Saturday, 11 August 2012

Audio Review: Honey West - Murder On Mars


I have to say I'm totally unfamiliar with Glory and Forest Fickling's  creation of sexy private detective Honey West who graced a popular book series and a television series during the 1960s.

However the AudioComics Company's audio presentation of Honey West: Murder on Mars, a recent comic-strip reboot featuring the legendary character jumped out at me as it seemed to encapsulate all that is marvellous about pulp drama and classic comic-strips.

Honey West Goes Undercover As A Film Extra

Private Detective Honey West  finds herself investigating the murder of a screen-starlet on the set of a Sci-Fi B movie. As each suspect on the film studio lot is well-versed in corruption, deceit or acting West's detection skills at discovering the murderer or indeed the anonymous person who has asked her to investigate the murder are ultimately put to the test. 

As the drama unfolds Honey narrates the tale in true Mike Hammer style giving entertaining and caricatured descriptions of those she meets. As she goes undercover as an extra, Honey soon finds it difficult not to go unnoticed even on a film lot and finds she is gaining her own cluster of male admirers not necessarily with good intentions.

Carrington MacDuffie Is Honey West

Carrington MacDuffie's portrayal of Honey West draws the listener into Elaine Lee's fabulous 3-act script, conjuring up comic-strip images embellished with Roy Lichtenstein's Benday Dot's in the listener's mind's eye. Incidental music stylised in the roots of the early 1960s and a strong supporting cast of character actors give this audio drama a definitive old-time-radio feel.

With hindsight it seems a coincidence that the 1962 events of this story almost run parallel with the mysterious circumstances of the death of a real-life Hollywood starlet - Marilyn Monroe, whose own look seems to have inspired Honey's visual style. As with Marilyn Monroe, I now find myself smitten with Honey West and look forward to further audio adaptations of her adventures.

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