The Black Museum

The Black Museum is another collaboration between Welles and producer Harry Alan Towers. The radio series treated audiences to crime thrillers based on actual Scotland yard cases. Its life spanned exactly the year 1952, with a few weeks off at the beginning of June.

Welles played his usual role of host and narrator, and also steered the series in terms of its major direction and aesthetics. Though Welles and Towers drew inspiration from Scotland Yard (the Black Museum was Scotland Yard’s crime museum), and while Towers produced another series The Secrets of Scotland Yard on that entity’s crime-fighting exploits, the aim with The Black Museum was not historical accuracy. Welles was out to provoke and to amaze with gruesome details. The format of the show was his host character strolling through the museum, whereupon, as tells us, he would “casually pick up or point out various murder weapons and examine them, all the while droning on about the related crime as if it were a medical procedure.”

Welles worked on this show just after finishing another Towers of London production, “The Adventures of Harry Lime.” This was in a stint in the United Kingdom of which the centerpiece was a stage production of Othello. Welles was simultaneously working on post-production of the film version of the same Shakespeare work.

Episode List
01 The .22 Caliber Pistol AKA Little Blue 22
02.32 Calibre Bullet
03 Bath Tub
04 The Black Gladstone Bag
05 The Brick
06 The BrassButton
07 Can of Weed Killer
08 Canvas Bag
09 The Car Tire
10 The Champagne Glass
11 A Claw Hammer
12 Door Key
13 The Yellow Scarf
14 Four Small Bottles
15 French-English Dictionary
16 Gas Receipt
17 Frosted Glass Shards
18 The Hammerhead
19 The Jack Handle
20 Jar of Acid
21 The Khaki Handkerchief
22 A Lady's Shoe
23 The Leather Bag
24 A Letter
25 The Mandolin String
26 Meat Juice
27 The Notes
28 The Old Wooden Mallet
29 The Open End Wrench
30 A Pair Of Spectacles
31 A Piece Of Iron Chain
32 The Pink Powderpuff
33 Post Card With Picture Of The Rising Sun
34 A Prescription
35 The Raincoat
36 Length of Sash Cord
37 Auto Service Card
38 The Sheath Knife
39 The Shopping Bag
40 Shilling
41 A Silencer
42 The Small White Boxes
43 The Spotted Bedsheet
44 The Straight Razor
45 The Tan Shoe
46 The Telegram
47 The Trunk
48 Two Bullets
49 Walking Stick
50 A Women's Pigskin Glove
51 The Wool Jacket

The Black Museum.


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