Sunday, July 14, 2013

Review: Zorro and the Pirate Raiders by Johnston McCulley

Zorro and the Pirate Raiders: A Radio DramatizationZorro and the Pirate Raiders: A Radio Dramatization by Johnston McCulley
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Of all the Zorro dramatizations I've listened to, this is the weakest. Not because of the acting, but because of the story. This story is a mess.

In this installment of Zorro's adventures, Diego de la Vega is all set to marry the pretty Lolita Pulido when pirates raid their wealthy little pueblo. They've been sent by Captain Ramon, the sleazy governor's man who didn't learn his lesson the last time he lost to Zorro. The pirates kidnap Lolita, Don Diego's friends go after them, and Zorro sneaks aboard the ship to comfort Lolita and to make the pirates think the ship is haunted.

Zorro is captured three times within this story, convinces everyone he died twice, and dashes all over the countryside (and the ocean) in pursuit of the pirates. Lolita, meanwhile, manages to get her hands on two different daggers while she's in captivity, proving she's far more useful captive than her dear Zorro.

Captain Ramon's plans might've worked in this episode. The pirates far outnumber the police force and the citizen's brigade, and they're bloodthirsty, at that. But Ramon gets in his own way as often as he plots and plans. In the end, the plan collapses under its own weight as much as by Zorro's intervention.

I listened to this story on audio, acted out by The Colonial Radio Players. They always do a fine job with these roles. They're clear and understandable, despite their accents, and people sound distinct enough to keep them apart. The audio dramatizations are a really fun way of taking these stories in.

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