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BBC Radio
Posted on Sunday 18 August 2013 at 8:23 am

Rachael's Week in BBC Radio Vol. 30

Best thing I listened to this past week was a Discworld adaptation. There's a few decent one shots coming up next week including one about P. G. Wodehouse and a dramatization of Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None. I'm also really looking forward to the start of Absolute Power, an early 2000 series with Stephen Fry, and a dramatization of the Aeneid.

Listened to 11 to 17 August:

Terry Pratchett - Mort
Hooray for Discworld dramatizations! I love the Death books and this one, with Death taking an apprentice who screws up the very fabric of the universe. Lots of fun!

This hasn't aired in a while as far as I know. I bought it from AudioGo and that's to where the link above goes. This is a classic science fiction story, the first to take seriously robots and is actually where the word originated. The adaptation seriously drags. There are some interesting ideas played with, some good philosophical issues to consider, but it just isn't a very engaging story as presented and would have been better if it were shorter.

Blake's 7: The Early Years
I posted about the first several episodes of this last week. I finished it this week with the last three episodes / two stories. These last ones are possibly the best. The Jenna two-parter is the best example of what I expected, actually setting up how the character got to the point at which we met her in the TV show. The Zen standalone was the best science fiction story and I liked it best of them all. It works as an intriguing scifi story without knowing anything about the Blake's 7 universe and I appreciate more in that sense than I do as a Blake's 7 fic.

Comedy Panel Shows
Heresy Series 9: Episodes 5 & 6
These were last on back in June but I never got around to them. I was just in a heresy arguing about ridiculous stuff kind of mood this week. They were both fun little episodes.

Downloading 18 to 24 August:


And Then There Were None (Saturday Drama)
One of Agatha Christie's most famous novels!

Roger Crane - The Last Confession (Saturday Drama)
One-shot dramtization about the politics inside the Vatican.

Kind Hearts and Coronets - Like Father, Like Daughter (Saturday Drama)
I'm not sure about this one. It is a radio sequel to a 1949 movie and/or a 1907 novel. I've never seenthe movie or read the book but it all sounds interesting so I'll grab this and try to get to the movie or book before listening to it.

How to Be an Internee With No Previous Experience (Afternoon Drama)
P. G. Wodehouse, famous for Jeeves and Wooster and Psmith among other things is also infamous for making broadcasts for the Germans during WWII. There has always been a great deal of controversy over that and this radio play is about that and the interrogation he faced by the British in the aftermath.

A Sleepwalk on the Severn (Afternoon Drama)
This one sounds like an interesting experimental / thought piece. From the BBC description: "Set to original music by Roger Goula, its subject is moonrise which happens five times in different forms: new moon, half moon, full moon, no moon and moon reborn. Various characters, some living some dead, all based on real people from the Severn catchment, talk towards the moment of moonrise and are changed by it. "

Peter Tinniswood - A Very Rare Bird Indeed
I generally like Tinniswood OK. This one doesn't sound that amazing plot wise, a woman waiting for her husband at a hotel people watches and fantasizes about them as lovers, but it has Judi Dench so that's good.

Matthew Dunster - Depth of Field
Radio play about a young man with Asperger's. Don't know much beyond that.

Alex Jones - Lightbulbs
Don't know much about this one either. Radio play about a guy returning home after a year away who has issues with his dead relatives. I'm intrigued by the dead bit more than anything.

Daily Multi-Episode Programs

ME Braddon - Lady Audley's Secret (15-Min Drama)
This is one of those classic novel's that has been on my To Read list for a while and I haven't gotten around to it, yet, so I might as well grab the dramatization.

Weekly Multi-Episode Programs Starting this Week

The Aeneid (Classic Serial)
Dramatization of the classic myth of Troy and Rome.

Absolute Power
Mark Tavener wrote a series of comedy mysteries set in and around BBC Radio in the 1980s and 1990s all with titles starting "In the." The four are Red, Balance, Chair, and End. I have all four but have only listened to the first and enjoyed it. Two of the characters running around in those stories, one of whom is played by Stephen Fry all the way through, were then spun-off in another four stories in the early 2000s and this is the first series of that spin-off.

Two episode series about a town on the Irish border that has to deal with fantastic and surreal elements. The first episode, for example, mentions hallucinating cattle.

The Charm Factory
Series about the old training grounds for turning young actors into major studio stars.

John Buchan - The Thirty-Nine Steps
Dramatization of a novel about which I don't know much other than murder and spies are involved.

Comedy Panel Shows
It's Not What You Know and Come the Revolution are somewhere in the middle of their latest runs. I've Never Seen Star Wars Series 3 is doing a repeat run.
EDIT: And somehow I missed that Just a Minute actually started a new series last week. I go through the entire schedule every week! How do i miss this stuff?

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


donutsweeper at 2:07 pm on 18 August 2013 (UTC) (Link)
The original Kind Hearts and Coronets movie is amazing. Sir Alec Guinness plays something like 8 characters (all the members of the family he's taking out) and each character is nuanced and wonderful. I highly recommend it.
bratty_jedi at 5:27 pm on 18 August 2013 (UTC) (Link)
It sounds pretty awesome. I'll try to check it out.

Looks like they did the same thing with one actor playing all the members of the family for the radio sequel.
failte_aoife at 5:35 pm on 18 August 2013 (UTC) (Link)
I caught the first episode of Absolute Power once but not the rest so it's great that they're running it again as I really enjoyed it.

I listened to more 'It's not what you know' and I'm torn. I love the format and generally also Miles Jupp but I really dislike the scrip he's given. There's too many and too drawn out running gags and lots of unfunny jokes in general.
Then I gave the Inspector Morse plays a try: Last Bus to Woodstock was good. It kept quite close to the book and I quite enkoyed the book so that was expected...however also knowing the TV-Series it was just odd hearing other voices for the characters. I'm simply so used to John Thaw and Kevin Whatley that it's hard to accept others (especially because both sound pretty RP in the play...in the books Lewis is Welsh and on TV Geordie...it might have annoyed me less if they had distictive voices but even knwong the stoy I couldn't always tell who was talking).

I was less happy with 'The silent world of Nicholas Quinn' and I think that's party because they did change several things...they cut out a sub-plot which is understandable but they also randomly added Morse deciding to go swimming which is just horribley OOC...

That probably mainly bothers me because I know the books but I found it an odd choice in general and I think I would have found it strange even if I didn't know them.
bratty_jedi at 10:53 pm on 21 August 2013 (UTC) (Link)
I'm definitely going to give It's Now What You Know a try but Just a Minute started up again and I love that so the other will probably have to wait. Also, a new episode of QI is on this weekend (actually the last J one that was held back due to Jeremy Clarkson being an idiot then the new K series will start).

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