Friday, 1 June 2018

Superman on Trial

June 1938 and Action Comics publishes the first ever Superman cartoon strip. June 1988 and Superman stands on trail accused of crimes against humanity. Prosecuting is his arch nemesis Lex Luthor. Defending the super hero is one Lois Lane. Witnesses from the comic world and the real world are called into court including the late Adam West.

This was the premise of the Radio 4 drama documentary Superman on Trial that aired thirty years ago to mark the golden anniversary of the man of steel. Written and directed by Dirk Maggs it was first broadcast in a 45 minute slot but was eventually extended and remixed for a 2010 CD release.

Superman garnered a Radio Times cover, though there was a BBC1 documentary that week too, together with some specially commissioned artwork, shown below.

Superman on Trial hasn't been repeated since its 1988 broadcasts. First heard on long wave only on 5 June my recording is of the Tuesday 7 June FM evening transmission. It was given another repeat on Christmas Day 1988. The success of the programme spurred the BBC to commission Dirk Maggs to write a full-blown adventure series in 1990 (5 episodes) and in 1991 (10 episodes).      

Over to station WGBS from Galaxy Communications in Metropolis.

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