CALVIN’S COMMENTARIES: Adventures of the Red Panda

If you want to just sit back and listen to some fine action pulp with a healthy dose of humour then look no farther than The Adventures of the Red Panda.

There is so much to like about the Red Panda, which Wikipedia describes as “a lighthearted radio drama series in the style of old time radio that follows the 1930s adventures of “Canada‘s greatest superhero“, the Red Panda, and his trusty sidekick, the “fearless fighting female”, the Flying Squirrel, as they protect the citizens of Toronto, Ontario from villains ranging from gangsters and supervillains to the supernatural forces of darkness.”

I have always liked pulp stories, The Shadow, The Phantom and the Green Lama as examples, but to have a Canadian hero is a huge bonus. That the stories have lots of smiles and laughs make it a great diversion.

“The series was created by Gregg Taylor of Decoder Ring Theatre and earned the company multiple Podcast Award and Parsec Award nominations,” continues Wikipedia. “In 2010 the series won the Parsec Award for excellence in Speculative Fiction Audio Drama (Long Form), and earned Decoder Ring Theatre the Podcast Award for best podcast in the Cultural/Arts Category.”

As a podcast these adventures have a radio feel, and that was clearly Taylor’s goal.

In the tradition of the great mystery men of radio, pulp fiction and the golden age of comics comes The Red Panda, famed protector of 1930s Toronto,” notes the Decoder Ring website.

“Hiding his true identity as one of the city’s wealthiest men behind a bright red domino mask, The Red Panda dispenses two-fisted pulp justice with strength, courage and eerie hypnotic powers. Joined in his quest by that Famed Fighting Female The Flying Squirrel, this Terrific Twosome holds high the lamp of justice in a dark time!”

Taylor was prolific with the Red Panda lasting 11 seasons with 120 episodes, each roughly 30-minutes.

There is an underlying story here, as time passes through the series, so jump in at episode one, and savour the extended journey.

The Red Panda is obviously not a new offering, but it is one of the best of its genre, and is a true Canadian gem. This is one that I completely enjoyed, and gets my highest recommendation.

Decoder Ring Theatre’s shows are available for free download in mp3 format, either directly from their site, via the Podcast Feed or subscribe in iTunes. Or if you prefer, there is a handy player beside each episode. Check it out at

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