Christmas garland

Inspector Plonk

Calling Christmas Crime

Calling Christmas Crime

Oh deary me. Plonk's rubbish phone and a certain lack of geographic knowledge causes problems this year.

(All the plays are at the bottom of the page)

To read about the origins and history of Plonk, click here.

Introduction

The first episode of Inspector Plonk's adventures was created back in 2007 as part of our Christmas night entertainment, which also involved an exciting treasure hunt and a game of Blongey. Little did I know that, from such a small beginning, a whole series of Plonk and Jenkins investigations would ensue. Each year a new play was revealed on Christmas night and we put the previous year's play on the website. Sadly, in 2013 there was no play due to the death of Calcifer the year before, but now we are back on track.


Cover of Murder at Christmas

Murder At Christmas

The original! It may be rough and ready but almost all the elements are there - a heinous crime, our gallant crime-fighter and his pernickety side-kick, and, of course, the catchy theme tune.

The police are called to a murder at a mansion - did the butler do it??

Cover of Christmas Crime Abroad

Christmas Crime Abroad

This longer story still makes us both laugh - "I'm sorry, I wasn't listening." It was inspired by the range of foley effects on Garage Band. Plonk has now revealed his true dislike of Christmas and Jenkins is good-griefing all over the place. This is also the beginning of intensive research for the plays. Gold and Silver Productions likes to get its facts correct.

In the course of their investigations, Plonk and Jenkins meet a range of famous detectives in Starbucks branches in their home cities. How many of these officers can you spot?

(NB Christmas Crime Abroad is rated 18 for rude language.)

Cover of Christmas Crime At Home

Christmas Crime At Home

This episode owes something to Inspector West at Bay by John Creasey. I've always enjoyed a glimpse of the home-life of detectives in books. None of the plays are scripted (as you can tell), although there are notes about salient features such as what people are called and what they do (and what they've been told, ahem), and also a rough idea of the plot.

At last we get to find out why Plonk avoids Christmas and we meet Elspeth for the first time. Jenkins also reveals more about himself.

Cover of Christmas Crime At Work

Christmas Crime at Work

This is a particular favourite of both Kicki and mine. Kicki discovered she actually cared about Plonk! These plays are recorded late at night, generally on 23rd December, and it's nearly always dawn (in winter!) before the mp3 has finally been created. Night-time is quieter apart from the wind in the chimney and the gas fire hissing, and, in previous years, I had to wait until everyone had gone to bed.

At last, Jenkins has the upper hand in this episode - oh blimey.



Cover Christmas Crime In York

Christmas Crime in York

I was feeling very unwell in December 2011 - this is why everyone says 'er' a lot in this play and it's generally rather slow. The research involved reading a great deal about different railway engines, as well as visiting Betty's in York for a wonderful afternoon tea.

Plonk and Elspeth's relationship is getting worse, Jenkins reveals his hobby and the duo break with protocol.


Cover Christmas Crime In Gaol

Christmas Crime in Gaol

Back to its usual form, this is another of our favourites, with pathos, bathos and a touch of the James Bonds. Although the stories may seem very random, it usually takes several weeks to come up with a good(ish) plot - hurrah for driving time.

Marital troubles and reconciliation, wrongful arrest, a master criminal and a touch of the derrying-dos in this thrilling episode!

Cover Christmas Crime at College

Christmas Crime at College

Yes, another Plonk and Jenkins! The hardest thing to do was the Tristan chord (obviously there are copyright probs with anyone else's version and Garage Band seemed a perfectly good place to create it). With deepest apologies to Barrington Pheloung, Colin Dexter, Barry Devlin who created Paolo Baldi and, of course, Petroc Trelawney of Radio 3 fame.

This year they're mucking about in academia...

Cover Christmas Crime Online

Christmas Crime Online

Interestingly, I only hear this once as an audience member, on Christmas day, so it's been 361 days since I last heard what they are up to - and now I've got to rush to work so I can't tell you more, as I can't remember either!!

Plonk and Jenkins tackle technology (presumably).

Cover Christmas Crime Away

Christmas Crime Away

Hurrah! It's Plonk! What shenanigans has he been up to now?

Well, I don't remember as I only heard this twice - once in 2016 when it was released as a Christmas Entertainment, and again in December 2017 when I uploaded it onto the Blongey site. I'll go and have another listen now in December 2018. I thought it was the college one ...

Ah! They are off to the Larches for Christmas - it's all coming back to me.

Cover Michael Plonk and the Christmas Crime Affair

Michael Plonk and the Christmas Crime Affair

It's never a good plan to end up in Marlowe... In classic Paul Temple style, Plonk is involved in a mystery of empty houses, tea rooms, sea captains and foreigners. (In the 1950s Paul Temple, they didn't even specify the type of foreigner - you had to wait with bated breath to find out if they would have a Germanic, Slavic or Romantic accent.(Or a mixture...)

A Word About Gold and Silver Productions

From my earliest childhood, I was always a fan of Radio 4, or the Home Service as it was then. I remember my mum and I being very excited for the next episode of Flight into Danger or Paul Temple, and the Coronation Scot always reminds me of her.

I started devising 'radio plays' from the age of 3 or 4 and they were always Gold and Silver Productions. Sadly, they haven't really improved since then... but for me, Gold and Silver is up there with Jarvis and Ayres Productions - and G&S was first!!

The Nerdy Bit

Well, nerdier still. Here are the technical bits.
Christmas Crime is:

  • recorded in Audacity
  • using a Logitech AK5370 microphone with pop filter.
  • Audacity files are encoded to MP3 using LAME. Visit www.mp3dev.org for more details.
  • Foley and SFX are accessed from Garage Band, Free Sound, Sound Snap and Sound Jay as well as being created in-house.

Remember - you can subscribe to the podcasts! Here's the link...
http://www.blongey.co.uk/podcast.xml



The Plays!