring The Shadow to not just the printed page but on the airwaves – a radio series that ran for 17 years and featured the likes of Orson Welles for a brief time in the role of Lamont Cranston and the Shadow as well as Bewitched‘s Agnes Moorehead who played Margo Lane. I give a rundown of some of the differences from the pulp incarnation and the radio versions – and explain why when all is said and done I actually prefer the old time radio character of The Shadow.
Having said all of that I will admit that I managed to avoid going to much into the 1994 big screen adaptation for The Shadow – not because I didn’t care for the film but because I’ll probably devote an episode to it in the future.
Now then, it is time to delve into the history of The Shadow… here on the Pop Culture Retrorama podcast!
If you have any suggestions for topics you would like for us to cover
in a future episode -or possibly you have comments on the current show
itself, email them to me at VicSage@Retroist.com. You can also contact
me on Twitter and on Facebook. The theme used at the beginning and ending of this episode was provided by Earl Green, if you enjoy his work, make sure to check out his exceptional spot on the internet – TheLogBook.com – let him know we sent you.
Subscribe to the Pop Culture Retrorama Podcast:
[iTunes] Subscribe to the Podcast directly in iTunes (MP3)