Characters I'd Like To See Rebooted: Chandu the Magician

Chandu the Magician is another Old Time Radio (OTR) character I'd like to see rebooted. I reviewed the series sometime ago, and it is still at the top of my favorites list. Frank Chandler is an American who goes off to study esoterica at the feet of a yogi in India for about ten years, where he assumes the alternate name of 'Chandu'. He returns to visit his sister, Dorothy Regent and her children. Dorothy's husband, the eminent scientist Robert Regent, was lost at sea before the war (this would be WWII). Frank, displaying a few parlor tricks he picked up in India, entertains the children, but eventually, the family discovers that Robert may be still alive after all. As they travel to Egypt to track down clues to Robert's whereabouts, Dorothy and her children become more and more aware of Frank's occult powers, and his ability the missing scientist. 

The adventure series was dense with secret societies, dark magic, mad science, lost civilizations, mysterious princesses, and the like. 

The series ran each weekday in 15-minute cliffhanger-ending episodes between 1932-1936. In 1948, it was revived, or 'rebooted' (with a completely new cast using updated original scripts to reference the recent war) and ran again in the same format until early 1949 when it was rebooted yet again. This time the series used a much more conventional 30-minute episodic format, abandoning the serial format, and continued in this format until 1950 with new writers. It was popular in its time as testified by its longevity and the fact that it was brought back in the late 1940's. The final reboot jettisoned way too much, in my opinion, that which made the character great. Chandu the Magician is absolutely worthy of a reboot.

Like my previous offering, Rocky Jordan, I'm incorporating Chandu in a pulp novella set in pre-war Cairo. It is a reboot of sorts, where I have worked out a number of items for his backstory, but wouldn't it be nice to see Chandu on the small screen, or in monthly comic?


Chandu, the Magician can be downloaded from the Internet Archive using these links: Link 1 Link 2

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