The Scoop and Behind the Screen

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Scoop and Behind the Screen
The Scoop and Behind the Screen First Edition Cover 1983.jpg
Dust-jacket illustration of the first UK edition
Author Hugh Walpole
Agatha Christie
Dorothy L. Sayers
Anthony Berkeley
E.C. Bentley
Ronald Knox
Freeman Wills Crofts
Clemence Dane
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Genre Crime novel
Publisher Victor Gollancz Ltd
Publication date
1983
Media type Print (Hardback)
Pages 184 pp (first edition, hardback)
ISBN 0-575-03225-1
OCLC 9462119

The Scoop & Behind The Screen are both collaborative detective serials written by members of the Detection Club which were broadcast weekly by their authors on the BBC National Programme in 1930 and 1931 with the scripts then being published in The Listener within a week after broadcast. The two serials were first published in book form in the UK by Victor Gollancz Ltd in 1983 and in the US by Harper & Row in 1984. The UK edition retailed at £6.95.

Julian Symons, then President of the club [1983], explains in his introduction: "...The present volume... was written to provide funds so that club premises might be acquired. Other books with the same purpose, also the product of several hands, were The Floating Admiral (1931), ... Ask A Policeman (1933), ... and ... Verdict of Thirteen. ..."

Behind the Screen[edit]

The episodes, contributors, transmission and magazine publication details of this serial are as follows (all episodes were transmitted from 9.25pm to 9.40pm):

The billing from the Radio Times issue of June 15–21, 1930, illustrating Agatha Christie's broadcast of her chapter of Behind The Screen.
  • (1): (Episode unnamed), written and broadcast by Hugh Walpole. Transmitted on Saturday, June 14, 1930. First published in issue 75 of The Listener on June 18, 1930.
  • (2): Something is Missing, written and broadcast by Agatha Christie. Transmitted on Saturday, June 21, 1930. First published in issue 76 The Listener on June 25, 1930.
  • (3): Man at the Gate, written and broadcast by Dorothy L. Sayers. Transmitted on Saturday, June 28, 1930. First published in issue 77 The Listener on July 2, 1930.
  • (4): I Killed Mr Dudden, written and broadcast by Anthony Berkeley. Transmitted on Saturday, July 5, 1930. First published in issue 78 The Listener on July 9, 1930.
  • (5): Amy Intervenes, written and broadcast by E.C. Bentley. Transmitted on Saturday, July 12, 1930. First published in issue 79 The Listener on July 16, 1930.
  • (6): How Dudden Died, written and broadcast by Ronald Knox. Transmitted on Saturday, July 19, 1930. First published in issue 80 The Listener on July 23, 1930.

In The Listener (and subsequently in the book version), four of the episodes were untitled, the exceptions being the fourth and sixth, which were given the titles In the Aspidistra and Mr Parsons on the Case respectively.

The Scoop[edit]

As announced in The Guardian on December 2, 1930, Behind the Screen proved popular enough for the BBC to commission a second serial, this time in twelve instalments.

The episodes, contributors, transmission and magazine publication details of this serial are as follows (all episodes were transmitted from 9.25pm to 9.40pm except for episode 7):

  • (1): (Episode unnamed), written and broadcast by Dorothy L. Sayers. Transmitted on Saturday, January 10, 1931. First published in issue 105 of The Listener on January 14, 1931.
The billing from the Radio Times issue of January 11–17, 1931, illustrating Agatha Christie's broadcast of her second chapter of The Scoop.
  • (2): (Episode unnamed), written and broadcast by Agatha Christie. Transmitted on Saturday, January 17, 1931. First published in issue 106 The Listener on January 21, 1931.
  • (3): Fisher's Alibi, written and broadcast by E.C. Bentley. Transmitted on Saturday, January 24, 1931. First published in issue 107 The Listener on January 28, 1931.
  • (4): The Strange Behaviour of Mr. Potts, written and broadcast by Agatha Christie. Transmitted on Saturday, January 31, 1931. First published in issue 108 The Listener on February 4, 1931 under the alternative title of The Weapon.
  • (5): Tracing Tracey, written and broadcast by Anthony Berkeley. Transmitted on Saturday, February 14, 1931. First published in issue 110 The Listener on February 18, 1931.
  • (6): Scotland Yard on the Job, written and broadcast by Freeman Wills Crofts. Transmitted on Saturday, February 21, 1931. First published in issue 111 of The Listener on February 25, 1931.
  • (7): Beryl in Broad Street, written and broadcast by Clemence Dane. Transmitted on Saturday, February 28, 1931 from 8.30pm to 8.55pm. First published in issue 112 of The Listener on March 4, 1931.
  • (8): The Sad Truth About Potts, written and broadcast by E.C. Bentley. Transmitted on Saturday, March 7, 1931. First published in issue 113 of The Listener on March 11, 1931.
  • (9): Bond Street and Broad Street, written and broadcast by Anthony Berkeley. Transmitted on Saturday, March 14, 1931. First published in issue 114 of The Listener on March 18, 1931 under the slightly different title of Bond Street or Broad Street?.
  • (10): Beryl Takes the Consequences, written and broadcast by Clemence Dane. Transmitted on Saturday, March 21, 1931. First published in issue 115 of The Listener on March 25, 1931.
  • (11): Inspector Smart gets a Nasty Jar, written and broadcast by Freeman Wills Crofts. Transmitted on Saturday, March 28, 1931. First published in issue 116 The Listener on April 1, 1931 under the slightly different title of Inspector Smart's Nasty Jar.
  • (12): The Final Scoop, written and broadcast by Dorothy L. Sayers. Transmitted on Saturday, April 4, 1931. First published in issue 117 The Listener on April 8, 1931.

In The Listener the first two instalments were entitled Over the Wire and At the Inquest. The book version of the serial (1983) replicates these chapter titles.

Publication history[edit]

  • 1983, Victor Gollancz (London), 1983, Hardback, 184 pp
  • 1984, Methuen (London), 1984, Hardback, 182 pp
  • 1984, Harper and Row (New York), 1984, 208 pp

References[edit]

Weedon, A. '“Behind the Screen” and “The Scoop”’: a cross-media experiment in publishing and broadcasting crime fiction in the early 1930s' Media History, 13 (1), 2007, pp. 43 – 60.