Mr. Moto (1951-1953)
Detective / Mystery
Cast: James Monks, Mason Adams, Julie Stevens, Bill Conrad, Alice Frost, John Larkin, Frank Silvera, Ross Martin
Mr. Moto was a series of crime dramas that aired in 30 minute episodes from May to October in 1951 on NBC. Originally adapted from stories written by author John Marquand, Mr. Moto was a radio adaptation of earlier films, starring Peter Lorre in the title role, that were released in the 1930s.
In the 1930s John Marquand created a character named Mr. Moto for the Saturday Evening Post as a replacement for the beloved Charlie Chan series after the death of its creator, Earl Derr Biggers. As a result Mr. Moto is similar in many respects to Charlie Chan, with a slight difference in ethnicity -- Mr. Moto is Japanese, while Charlie Chan is Chinese. This presented a problem in the forties while WWII was under way and America was at war with Japan. The Mr. Moto character went on hiatus during this period, creating no new movies or radio shows. However, after the war was over, Mr. Moto resurfaced in this entertaining new radio show.
Mr. Moto focused on fighting communism in the radio show as opposed to being a detective for Interpol as he was in the movies of the thirties. This, again, is a departure from the stories in which Mr. Moto was an undercover spy.