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BBC Radio
Posted on Sunday 7 July 2013 at 8:12 am

Rachael's Week in BBC Radio Vol. 24

There's not much from me this week. I sprained my ankle last Friday so spent most of the week sitting and I do most of my listening with running or hiking. I was also still working on the downloading issues most of the week so lost a lot of listening time there, too.

For broadcasts for the upcoming week, there's some stuff new for me but there's also a bunch of stuff I already have. A dramatization of Conan Doyle's Lost World, an adaptation of Tennyson's Idylls of the King, Mark Gatiss's reading of his own spy spoof novel Devil in Amber, some Rumpole dramatizations on the Afternoon Drama, and series 2 of Baldi are all things starting this week that I already have. I'd recommend any of them if they fit within your general interests. The reading of Neil Gaiman's new novel also starts this week, but I already read the book and was underwhelmed enough I'm not going to bother with the reading.

There are also several detective shows running this week (besides my beloved Rumpole), but I've got so many ongoing detective series already for which I'm multiples stories behind that I'm going to give a pass on any about which I don't know something specific and compelling, so basically all of them this week. If there's a favorite of yours on the schedule you'd like to rec, I'll take them on that kind of friendly advice but there's just too many for me to follow them all.

Listened to 30 June to 6 July:

Rumpole's Return: The Teenage Werewolf: It is no secret that I love Rumpole. This particular episode from 2006 is not one of the greatest and not someplace I'd recommend newbies start,, but it was still fun and worthwhile. One out of universe interesting note: the eponymous, and metaphorical, Teenage Werewolf is played by Matt Smith a.k.a. the Eleventh Doctor Who.

Hedda Gabler: I love Ibsen plays, for the most part. Hedda Gabler is probably his second most famous, behind Doll's House. I generally don't really like Hedda Gabler. I don't know what it is, but I just don't "get" this one in the same way I do Ibsen's other works. This production is from a new English translation that was being built up pretty heavily so I decided to give it a go but it is still just the same old Hedda. So, probably a good production for anyone who likes the play but my personal recommendation would be to get a different Ibsen. Doll's House, Ghosts, and Enemy of the People are my favorites from his best known works, though there are a couple of the top tier ones I haven't read / seen / heard yet.

The Newsagent's Window: This is a half-hour or so of one of those stand-up real life story telling kind of things. Here some guy tells about looking at all the postings on newsagent windows, community bulletin boards, etc. and starting to actually call the people for the advertised furniture, vehicles, services, etc. When he is just telling about some of the random people he met, it is pretty entertaining. When he switches to imparting to the audience the life lessons he learned from the experience, as is standard for this genre, it got boring.

The only comedy panel show I listened to this week was I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue.

Downloading 7 to 13 July:

John Mortimer - The Summer of a Domouse: John Mortimer is the writer of, among other things, the original Rumpole stories and novels. This is a dramatization of his autobiography.

Handog (Afternoon Drama): An officer has to investigate the suicide of an inmate in the local prison. This sounds like it has wider social implications about the way we treat and view the incarcerated and I'm always in favor of using fiction to probe at important issues.

John Antrobus - Rats: An investigation of a possibly unnatural or possibly supernatural killing. Don't know anything beyond that basic description.

One-Week Multi-Episode Programs

James Lees-Milne (Afternoon Drama): Three radio plays about an architectural historian and English country homes.

Thomas Hardy - The Mayor of Casterbridge: Dramatization of a Thomas Hardy novel. I like Thomas Hardy, when I'm in the right mood. Which usually means that I want to be depressed.

The Chief Inspector Dover Mysteries: I read one of the Dover novels a very long time ago. From what I remember, the case was a fairly straight-forward detective mystery, but everything was slightly comedic and played for laughs. I believe the Beeb adapted all the novels and that is what this run is and also did one Radio original story, which I already have.

Multi-Week Multi-Episode Programs Starting this Week

The Pickerskill Reports: Through flashbacks and letters, a school teacher recounts his experiences with specific students, his expectations for them, and the actual courses of their lives. I've heard good things about this with it supposedly being pretty funny.

Elastic Planet: This is a spoof documentary on ridiculous topics. I was on the fence about this one because this kind of thing misses more than it hits in my experience, but I found some pretty good reviews of this one so I decided to give it a go.

Hobby Bobbies: A new sitcom about an experienced PCSO and his lazy new partner. I had to look up PCSO because I'm not aware of an American equivalent. For anyone similarly unsure, it stands for Police Community support Officer and appears to be a sort of half-cop with less training and responsibility than a regular police officer but able to take care of minor crimes and offenses. Anyway, as I said last week about My First Planet, "Misfits attempting something makes for some of the best sitcoms when done well (see Cabin Pressure), but is far more often done poorly and painfully, in my experience. Here's hoping this one is the former or at least not an extreme version of the latter."

Do Nothing 'Til You Hear From Me Series 2: This is a sitcom about a musician, mostly Blues and Soul I think, and his attempts to keep a band and career going. I have series 1 but haven't listened to it yet.

The comedy panel shows airing this week are I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue and The News Quiz. There's also Series 2 of It's Not What You Know which is one I've never tried before but I'm adding it now.

Anything good y'all listened to recently or looking forward to next week? Any thoughts on my new layout?

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