After a break of nearly eight months, I finally got a nice block of time to listen to the second of two Doc Savage adventures adapted for National Public Radio in the 1980's. The first was reviewed in this post way back in February. I finally got around to listening to Will Murray's adaptation of Lester Dent's "The Thousand-Headed Man" this weekend.
This story is an exceedingly popular one, and it was chosen by Murray partially because it was also the story singled out by movie producers back in the 1960's for a proposed Doc Savage movie starring Chuck Conners. The project did not develop ultimately but did result in a Gold Key comics adaptation. I took a look at that comic here.
The story from 1937 pits Doc and his assistants against a gang of thugs seeking a mysterious treasure in far-off Asia. There they find a hidden ancient cult which seeks to keep its secrets with the sacrificial deaths of any who happen along. It's a whopping good story, with lots of chances for action and many opportunities for Doc to show off his physical skills.
The radio adaptation is pretty close to the original but does alter the last part of the story somewhat by adding Renny as a partner to Doc as he uncovers the mysteries of some distinctive temples. In the novel Doc prowls alone, but it was decided that giving Doc someone to converse with would make the discoveries seem more natural to the listener and less artificial. It works quite well for me as Renny is a favorite of mine and gets too little attention in the adventures.
This adaptation is a bit shorter than "Fear Cay" and I think that helps the pacing a bit. There is no sense that the story lags even a little bit. If you haven't sampled these I highly recommend them. They are first rate entertainments. For more information see this link.