Recommendation: Decoder Ring Theater

Sometime late last year, while browsing through Podiobooks,  I came across a serialized detective story called Black Jack Justice produced by a group called Decoder Ring Theater.

I subscribed to the series and soon found myself pushing each new episode to the front of my playlist.  It was not long before I had found The Red Panda Adventures as well and found it to be just as enjoyable as Black Jack Justice.

Black Jack Justice, in brief, is a radio drama featuring a hardboiled detective named Jack Justice and his partner, Trixie Dixon, Girl Detective.  The pair work through a case in about thirty minutes per episode with all the snappy patter and brilliant deductions of the best pulp novels.

On the other hand, The Red Panda Adventures are an adventure show, naturally enough, centered around the Red Panda, Canada's Greatest Crimefighter, and his sidekick, the Flying Squirrel, aka Kit Baxter.  The duo battle everything from supernatural villans to mobsters and bank robbers and every other pulp adventure trope you could name.

Both shows are acted and produced by the very talented group at Decoder Ring Theater.  The group was founded by the writer for both shows, Gregg Taylor and both shows started out in much different incarnations than they are at present.  DRT puts out an excellent product, both in terms of Mr. Taylor's writing and the excellent production quality, but the real standout is the superb voice acting talent on display in the episodes.  In particular the back and forth between the male and female leads in both shows is what keeps me coming back for more.

I was very pleasantly surprised to learn that Black Jack Justice, Season 2 has been added to and that The Red Panda Adventures, Season 2 is currently being released via the group's website.  Additionally, there have been several summer specials released recently; they're being downloaded as I write this.

The shows are available for free download from Podiobooks and the website, and archival CDs and even a script collection are available at

These shows are perfect for anyone who has read any of the great pulp novels from the thirties through the fifties, not to mention any fans of old time radio serial adventures.  The sound quality is excellent, the voice acting top notch, the stories fun and engaging, and every episode is available for free.

I cannot recommend these shows or Decoder Ring Theater enough.

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