Saturday-Night Theatre


Radio Anthology Series (1943-96, BBC 4)

Saturday-Night Theatre was a weekly radio show on BBC Radio 4 that ran feature-length, standalone dramatizations on Saturday nights for over 50 years, dishing up plenty of crowd-pleasing thrillers, comedies and mysteries, with the usual Agatha Christie and Sherlock Holmes offerings. The plays—usually 90 minutes long–included stage plays, book adaptations and original dramatizations. 

It’s abrupt cancellation in 1996 led to much speculation, and so far the reasons for its removal are still unclear. One theory was that modern audiences didn’t have the patience to listen to anything more than an hour long.

Unfortunately, most of the plays, all the way up to the early 70s, are considered “lost or destroyed.”

Too bad, because it would be a hoot to listen to some of them. I’ve just started poking around, and I’ve already found a few shows I’d love to hear…


    (1943-96, BBC 4)
    90-minute episodes
    Among the shows presented on Saturday Night Theatre, of interest to visitors to this site, are:
    • “The Hound Of The Baskervilles” (August 5, 1961)
      Based on the novel by Arthur Conan Doyle
    • “A Study In Scarlet” (December 22, 1962)
      Based on the novel by Arthur Conan Doyle
    • “The Sign Of Four” (March 2, 1963)
      Based on the novel by Arthur Conan Doyle
    • “Blood Sport” (July 31, 1975)
      Based on the novel by Dick Francis
    •  “The Man in the Dark” (November 6, 1976)
      Based on the novel by John Ferguson
      Starring Kenneth McClellan as FrancisMacNab
    • “The Godwulf Manuscript (July 21, 1984)
      Based on the novel by Robert B. Parker
      Starring Gary Waldhorn as SPENSER
    • “The Maltese Falcon” (December 12, 1984)
      Based on the novel by Dashiell Hammett
    • Blue Moves (November 15, 1986)
      Written by Mark Brennan
      Directed by Mark Cooper
      Starring Christopher Ravenscroft as John Valentine
      “A few days ago I met a girl. I was at a club. We spent the evening together. Then we spent the night together. When I woke up she was gone. I want to find her again.”
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

2 thoughts on “Saturday-Night Theatre

    1. Sorry, no. I just list ‘em… amd I’m not sure if “The Dark Labyrinth” ever aired on Saturday-Night Theatre, or even if it’s the same “The Dark Labyrinth” that aired a couple of times in 1976 on the BBC.

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