Magic Island: Children’s Adventure Serial

Children Listening to Radio

Magic Island is a children’s science-fantasy serial story. The syndicated serial was recorded in 1936. There were 130 12-minute episodes, all of which have survived. This gives us more than 25 hours of programming.

The details don’t tell us much, but the treat of the Magic Island is the story.

Fourteen years ago, wealthy widow Patricia Gregory’s family yacht was lost in the South Pacific near the 30th parallel south, (possibly near the Kermadec Islands.) Patricia, who seems to be some sort of highly-connected government agent, is the only known survivor, although through the years she has held to the belief that her daughter, Joan, has survived the shipwreck. She has long advertised for news of her daughter, and although there have been attempts to swindle the money from her; there has been no sign of her daughter. She is aided in her quest by Capt. Tex Bradford, an inventor and another secret, highly connected government agent.

On the night of the first episode, Jerry Hall, a young ham radio operator, has picked up a mysterious broadcast, and is trying to find Mrs. Gregory to tell her about it. Jerry has followed the story of Mrs. Gregory’s missing daughter “Golly Whiskers, since I could read!” The mysterious broadcast, on a mysterious frequency, tells of a dying sailor who has been held on a secret island with a race of strange natives, among them a white girl the age of young Joan.

Capt Bradford has also monitored the broadcast. He and Mrs. Gregory are on their way to the harbor to board her new yacht sail to the South Seas and renew the search, and of course Jerry insists on coming along.

Magic Island is pure “Drive-Way” fare: if you happen to be listening in the car and come to the end of your journey before the end of the episode, you will find yourself hesitating to turn of the car for fear of missing what happens before the end of the episode.

Enjoy the first episode from Old Time Radio:

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