Part 2 Preparation & Research
I discovered that the series was broadcast on 4BC commencing 15th May 1938 and fairly continuous through to early 1942. Because there were no articles found or episode descriptions, I have no way of knowing if the series was repeated as was common. It would be helpful if only to know how many episodes were produced. The series was also broadcast on 4GR Toowoomba (the suspected source of these discs) from 18th September 1938 through to early 1941. 4RO Rockhampton 28th May 1938 through to mid 1941 with no episodes in 1940. 4IP Ipswich also broadcast it from August 1941 to August 1942 (if no repeats, possibly a standard run of 52 episodes). The reason I mention these dates is to show that for all these stations to play the series at roughly the same time, they either played them in a different order and passed the discs from one station to another, or there were possibly up to 4 sets of discs. There were other stations, like 4MB Maryborough & 4SB Kingaroy, showing up in the radio program guides. To document every week on every station, will take a little longer but I have documented most of it.
The 4BC Players were a group of 4BC staff and actors who acted in plays produced by 4BC. No real documentation survives that tells us who played what part. The group changed constantly over the years as people left or joined. We have photos of cast in particular plays, collectively identified as 4BC Players, and some who are individually identified. At this stage we don't know the individual names of the cast of Burton Trent, particularly who played Burton Trent for the full series. Nor do we know who wrote the episodes and how the series came about. The 2SM link is interesting.
Burton Trent did well for himself. He started as Burton Trent - Detective, then later Burton Trent - Master Detective, then due no doubt to the war, he became Burton Trent - On Secret Service. In the early episodes he worked with a Scotland Yard Detective, MacDonald Creagh, then on his own as a private detective. He would investigate, then in the fashion of the day, bring all the suspects together and reveal how clever he has been in working through the clues and unmasking the villain.
The early episodes are 'Inside Start' whereby the stylus starts from the inside of the disc and works to the outside. The later episodes were the more modern 'Outside start'. That in itself is a good clue of identifying the earlier episodes.
I have enjoyed listening to the series. It is unusual to find a detective series from this early in Australian production and it has been a lot of fun working on it. I will continue researching the series, every time I visit 1938 - 1942 I will be watching out for a mention of the series in newspapers or radio magazines. I would certainly appreciate any information that readers or researchers can supply.