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BBC Radio
Posted on Wednesday 20 February 2013 at 2:30 pm

Neverwhere radio adaptation dates

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Despite having issues with the TV show and novelization both, I'm quite looking forward to the BBC Radio 4 and 4 Extra adaptation of Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere. The cast list (which I'd post but I'm on my phone so that's tricky to do) alone gives me hope they'll finally get it right. A sometime in March air date has been promised for a while but the exact date was announced today! It will start with a one hour special on 16 March which will be followed by five 30-minute episodes from 18 March. The announcement and a schnazzy partial cast photo are here.

EDIT: At a laptop. Cast list for anyone who hasn't seen it:

James McAvoy - Richard Mayhew
Natalie Dormer - Door
David Harewood - The Marquis de Carabas
Sophie Okonedo - Hunter
Benedict Cumberbatch - The Angel Islington
Anthony Head - Mr Croup
David Schofield - Mr Vandemar
Bernard Cribbins - Old Bailey
Romola Garai - Jessica
Christopher Lee - Earl of Earl's Court
Andrew Sachs - Tooley
George Harris - Abbot
Don Gilet - Fulingous, Ruislip, Blackfriar
Abdul Salis - Sable, Sump, Clarence, Homeless Man
Paul Chequer - Gary, Guard 2
Lucy Cohu - Lamia
Yasmin Paige - Anaesthesia, Tenant 2 – female, Match girl
Johnny Vegas - Lord Ratspeaker
Stephen Marcus - Varney, Homeless man, Letting agent, Guard 1
Karen Archer - Sylvia, Old Woman, Dream Hawker, Mother

Only thing I know for sure missing from that is that Gaiman has said he plays two parts himself.


eanor at 8:32 pm on 20 February 2013 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, this is awesome news!! Haven't actually read Neverwhere yet, so I'm doubly excited for the radio play! Thanks for sharing this awesome news and I look forward to talking with you about the show. :-)
bratty_jedi at 8:47 pm on 20 February 2013 (UTC) (Link)
I'm glad I'm not the only one who can't wait! The article isn't clear, at least not to me, if the five 30- min episodes are going to be one a day for a week or one a week for five weeks, but I seriously hope the former because I don't think I'll make it to late April before having the whole thing!
shezan at 8:33 pm on 20 February 2013 (UTC) (Link)
I know! I know! Dream cast, what, what? You'd seen this pic, I hope?

Edited at 2013-02-20 08:33 pm (UTC)
bratty_jedi at 8:44 pm on 20 February 2013 (UTC) (Link)
Saw the pic on Gaiman's tumblr/blog/twitter (can't remember which or maybe all of them). I like it better than the official one.

I think the thing I like best about the cast list is Christopher Lee as the Earl. If you'd just told me he was going to be in a Neverwhere adaptation, I think I would have assumed as the Angel Islington for many of the same vocal reasons Cumberbatch is another great choice for the part. Lee as the Earl is something that wouldn't have occurred to me but now that it is in my head it is so oddly perfect.
shayrena at 10:32 pm on 20 February 2013 (UTC) (Link)
I'm so excited for this! Can't wait :)
I loved the book. What were your issues with it?
bratty_jedi at 10:46 pm on 20 February 2013 (UTC) (Link)
Two main issues...

First, it is Gaiman's first solo novel, second novel after co-writing Good Omens, and it is too clearly the work of a young novelist without the depth in style that he develops later. Everything - characters, scenes, etc. - seems a little flat and underdeveloped to me. Many writers, professional ones, never even get as good as Gaiman was here, but knowing how much more he can do later makes this one never quite measure up for me. Even Stardust, his next adult novel unless my timeline is off, is much more fully realized.

Second, it just feels very episodic and doesn't flow well as one piece. That's obviously because it was a novelization of an episodic mini-series, but he didn't smooth it out enough in making the transition to novel form in my opinion so it is always jarring to me, almost like watching a DVD of an old TV show and being able to pick out exactly where all the commercial breaks were when it was originally broadcast.

I've always loved Neverwhere in the idea and potential but neither existing execution of the idea has wowed me. I'm so very hopeful this one will pull it off.
shayrena at 2:56 pm on 21 February 2013 (UTC) (Link)
I see your point. I read Stardust first and Neverwhere was my second Gaiman-book. I enjoyed it immensely. I was drawn to this whole idea of London below. Maybe I wasn't critical enough, but I don't remember having issues with it. Then again, it's been years, maybe I did have some ;)
bratty_jedi at 3:11 pm on 21 February 2013 (UTC) (Link)
I was drawn to this whole idea of London below.

I think that's exactly it for me as to why I have issues with the book. The idea is so brilliant. The people falling through the cracks, the places being people, all that, is just fantastic. With an idea that wonderful, the execution should be equally amazing and it just isn't for me. I suspect I'm too critical of it, have too high an expectation in many ways, far more than you weren't critical enough.
Unsentimental Fool
unsentimentalf at 10:55 am on 22 February 2013 (UTC) (Link)
The TV series was my first real Gaiman experience and despite everything else he's done that I love in all media I still think of him as "the Neverwhere guy".Having said that, I seldom rewatch it- it feels a bit too much like people acting their characters, rather than the characters being real (with some exceptions. Peter Capaldi was superb, for instance.) Astoundingly creative ideas though. I'm looking forward to the radio play immensely.
bratty_jedi at 11:55 am on 22 February 2013 (UTC) (Link)
For me, I think he'll always be one of the two guys who wrote Good Omens. I'm not even sure Good Omens was my first Gaiman experience. I feel like it might not have been, but I don't remember.

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