"Hello. I would love to know if anyone could help me. I have been trying to find out if there is any way to get the radio serial The Quiet Stranger. It started off with someone whistling Lily Marlene. I do hope you can help, or put me in touch with someone who can. Rhonda "
Well Rhonda, you did come to the right place. A quick look at our database told me that the series was an AWA Production and it it was first broadcast in 1963 and was a quarter hour serial of 208 episodes. Initial check of the NFSA online database was unsuccessful as their search was down (I heard later they had a power outage).
I explained to Rhonda that it is rare for a 208 episode series to survive intact but that I would look into it further for her. I sent an email request for surviving episodes to the Australian OTR Group and Jamie Kelly replied that he would send me an episode that I could make available for Rhonda to hear.
NFSA search started working again late this week and I was able to access a list of their holdings. They hold episodes 1 - 174.
This is the additional information from NFSA, most of which I had already supplied to Rhonda from our database:
"Summary: Radio drama serial. Who is the `Quiet Stranger'? What strange mission brings an ex-officer of Rommel's Afrika Korps to Australia? There's drama, mystery and romance, salted with laughter and tears, in this unusual story of post-war Australia. Contributors: Allan Trevor (SCR, PDR), Brian Wright (NRT). Cast: Alastair Duncan (Karl Ellman), John Faassen (Von Richter), Nigel Lovell (Red Williams) Gordon Glenwright (Old John), Neva Carr Glyn (Flo Gilchrist), Ngaire Thompson (Kathy). Label: AWA Episode duration: 15 mins Episodes produced: 208 References: AWA Programme Service Catalogue 1963; Publicity material."
Here is where I run into trouble. Its the worst part of researching these shows. I can't read "Who is the `Quiet Stranger'? What strange mission brings an ex-officer of Rommel's Afrika Korps to Australia?" without being drawn into wanting to hear the full story. I have been given an imagination and it only takes a sentence like that to pique my interest. Sometimes when serials are based on books or movies I can track them down and read or watch to get it out of my system, but initial google searches do not indicate that this storyline is based on a book or movie by this name. Perhaps somebody reading this can come up with a clue of the source for the story.
In the meantime Rhonda, thanks to Jamie Kelly, here is an example of The Quiet Stranger and thank you for bringing this serial to my attention. Lily Marlene is at the end.
In the meantime, thank you again to Jamie Kelly for the episode, thanks also to Moris Sztajer who had documented this serial in our database and extra thanks to NFSA for the added information I have included here from their website.
To set the mood while writing this, I played Marlene Dietrich singing Lily Marlene and enjoyed it.
Saturday 16th April, 2016
I know I am slack with my blog posts and I will try to post more often. Certainly this series out of all the articles and comments on my site, has had the most comments. Here is ep01, ep02, and ep04 to add to the existing ep03. As yet I haven't heard of more episodes being available.