A Case For Dr Morelle

(4 stars; 13 reviews)

English Old Time Radio from the 1950s. This is a vintage radio drama series about a criminal psychologist, Dr Morelle, who solves murder cases which are too complex for the police. Morelle is played by English film actor Cecil Parker, and is alternately helped and hindered in his investigations by his secretary Miss Frayle, played by film actress Sheila Sim. The series was created by writer Ernest Dudley, who conceived the character during an air raid in 1942. The curmudgeonly and sarcastic psychologist is thought to be based on Hollywood actor and producer Erich von Stroheim; and as played by Cecil Parker the character certainly has a touch of the aristocrat about him. In a nod to the Baker Street residence of Sherlock Holmes, Morelle's London office is situated at 221b Harley Street. Most of the stories begin there, with his long-suffering secretary patiently enduring her employer's endless sarcasm. Each of the stories is self-contained, with Morelle solving the mystery in the final scene. Unusually for the time, he solves each case not by hunting for clues in the manner of Sherlock Holmes, but instead through a psychiatrist's insight into the personality of the killer: using his professional experience to consider the suspects, in order to determin which of them matches the deduced personality of the murderer. Thirteen episodes were broadcast on the BBC Light Programme in 1957, aired weekly from April 23rd to July 16th. Episodes 1, 7, 8, 11 and 12 in this collection are encoded from off-air recordings made in 1957. Episodes 3, 4 and 13 were recovered in Australia, where they had been broadcast on station 3LO Melbourne (probably in the 1960s). Episodes 2, 5, 6, 9 and 10 are encoded from repeats on BBC Radio 7 in the UK during 2007, and are consequently of higher technical quality than the others. The files listed in the column VBR MP3 are not in fact variable bit rate files. This is a column for files which do not fall into any of the Archive's standard bitrate categories. Those on this page are either 32 Kbps at a sample rate of 22 kHz (those recorded in 1957), 64 Kbps at a sample rate of 44 kHz (those recorded from 3LO Melbourne), or 80 Kbps at a sample rate of 48 kHz (those recorded from BBC Radio 7, which are MPEG 1.0 Layer II files as encoded by the BBC).

This recording is part of the Old Time Radio collection.


A Case For Dr Morelle

(0 stars)

On a general point, for the benefit of anyone who is unfamiliar with Cecil Parker's other acting roles, I ought to mention that he was first and foremost a comedy actor! The 1950s radio audience would have known this. Hence this series is somewhat ambiguous: it appears, on the surface, to be a drama; yet the lead role is being played by a famous comedy star. And clearly the character of Dr Morelle, with his endless sarcasm, and his too pompous attitude, is being played for laughs. Also, the plots are rather stilted and unrealistic. So we have to realise that this was probably cast as a comedy, not as a drama - which rather gives it an extra dimension!

Title music--Dr Morelle series on BBC radio.

(5 stars)

Jimmy Leach was a popular broadcaster in the UK from shortly before the start of WW2 until about 1967 and was best known for his frequent appearances on "Music While You Work",with his distinctive style of organ playing,usually on a Hammond,latterly sometimes a Rieg or a Baldwin instrument.During the 30 minute,live broadcasts he would switch to the top end of the piano and indulge in some fast "descant" material reminiscent of the Uke playing of George Formby. He was also involved with the very popular Northern Dance Orchestra,on which there are entries on Google. Happy days! Mike

help, please

(4 stars)

liked them, the ones I could get to play, #1 Alarm Call, #3 Threat to Kill, #5 the sleepwalker, I like to listen streaming rather than download (figure download takes to much time and will fill up computer, prob wrong on that) Anyway the others wouldnt play even when let the little red arrow move by itself. then when restarted from #1 Only #1 would play again. What am I doing wrong, want to hear the rest. thank you

Can't unzip.

(3 stars)

I just downloaded the zip file, and I can't get it to open. I opened another zip file at the same time, so the file for this show must be corrupted. Listening to the first episode, I can't say I'm impressed. The protagonist has no appeal that I can detect. He's a stiff character with no sense of humor. I'll listen to another episode before I decide to give up on the show.

Extremely Low Quality

(1 stars)

I dl'd 3 of the episodes, and was careful to avoid those which had reported problems. Even so, the sound quality was AWFUL. I made it thru the first few minutes of each, then closed them. They were so poor in quality that I couldn't even get thru an entire episode. Perhaps the original poster could resubmit them in another form, but as they are now, they are of extremely low quality.


(2 stars)

The stories are below average, even for the radio detective genre. The acting is generally good, but Cecil Parker is very ineffective delivering the lines of Dr. Morelle. His emotionless delivery sounds like he's reading a rehearsal run-through.


(5 stars)

really enjoyed these... but could only get three of the episodes on the streaming player to work.. still this should not be missed.. my rating is based on the episodes i was able to listen to ..

Dr Morelle

(4 stars)

Enjoyed the episodes I was able to on my cell phone. Never heard of this series until I heard one program on BBC4EX ,and then ran across it here on Librivox.