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BBC Radio
Posted on Monday 5 August 2013 at 7:41 pm

Rachael's Week in BBC Radio Vol. 28

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Aside from the usual panel shows, only things I listened to this week were series 1 of High Table, Lower Orders and series 3 of Revolting People, both of which I enjoyed.
For the upcoming week, there are quite a few interesting sounding one-shot plays and dramatizations coming up and a few comedy shows (one playing with Sherlock Holmes!) outside my usual area of interest but not much in terms of new sitcom runs or the like.

Listened to 28 July to 3 August:

High Table, Lower Orders Series 1
I listened to a previous Mark Tavener scripted series a couple of weeks ago (In the Red). This is a very similar mix of mystery and dark comedy. The previous one was set at the BBC while this one is set at an unnamed Cambridge college. I very much enjoyed it as the academic humor and infighting politics are my life. The denouement of the mystery was a bit disappointing, but not unforgivably so.

Revolting People Series 3
I really like this sitcom set in Baltimore in the year before the American Revolution. There's a bit of an ongoing plot involving ridiculous characters and the possibility of war between colonists and the King's redcoats stationed in the city, but it is also just a great vehicle for fun poking fun of differences between Brits and Americans. Andy Hamilton is one of the writers and main actors and I love him. This particularly series was somewhat disappointing in comparison to series 1 and 2 as several episodes were just parodies of famous movies, but it was still fun. The Casablanca episode and the Gold Rush one were good but the Wizard of Oz one was totally boring. The final episode was really weird, mostly just every character announcing that they've been lying for the entire show to that point and it ended abruptly so I guess it is a setup for series 4 and I'll have to see where it goes but it didn't do much on its own.

Comedy Panel Shows
The News Quiz 81:6: Perfectly fine episode of a show I love. I think next week is the last in the current run, which will make me sad.

I've Never Seen Star Wars Series 3:2 and 3: Two fantastic episodes! The guests were entertaining and game for trying new things and the tasks they were given were interesting. Since I am one of those crazy adults who still wrinkles up her nose and mutters "Yuck!" anytime green growing things are presented to me as food, I was particularly entertained by the guest who claimed to have never eaten a salad being presented with various leafy things to try and basically deciding the dressing was the best part.

I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue 59: 5: This was truly fantastic episode of ISIHAC. It is probably one of my favorites ever and it was due completely to Rob Brydon as a guest. He was great and funny all around then was amazing on one of the fake song competitions. He's been on a few other times, and will be on again next week, but he was just on fire this week.

Downloading 4 to 10 August:


AG Macdonell - England, Their England (Classic Serial)
A Scots man in the aftermath of World War I writing an outsiders view of the English. The BBBC description makes this sound hilarious and fantastic all around so I'mreally looking forward to it.

George Orwell - Keep the Aspidistra Flying
I love Orwell. I don't know this story, but that's OK.

The Haunted Hotel (Saturday Drama)
A Wilkie Collins dramatization.

Obey the Wave (Afternoon Drama)
This one sounds fantastic for my weird little interests! It is a fake documentary about a science fiction writer creating a cult and then many members of the cult suddenly disappear.

Brett Goldstein - Success Story (Afternoon Drama)
Play about a writer making it big in Hollywood.

Jake Liebowitz: A Life in Film (Saturday Drama)
Play following the life of a writer in Hollywood over five decades.

One-Week Multi-Episode Programs

Miss Marple - A Caribbean Mystery
Self-explanatory as ever.

John Masefield - The Midnight Folk
Children's fantasy story about a boy on a magical quest (of course).

Multi-Week Multi-Episode Programs Starting this Week

Sense and Sensibility (Classic Serial)
Dramatization of the Austen novel. I'm not really a huge Austen fan, but it could be OK.

LM Montgomery - Anne of Green Gables
Dramatization of the classic young adult novel. I read this as a kid and keep meaning to go back to it because I only half remember it as it was never a re-read favorite but I liked it well enough.

James Follett - Rules of Asylum
Dystopic radio play from the 1970s. Follett wrote lots of plays for BBC Radio 4 and this is apparently his first.

Electric Ink
Repeat of a sitcom about old newspaper writers dealing with the internet age.

Comedy Panel Shows
There are a few standup and talk based comedy shows airing starting this week. This aren't usually my thing, but for some reason all these caught my eye this week and I decided to throw them in here.

Where Did It All Go Wrong?: Sort of standup looking at the reality behind well known mythic characters. Sherlock Holmes is the subject of the first episode so of course I'm all over that.

Paul Sinha's Citizenship Test: A rewrite of the UK Citizenship test to more accurately reflect the reality of modern Britain.

Come the Revolution: Comedy series in which each guest tries to convince the audience to let him/her lead "Come the Revolution."

Lee Mack and Friends at the Fringe: A couple of episodes with various standup comedians from the 2005 Edinburgh Fringe so older but the lineup is good (Dara O Briain, Alan Carr, Rhod Gilbert and Tim Minchi).

For the more normal comedy shows, this week, It's Not What You Know, I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue, and The News Quiz are all somewhere in the middle of their latest runs. I've Never Seen Star Wars Series 3 is doing a repeat run.

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


failte_aoife at 1:50 pm on 06 August 2013 (UTC) (Link)
An Anne of Green Gables adaptions sounds good even though I never read them as a child...somehow completely passed me by. I did read the first in the series a few years ago and quite enjoyed it...I always mean to read the other books, too but didn't get round, yet.

I got slightly addicted to the Night Vale Podcast but as I've listened to the latest episode there now I can go back to regulary scheduled listening...which in my case is Agatha Christie again. I started with Sad Cypress but I'm not that impressed. Partly it's certainly because I watched an adaption of it not too long ago and remember the story quite well but overall I don't think it's one of her best stories.
bratty_jedi at 5:25 pm on 06 August 2013 (UTC) (Link)
Anyone with a copious body of work is going to have some misses, but I find Christie far more hit and miss than most. Her hits are absolutely spectacular, but she can also be very formulaic and repetitive. I generally like Poirot better than Marple, but I don't know Saw Cypress at all. I've got the BBC Radio adaptation, but haven't listened to it yet.
Unsentimental Fool
unsentimentalf at 2:18 pm on 06 August 2013 (UTC) (Link)
Listened to "I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream " which was pretty good, though I prefer the short story I think. Other than that I've just discovered the Welcome To Night Vale podcasts so that's taking most of my listening time at the moment.
bratty_jedi at 5:21 pm on 06 August 2013 (UTC) (Link)
I've just discovered the Welcome To Night Vale podcasts

That's two friends in a row mentioning becoming addicted to this podcast. I might have to investigate...

I just listened to "I Have No Mouth..." yesterday so I'll write it up next week. I enjoyed it OK. I think there's a bit more nuance in the original than the adaptation, hardly surprising, but they did a pretty good job of getting the atmosphere right.

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