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The Cast (L to R): Shayne Bartlett, Susan McEwen, Wayne Jarman, Gareth Jarman & Trent Wilson (pressing buttons).



Listen to Episode 8 before you listen to Episode 1. (Professor When makes more sense that way.)


This is honestly true. …Episode 8 better displays some of the action to come. Then go on to Episode 1, as it is more about introducing the characters and beginning the plot.


This page contains some history of the development of the Radio Play, some photos from the day in the Recording Studio and two Episodes for your listening pleasure (??).



Professor When was written as a Radio Play over sixteen years ago. At the time, I was ‘treading the boards’ with a local Theatre Company and had access to some very talented, very professional (in every way other than remuneration) young actors.


As I wrote the script, I visualized Susan Ford (now McEwen) as the young female lead and Trent Wilson (still Wilson) as the young male lead.


Consequently, while still in the creative phase, I was able to use my considerable imagination and name my characters Susan and Trent. (I think the names suit the characters well.)



Lost in the forest (L to R): Susan McEwen, Trent Wilson and Wayne Jarman.






Photographs are reproduced with the kind permission of Noel Clarke of Noelyn Photography. (All rights are reserved.)



Audio / Video files are reproduced with the kind permission of Wayne Jarman of AWL Systems Pty Ltd. (All rights are reserved.)








Still lost in the forest

(to this day!)


My son, Gareth, (still at school at the time) showed an interest and I offered him a part – on the condition that he studied, rehearsed and ‘measured up’. To his Father’s surprise he did …and conducted his acting role with ‘aplomb’.


I roped in our Sound and Recording expert (Shayne) for some roles and told him not to be concerned with his lack of acting experience or his lack of rehearsal. I’m not sure what I said all those years ago to convince him to be part of the play, but I do know that in all of his roles he met his Director’s requirements perfectly.


Susan dragged along her brother (Michael Ford) to make up the Greek crowd and he, too, performed his part well.


My good friend Noel Clarke (the most wonderful Professional Photographer I have ever met) drove for hours to meet with us and to take Marketing Photos of the cast. With his kind permission, we are able to reproduce his photography here.









You will already have gleaned that Professor When uses a T.O.A.S.T.E.R. as his time and space travel vehicle.


You might already be thinking “This isn’t original. I saw this in an Episode of a very successful American Animated Series”.








PROFESSOR WHEN AND HIS T.O.A.S.T.E.R. is a madcap comedy designed to be a loose parody of the very successful DR WHO series.


Professor When is a Scientist who has developed a time travel machine. A little forgetful and afflicted with 'extrapolated elocution', he has a fetish for acronyms and dual-purpose utensils. He has developed a Time Orientation And Searing Toast Electrical Receptacle (T.O.A.S.T.E.R.) which not only transcends time and space but is also very handy at breakfast. Who else could have developed the B.E.L.T. (Blast Emitting Language Translator) which enabled him to talk to the Ancient Greeks attacking the city of Troy (as well as accidentally 'blowing away' Agamemnon, their commander)?


Professor When's undoing is two teenagers (Susan and Trent) who turn up at his home during crucial repairs to the T.O.A.S.T.E.R. and launch the three of them on an unplanned adventure into Asia Minor - over 3000 years into the past.



The brief rehearsal period and the Recording day constitute, so far, my first and only experience of being a Director. I have had a lot of fun as an actor but the day in the Recording Studio must go down as the funniest day that I have ever spent.


Trying to convert the script to a recorded audio production and bringing the script to life as a comedy while very competent stage actors acclimatised to a Studio atmosphere, with the inevitable slip-ups and messing around, had us all literally rolling on the floor.


Shayne’s twenty or so attempted recordings of the ‘extrapolated elocution’ sentence were a highlight of the day and, in the end, we patched it up during the editing process.


We produced ten episodes in that one day which, given the hilarity of the event, was a pretty good result. Mind you, it took another six months for Shayne and Wayne to complete the editing process!


Another five episodes were (rather optimistically) written but the production has never gained enough interest to warrant going back into the Studio.


The aim in producing the Radio Play was to create a mad-cap, “thinking man’s” comedy. Professor When and His T.O.A.S.T.E.R. could be loosely described as a mix of Monty Python, Doctor Who and The Goons. These were, after-all, the influences on my generation.


Our additional aim in this mixture was to be as accurate (and educational) as possible on the time periods that we entered. The facts of the event are in there but you have to sift through the chaff.


My aim of recreating the Ancient Greek language was, however, overly optimistic. I planned to have an Ancient Greek crowd yelling fearfully at Professor When (thinking he was the great God Zeus) in the language of the time. I made contact with Emeritus Professor Godfrey Tanner (now deceased unfortunately) at the University of Newcastle (Australia) to ask for a translation. I expected a five minute phone conversation but spent over half an hour with him. (He was a nice guy.) We corresponded as well but in the end, we had everyone yelling fearful statements at Zeus (Professor When) in English and then, during editing, we ran that segment of recording backwards.

I saw that episode as well. (Through my son’s insistence, there are not many Episodes of that program that I have not seen.)


However, I hasten to add, that I wrote Professor When almost a decade before seeing that Episode and that I was, therefore, not in any way influenced by it when writing Professor When.







Did somebody press a butttonnnnn …?






SUSAN McEWEN has continued with her career as an accomplished Actor, Artist, Set Designer, Costume Designer and Theatre Educator. See the article, in this edition, on Dracula (the play and, in later editions, the movie).


TRENT WILSON was last seen heading for Melbourne – rumoured to be following a girl. We were concerned because he didn’t know anything about either of those places. We were also concerned because we suspected that he had developed his own travel technology. True to our suspicions, he turned up in Turkey (the country, not the bird) over ten years later as the Captain (according to rumours) of a large yacht.




VOICE OVER                                    SHAYNE BARTLETT

VOICE OVER 2                                TRENT WILSON

SUSAN                                              SUSAN McEWEN (nee FORD)

TRENT                                               TRENT WILSON

PROFESSOR WHEN                      WAYNE JARMAN

AGAMEMNON                                  SHAYNE BARTLETT

GREEKS                                           SHAYNE BARTLETT

            MICHAEL FORD

            SUSAN McEWEN (nee FORD)

            GARETH JARMAN

            LINDI JARMAN

            WAYNE JARMAN

            TRENT WILSON

ODYSSEUS                                      SHAYNE BARTLETT

ACHILLES                                         GARETH JARMAN

PATROCLUS                                    WAYNE JARMAN

AJAX                                                  WAYNE JARMAN







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GARETH JARMAN became a Tasmanian. (Nuff said.)


SHAYNE BARTLETT continues to be highly respected within his chosen Radio / Audio field (regardless of his association with Professor When).


WAYNE JARMAN is still here!



In attendance on the Recording day (L to R):  Trent Wilson,  Wayne Jarman, Michael Ford, Susan McEwen, Gareth Jarman, Shayne Bartlett, Lindi Jarman (and Noel Clarke - behind the camera).






In each of the next four editions, we will provide Two Episodes of :


Professor When and His T.O.A.S.T.E.R.