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BBC Radio
Posted on Tuesday 29 July 2014 at 9:55 am

Rachael's Week in BBC Radio 2014:28-30 and Listened for Weeks 25-30


Tags:
Listened To: Too many comedy panel shows to list, spoof versions of the Iliad and the Odyssey, a Mark Tavener dark comedy mystery (In the Balance) and series 2 of Flying the flag, a late Cold War-era sitcom.

Coming Up: Three weeks in one go, again, but it is not my fault this time! iPlayer was down much of last weekend and that messed me up for getting through the schedule and getting it posted. Oh well. I'll get better soon.

Listened to 15 June to 26 July:

Operation Lightning Pegasus
This was a comedic-take on the Iliad. It was ok. There were parts of it that were fantastic (a woodcutter from Troy and a Greek builder who kept running into each other in the woods and working together were my favorites) and the general feel of turning the "epic" into a joke where no one knows what they're doing was good, but some parts just dragged. Which is how I feel about the Iliad anyway, so I guess that's good. The Odyssey sequel...(see below)

Odysseus on an Iceberg
... was better than the Iliad spoof above I think. Of course, I also like the real Odyssey better than the real Iliad so maye that's part of it. I just think the jokes overall were sharper and more frequent or better integrated as a whole. I enjoyed it quite a bit. Not as much as the BBC Radio straight-forward adaptation of the Odyssey I listened to sometime last year, but I really love that so no surprise there.

Flying the Flag Series 2
This is a late 1980s / early 1990s sitcom set in a British embassy in a small Soviet bloc country during the slow opening and eventual end of the USSR. I really liked the first series. This one wasn't quite as good. I still enjoyed it, but just not as much. I'm not sure if it was just the individual episodes didn't seems as funny or if the overall premise wore too thin too quickly this far out from the vents or what.

In the Balance
This is the second in a run of serial comedy mysteries from the 1990s. The main character is the BBC Radio crime correspondent, an alcoholic joke of an employee who always manages to get the story and help solve the crime. I really liked the first one and this second one was almost as good. It was about a serial killer (I promise it is a comedy and is hilarious!) at the World Cup when England hosted it so was appropriate to listen to when I did a couple of weeks ago.

Comedy Panel Shows

I've been listening to a lot of Comedy Panel Shows. It happens when I'm busy and frustrated. There's not much point in trying to "review" all these individual episodes, so I'll just give a list rundown. I've listened to all the new episodes of I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue (loved the ones with Susan Calman as a guest), Just a Minute, and the News Quiz. I've also listened to a couple of the new program, Loser's World Cup, which was nice for a one-off run, and Don't Make Me Laugh, about which I still haven't decided how I feel. I've also listened to old episodes of The Guessing Game and Whose Line is it Anyway?

Downloaded 13 to 19 July:

One-Shots

Death and the King's Horseman (Drama on 3)
Adaptation of a stage play about Nigeria in the 1940s based on a real event when a colonial official prevents a man's ritual suicide. There's another play by the same Nigerian playwright next week.

Red Velvet (Saturday Drama)
Adaptation of a stage play about the first famous Black actor to play Othello in a major production. Stars Adrian Lester.

Calum's Road (Saturday Drama)
Radio play about the true story of a man building a road by hand on a Scottish island.

The Great Squanderland Roof (Afternoon Drama)
A farcical look at the current global economic crisis, focused on Europe. Everyone decides the solution to everything is to build a roof on one man's house, then his entire nation.

Jerome K Jerome - Three Men in a Boat (Musical Version)
1960s musical adaptation of the comedy novel about, well, three men in a boat on the Thames. I listened to a more recent non-musical adaptation a couple of months back, so it will probably be a while before I listen to this one, but could be fun when I do get to it.

Daily Multi-Episode Programs Starting This Week

Elizabeth Bowen - The Heat of the Day (Classic Serial)
Dramatization of a WWII era novel about a woman, her lover, and the man who accuses her lover of being a German spy.

Maeve Binchy - Firefly Summer
Dramatization about an American family of Irish descent moving "back to the old country" to open a hotel and the effects they have on the town and vice-versa.

Weekly Multi-Episode Programs Starting This Week

Winifred Holtby - South Riding Omnibus
Dramatization of a novel about a rural town in the Depression, especially the women such as the school headmistress and the town's first female alderman (based loosely on Holtby's mother). This is the weekly omnibus version or there are the shorter daily episodes.

Ghost Zone
A sci-fi radio program about a Highland town surviving a massive meteor strike then weird things start happening.

Downloaded 20 to 26 July:

One-Shots

By a Young Officer: Churchill on the North West Frontier (Classic Serial)
Play about young Winston Churchill, as the title rather implies.

Document of Identity (Drama on 3)
Second adaptation of a play by Nigerian playwright Wole Soyinka. This one is based on the true story of Soyinka's daughter and is about a young woman fleeing an oppressive regime, giving birth en route, and the child being stateless.

Charles Chilton - Journey into Space - Return from Mars
Another repeat of an adventure in the classic sci fi radio program. This series overall is highly regarded and someday I'll have all the pieces.

Daily Multi-Episode Programs Starting This Week

Henry Fielding - Tom Jones (Classic Serial)
Dramatization of the classic comedic coming-of-age novel.

No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency 2014
New dramatization of the mystery series about a female detective agency in Africa.

Weekly Multi-Episode Programs Starting This Week

My First Planet Series 2
I listened to series 1 of this new sitcom not too long ago and enjoyed it quite a bit. It is about the first human colony on a new world. Unfortunately the original captain died en route and the remaining leaders are rather incompetent. Looking forward to series 2.

Safety Catch Series 3
Sitcom about a man who accidentally finds himself working in the arms trade. I've had the first couple of runs for a while, but haven't managed to listen to any yet.

Jane Austen - Persuasion
Adaptation of the novel.

Downloading 27 July to 2 Aug

One-Shots

His Master's Voice (Saturday Drama)
Play starring Rob Brydon about a real-life radio and TV ventriloquist in the 1950s who just quit one day.

The Right Honourable (Saturday Drama)
Play about a new, young MP who gets pulled into all kinds of intrigues. I love politics and intrigue.

The Waste Land (Afternoon Drama)
Reading of one of the most famous / influential poems of all time.

I'm a Believer (Afternoon Drama)
Play about a man dreaming conversations with God. Stars Stephen Mangan.

Edith Wharton - Madame de Treymes
Dramatization of the novel about an American man fighting with an aristocratic French family for a bride.

Poirot - Cards on the Table
An Agatha Christie Poirot dramatization that I don't have. Someday I'll run out of those.

Daily Multi-Episode Programs Starting This Week

Eugenie Grandet (Classic Serial)
Dramatization of a Balzac novel with Ian McKellen. Lots of good stuff about class and sex issues.

Silas Marner (Classic Serial)
Dramatization of the classic novel of an old man raising a little girl.

Gideon Fell - To Wake the Dead
Dramatization of a novel from a basic Whodunit type detective series that I haven't read. This one is about a murder in a hotel in the late 1930s.

Weekly Multi-Episode Programs Starting This Week

Future of Radio
New comedy about radio technology, such as the possibility of transmitting smells via radio.

Comedy Panel Shows Airing 13 July to 2 Aug:

Don't Make Me Laugh is a new panel show hosted by David Baddiel with comedians trying not to make people laugh. Not sure how I feel about the sound of that. It's a Fair Cop is a new stand-up comic / audience interaction show airing now.

The News Quiz and I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue are running new episodes.

Museum of Curiosity, Unbelievable Truth, and Act Your Age are running repeats.


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

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