Dick Barton – Special Agent

Well, this goes right back to the days of Radio and the late forties / early fifties when this very popular radio drama held our attention each evening – always finishing with a ‘cliff-hanger’ situation and then the stirring title music – leaving us, so as we had to tune in the next evening.

Because of the show’s impact, it was decided that there should be a film version – and in fact in all there were three films. When we saw them on the screen however, Dick’s sidekicks Snowy and Jock did not seem to be as we imagined and a friend of mine made this point – they just weren’t right.

I always am of the opinion that there was also a serial version using the same formula and I seem to remember seeing it when we had a regular visiting cinema come to our village many years ago – but I can’t seem to find any reference to this serial at all.

I have it in my mind that one of the episodes had Dick Barton standing at a bar and then we see from a hidden point someone with a blow pipe loading a poison dart and aiming at our hero. He gives a sudden blow – then the episode ends and we await to see how Dick escapes from this one – but the visiting cinema people never came again -  they had been coming for a few years – so I never saw the outcome and yet, to this day, I sometimes think of that and can still see the scene in my mind.

Going back to the Radio Serial even though I would be very small I can still remember the names Noel Johnson played Dick Barton and after he left Duncan Carse took the role. Someone else did towards the end of the series but I have only just discovered that and do not remember him.

Dick Barton

Noel Johnson as Dick Barton

Noel Johnson above – the Radio Dick Barton in action

Duncan Carse

Duncan Carse – the second Radio Dick Barton – I remember him

Don Stannard as Dick Barton in Films


Dick Barton in Haslemere


Dick Barton in Haslemere 2

Hammer Films made three Dick Barton films – so they must have had success and they were planning another when the actor who played Dick on screen, Don Stannard was killed in a car crash   on July 9 1949 at Cookham Dean in Berkshire.


I did have it in my mind that the American Actor Bonnar Colleano who had s film cereer over in England died in the same car crash but that is completely wrong. He did die in a car crash in 1958 though






posted by Movieman in Uncategorized and have Comments (2)

2 Responses to “Dick Barton – Special Agent”

  1. David Rayner says:

    The late Duncan Carse had a very distinctive voice and was much in demand to do the voice over on many cinema trailers. One I recall was the trailer for WITCHFINDER GENERAL (1968).

    • Movieman says:

      Thanks David, He certainly was a heroic figure in real life and I see he had a Mountain in Antarctica named after him for his work before the War. I did not know about the voice overs on film trailers and can’t find any reference to it, but you are right, his distinctive voice would fit well there. He does seem to have been an adventurer. My memory of him is only from the Dick Barton series – and there again that is mainly because of his name which seemed unusual at the time. He would have been an interesting man to talk to. He did Desert Island Discs in 1953 which would have given us much more details of his life and adventures, but that episode, like a lot of them from all those years ago, is not available. Neil

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