Author Topic: The Flickering Torch Mystery (1971 Revised Text)  (Read 537 times)

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Offline tomswift2002

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The Flickering Torch Mystery (1971 Revised Text)
« on: July 10, 2016, 09:59:35 AM »
I'm just starting to re-read the 1971 version of The Flickering Torch Mystery.  It's surprising, but within the first five chapters both the Hardy's car and the Sleuth are put out of commission by the crooks.

Not to mention, but both their watches are damaged by an airplane engine that is radioactive (and amongst the equipment that the Hardy's have at their house is a Geiger counter).  And in a very strange twist, especially for 1971 (although I wasn't around for another 13 years when this book came out, so I don't know if businesses still did this in 71, but in 2016 it seems rather strange) the jeweler that the Hardy's leave their watches with tells them that he'll send a postcard to let them know when their watches are done!  A postcard???!!!  Seriously, in 1971, shouldn't the jeweler (and as far as I could tell the jeweler was in downtown Bayport, although it is not mentioned where the jeweler was) have had a phone and been able to phone the boys home, and if the jeweler was in Bayport, then it should've been a local call.  In Ottawa, if I were calling from a landline in Kanata to a place in Gloucester, then that would be a local call.  Maybe it was different in 1971, but it seems rather odd in 2016.

Anyway, just recently I had watched the 1977 Hardy Boys episode The Flickering Torch Mystery, and right away I've noticed a couple of parallels, and a couple of differences:

In both airplanes are involved
Airplane parts are involved
Frank and Joe both know how to fly
There's a music band in both (although in the book it is a band that Frank, Joe, Chet, Tony & Biff are in, while on the TV show it is a very different band)

Some differences:
In the TV episode there is no mention as to what "The Flickering Torch" meant in relation to the title, whereas within the first 5 chapters of the 1971 books, characters have talked about "The Flickering Torch".
In the episode it is trouble with the sound/radio system on Tony Eagle's plane that the criminals were trying to hide in order to kill him, while in the book it is engine parts and fuselage's that are radioactive.
Callie Shaw is Fenton's secretary in the TV show, while she is just friends with the Hardy's in the book.
Fenton is seen at the beginning of the book and then leaves for the majority of the book, while Fenton is around for the majority of the episode.
Fenton is working on an insurance case in the book, while he is the head of security at the Tony Eagle concert in the episode.
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Offline MacGyver

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Re: The Flickering Torch Mystery (1971 Revised Text)
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2016, 07:47:45 PM »
Nice! The revised version of The Flickering Torch Mystery is one of my favorites. (I believe it's also one of The Hardy Boys books I read earliest.) The bit about the postcard from the jeweler is interesting, but maybe it was just cheaper for him to send a postcard and it was something he regularly did for his customers. I don't know.... it seems simple enough to make a phone call, but maybe he didn't have service- who knows? (Also, I think he may not have considered it a high priority and maybe that's why opted for a postcard rather than a phone call.)
       I've read the novelization of the '70s TV show episode a while back and I think it makes the connection about The Flickering Torch clearer. I know there is a quote about the differences between the books and the episodes of the show in the behind-the-scenes book and one of the producers clarifies it there.
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Offline tomswift2002

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Re: The Flickering Torch Mystery (1971 Revised Text)
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2016, 04:22:46 AM »
I know that one of the producers clarifies it in the Peggy Hertz book, but when you're watching the episode it is not even mentioned.
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Offline MacGyver

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Re: The Flickering Torch Mystery (1971 Revised Text)
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2016, 08:49:15 PM »
Maybe it's one of those things that just got cut from the final cut of the episode.
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Offline tomswift2002

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Re: The Flickering Torch Mystery (1971 Revised Text)
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2016, 11:22:50 PM »
Well another fascinating thing with this title is that the story was originally going to be the story for The Masked Monkey.
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Offline tomswift2002

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Re: The Flickering Torch Mystery (1971 Revised Text)
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2016, 08:01:04 PM »
It's also interesting, but in Norway this version of The Flickering Torch Mystery was issued as #57 in the Norwegian series.  The translated title is The Hardy Boys And The Riddle Of The Diamonds.  #56 in the series was The Masked Monkey, while #58 was The Shattered Helmet.  (http://www.oocities.org/hardyguttene/)
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Offline MacGyver

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Re: The Flickering Torch Mystery (1971 Revised Text)
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2016, 10:29:19 PM »
If you want an interesting ordering system for The Hardy Boys (as compared to the standard North American order), nothing beats the UK title list. It was very confusing to read those first and get used to that order and then find a very different order in the Grossett & Dunlap books. ;)
"I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No man comes to the Father but by Me."- Jesus
"You can do anything you want to do if you put your mind to it."- MacGyver in "Cease Fire"