Radio: Six Adventures of Tintin (1992)

577199author: Hergé
adaptation: Simon Eastwood
language: English
length: 175 minutes (six episodes of 29-30 minutes each)
finished on: 16 July 2014

I got a bit of a craving to listen to these radio adaptations of Tintin recently and had my mother send over the tapes from the UK. Then I had to like, buy a tape deck, since that’s now out-of-date technology. My plan was to convert them to a digital file. Since then I’ve actually found you can download them, since they were rebroadcast on Radio 4 a couple of years ago – and I might as well supplement the cassettes with that since there’s one extra episode that I don’t have on tape…

Anyway, since this is a re-listen I’m not going to go into too much detail. Whoever’s idea it was to adapt a comic book to radio was probably hailed as crazy, but it works surprisingly well, I always thought. Snowy establishes himself as unable to be heard by the other characters (it’s never outright stated in the books), and serves as a narrator for the visual gags that couldn’t quite get into the radio version but were important to the story.

The other main difference to the comics is that the conceit of Tintin being a reporter is actually exploited – Tintin narrates the background as if he’s typing on a typewriter to send in the story to his editor. In the comics it’s understood that that’s Tintin’s job, but nothing ever comes of it.

Compared to when I listened to these as a kid, I found them much shorter and more rushed than I remember. This may be more obvious in direct comparison to the Canadian TV show, which has 45 minute (two part) episodes, whereas this one only has 30 minute episodes. However, it was very good to refresh my memory of them – I think the last time I listened was five years ago – and I definitely enjoyed all the unique jokes that were added, certainly always in keeping with the original style.

I still have another set of tapes to listen to (but I won’t post about them here when I do – I’m pretty sure they’re no different from these in tone or delivery), and then I’ll see about acquiring the extra episode…

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