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BBC Radio
Posted on Sunday 7 April 2013 at 9:49 am

Rachael's Week in BBC Radio Vol. 11


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Listened to this week was a Rumpole mystery, a Poirot mystery, and a fiction reading of a mystery novel. Also, re-listened to Neverwhere.
Next week I'm most looking forward to a couple of dramatizations - Lost Horizon and Fahrenheit 451 - and several things from the ongoing drama shows.

I use a program called Radio Downloader to download hours of stuff every day (I can't recommend RD enough) and will possibly never listen to a great deal of it. I often listen to things for the first time months after they air. Because of that, I do two things in these BBC Radio posts.

(1) Listened - I'll discuss all the shows I listened to this past week. Some of these may be newly aired things but many may have aired months ago or, if they're things I sought out to buy, might not have aired for years. I will include links to the BBC website for everything and to AudioGo for anything available for purchase. AudioGo is the official site for BBC Radio and is almost always cheaper than iTunes, Amazon download, etc. If you don't already have an account there and want to enter my email (brattyjedi at gmail dot com) as the recommender the first time you buy something, I can get points good towards free downloads :) If something isn't available for purchase, you don't have it downloaded, and based on my comments on it you'd really like to listen to it, let me know and I might be able to help.

(2) Downloading - This will be kind of a look ahead to what I've set up to be downloaded in the upcoming week with thoughts on why I selected it.

Listened to 31 March to 6 April (mostly in order of preference, best to worst):
Rumpole Redeemed
I love Rumpole. As I believe I've mentioned before, the joy in Rumpole is his personality and the other characters around him, almost never the mystery being solved. Some of the mysteries are actually quite good, but many are decidedly not. There is almost no mystery in this episode, which shouldn't be too surprising since the title isn't "R. and the ...," drawing attention to the mystery, but rather R. Redeemed, focusing on Rumpole himself. So if you are a general mystery fan looking to try Rumpole, this is definitely not the episode for you. On the other hand, if you like Rumpole, this episode is good because it is about feeling through parts of his beliefs and was absolutely hilarious. I loved it.
This Rumpole is the last of the only four Timothy West episodes available for purchase at AudioGo, which is how I got them. I have most others but wish I could buy them all. I don't have R. and the Teenage Werewolf and R. and the Right to Privacy (sometimes jointly called Rumpole's Return) nor do I have Truth Makes All Things Plain and The Past Catches up with Us All (sometimes jointly called R. and the Reign of Terror). If anyone knows how I can get those four, I'd be grateful!

Hercule Poirot - The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
I believe this is one of Agatha Christie's most famous mysteries and certainly one of the most famous Poirot stories. I enjoyed but figured out the supposed surprise twist a bit too early on, I think. Also, the full ending doesn't quite make sense and has a bit of a plot hole, I thought. I haven't read the book so I don't know if that is a mistake in the adaptation or inherent to the story. Overall, I did enjoy it and thought the acting was all good.
This episode is available at AudioGo. I'm probably not going to buy it as I have so many mysteries I doubt I'll go back and re-listen to this one anytime soon.

Jedediah Berry - The Manual of Detection
This was an abridged reading of a novel rather than my normal dramatizations. I've been wanting to read this book but was a bit hesitant because I've heard some very good things about it but also a few people whose opinions frequently align with my tastes didn't enjoy it much. I figured the abridged reading would be less of a commitment. I enjoyed the reading. Toby Jones was the narrator and he was a good fit with the material. The story here is a mix of detective mystery and fantasy / magical realism. The fantasy / magical realism elements mean nothing is ever completely clear and you are never sure what is reality and what isn't. The whole thing has a very absurdist feel. The abridgement may have caused a few things to become a bit more muddled than they would be in the text, but I'm not sure on that. I was able to mostly follow what was going on and found the writing style to be amusing and fitting for the type of story told. I'll probably keep the actual novel on my To Read list but give it at least a year to let me forget some things before I give it a go.

Neil Gaiman - Neverwhere
Of course I already listened to this, but I had a bunch of friends over on Sunday last week and we made a party of listening to it. We had snacks and worked on a Doctor Who jigsaw puzzle while listening to it. It was a great deal of fun, both the party with friends aspect and Neverwhere on the second go-round for me.

Various Episodes of Panel Shows
Oh dear. I didn't actually listen to any panel shows this week. Just too much going on, I guess. Next week will see the return of both News Quiz (YAY!) and Unbelievable Truth to the broadcast schedule, though, so expect those in the immediate future.



Downloading 7 to 13 April:
Doctor Who
More space and time adventures.

James Hilton - Lost Horizon
Dramatization of the novel most famous for introducing the place / term / concept of Shangri-La. It stars Derek Jacobi who is awesome so I'm pretty excited for this one.

Wally K Daly - With a Whimper to the Grave
This is part three of the sci-fi alien invasion trilogy of which parts one and two aired last week.

John Peacock - London Particulars
A series about two detectives in Victorian London. I don't know much more than that but why would I need to know more than that?

Wimsey - The Five Red Herrings
Wimsey is one of the many ongoing BBC detective series. I have another story downloaded but haven't listened to it yet. I've heard good things about the series and hope to get to it this month.

Ray Bradbury - Fahrenheit 451
Dramatization of the novel. I'm a huge fan of Bradbury and dystopic literature but this isn't actually one of my favorites of either category. It is OK, I just never find it quite as brilliant as others do. I'm still looking forwrd to the adaptation since I do like the story.

Louisa May Alcott - Little Women
Dramatization of one of the few children's classics I've never read, never seen in film or other form, etc. It is one of those dirty little secrets, I suppose.

Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me
This is a sitcom about a jazz band.I don't know much more than that.

Believe it!
I'm not sure about this one. It is a fake memoir of Richard Wilson. It sounds like it could be funny, but it also sounds like it will be playing a lot with assumed knowledge of who Richard Wilson really is and I don't know that much about him. I decided to go for it because David Tennant and John Sessions are also both in it and I like both of them.

Running Dramas
BBC Radio has several weekly or daily programs that do various original radio plays or dramatizations. The main ones are Afternoon Drama, Friday Drama, Saturday Drama, Drama on 3, BBC Cymru Wales Drama, BBC World Drama, 15-Minute Drama, Classic Serial, and The Wire. This week I'm most looking forward to lots of good stuff. The second of the two new Two-Pipe Problem episodes is the Afternoon Drama on Monday. The Saturday Drama is Great Escape: The Justice, the story of the aftermath to the true story of an attempted escape by POWs during WWII made famous by the similarly titled classic film. A Macbeth sequel is the Drama on 3 play. There are two week-long 15 Minute Dramas and the one on Dickens in London sounds like fun.

Standing Panel Show Subscriptions
Whatever episodes of the following panel shows happen to air in any given week are always on my download list: Act Your Age, Heresy, I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue, I've Never Seen Star Wars, Just a Minute, The Museum of Curiosity, The News Quiz, The Unbelievable Truth, Dilemma,Wordaholics.

Anything good y'all listened to recently or looking forward to next week?

Comments:

aoife
failte_aoife at 7:40 am on 08 April 2013 (UTC) (Link)
I'm also waiting for Last Horizon because Derek Jacobi :D and of course the Peter Wimsey though I won't listen to it immediately as I want to wait till I've read the book. I already listened to Cloud of Witnesses from the series and enjoyed it very much.

Right now I'm still in my not-listening-to-very-much phase. I started withe the dramatization of Wilkie Collin's The Moonstone this week. I've already read the novel and had somewhat mixed feelings about it: on the one hand the mystery about the Moonstone is really fascinating and I loved how all the different narratives interlinked with each other. However I also found some of the narrators highly irritating, especially Batteridge who narrates the largest part. I simply can't stand him (I get that he's supposed to be a carricature and funny but I simply don't find him fnny).
Anyway I had hoped that perhaps the dramatization wouldn't be as bad in that aspect and they did tone it all down a bit but I still don't like him...so I guess in terms of faithfulness to the source it is quite a good adaption ^^

Well and while I usually also prefer dramatizations to readings I do like them when they're read by certain actors I like and when I found an audiobook of one of the Morse-novels read by Kevin Whatley I couldn't resist.

Oh and I did finally get to the last episode of Elvenquest. I had been putting it off a bit because a) it was the last episode and b) it was called 'The Great Escape' and I worried about that it was basically a parody of the movie of that title and as I never watched that I wouldn't get the jokes.
Turned out that even though it was a straight-up TGE-parody, thanks to watching lots of British TV where it often get's referenced, I knew enough about it to get most of the jokes and it was pretty funny (just the trolls talking in very bad German was somewhat cringe-worthy).

(Somehow it seems the less I have listened to, the more I write here XD)
Rachael
bratty_jedi at 7:03 pm on 08 April 2013 (UTC) (Link)
I'm way behind on Elvenquest. I don't even think I'm on the new series yet. I'll get there eventually.

Moonstone is one I want to try to get to this month. There's just always so much more I want to listen to than I have time to listen to...


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