The host Chris introduces Brad Dillard to us as the kid who just loves radio. All his relatives work in radio and he’s listened to all the old programs. He says radio has been his favorite hobby all his life. Clearly, his character was created specifically for this episode. His love for radio is the one feature that distinguishes him from all the other kids. Just as Davey Holcomb was the klutz from Whit’s Flop, Brad is radio kid who appears out of nowhere and then disappears soon after. This was of course typical in early Adventures in Odyssey episodes but I like the model of recurring characters much better. It seems a little unrealistic for Brad to suddenly show up now when we haven’t heard of him before.
Brad’s dream of working in radio conveniently comes together at Whit’s End where some old radio equipment is sitting around waiting to be used. Brad starts Kids’ Radio with the help of Whit and Sherman because there’s nothing good to listen to on the radio for kids. AIO was created for a similar reason: to create high quality Christian drama in the midst of mainstream secular dramas. They succeeded with the audio series, however most fans agree the video series doesn’t measure up. And speaking of the video series, the names for the characters of Dylan and his dog Sherman could very well be inspired by this episode. Brad Dillard’s surname is similar to the name Dylan and his companion Sherman shares his name with Dylan’s dog. But who knows where those video writers got their ideas from.
For some reason the mayor of Odyssey not only approves of a radio station run completely by kids but manages to pull strings in Washington to give them a temporary broadcasting license. Clearly those strings must be to sidestep some child labor laws. But as long as the unpaid employees only broadcast from sunrise to sunset, Whit doesn’t have a problem with it. And he doesn’t have a problem using the station run by kids to advertise his ice cream shop and discovery emporium either. But of course, since Whit doesn’t make money from Whit’s End, it’s hard to argue he’s profiting off the kids.
In this episode the concept of Kids' Radio is both created and then extinguished. It seems the world wasn’t ready for a radio station run by kids. It was an idea ahead of its time. Similarly, although audio drama was once very popular, the art form has now dwindled. Whit tells us that it was the rise of television that caused radio to decline. Perhaps it will one day return to its former status, in the same way that Kids’ Radio is eventually revived in The Big Broadcast. This episode, like many before it, falls short because its main kid characters were simply created and slotted in for a onetime appearance. Brad has the same voice as Freddy Hart from A Change of Hart and Sherman has the same voice as Ted from Family Vacation. This means we will never hear the characters Brad and Freddy together and so they can never be fully integrated into AIO. It’s clear from the decision to use the same voice actor that these characters were never meant to last. This episode gets 3 out of 5 stars.