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BBC Radio
Posted on Sunday 10 November 2013 at 9:23 am

Rachael's Week in BBC Radio Vol. 42

I listened to some non-panel shows! It's completely plays that I listened to while reading the scripts, but it's something.

There's not much for me this week, but what is there sounds fantastic. I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue is starting a new series and John Finnemore is a guest on the first episode! There's a bunch of sci-fi (mostly a Doctor Who marathon starting), some historical fic, and even an alt-fic comedy about the Beatles.

Listened to 3 to 9 November:

Tom Stoppard - Where are They Now?
This is a very short Stoppard play about a reunion dinner for alum of a boarding school. The cast is fantastic (e.g. Timothy West and Carleton Hobbs) and the play is very good for its length with some pretty complicated themes being played with in only half an hour.

The History Boys
The NT 50th gave me the bug to revisit some of the fantastic shows they did there and History Boys is one of my favorites. Listening to and reading this one was cool because I'd only previously experienced the movie version. There aren't many differences between them as they stuck closely to the play script for the screenplay, but they did cut a few flash forwards for the movie so those were new to me and very interesting. Most of the cast was the same from the original NT theatrical run, to the movie, to the radio broadcast to the NT 50th. The only major exceptions are that the younger teacher was played by someone else on the radio version, which was odd at first but I got used to it, and they had Alan Bennet (the writer) stand in for Richard Griffiths as the older teacher in the NT 50th since Griffiths died earlier this year.

As with History Boys, this was prompted by the NT 50th. I love listening to plays while reading scripts and it worked especially well here. I've listened to this one before and gone on about how much I love it before, but I've not listened while reading before.

Comedy Panel Shows

The News Quiz
Hooray for new News Quiz! This was a perfectly nice episode, though probably not one to go down as a classic.

I listened to series 1 episode 5 from 2011 and it was a fantastic episode. My favorite was the very first dilemma presented to John Finnemore. He had to decide if he'd rat on a little old lady he saw shoplifting. He kept refusing to turn her in so Perkins and the other panelists changed what the little old lady is stealing to try to get him to change his mind. He started with cat food but they escalated it to mascara, swan, and a gun and ammo. Then they got slightly sidetracked by the question of what shop would have all that (answer: American Wal-Marts). Then they got on to Finnemore having a crush on little old ladies and he came up with his own scenario when he would rat on the little old lady shoplifting, and that's if she is stealing from a small independent store owned by another little old lady. The entire exchange is hilarious and I'm not doing it justice.

It's Your Round
I listened to episode 3 from series 2. It was a pretty good one with some fun games including (taken from the BBC's description): "It's My Party", in which panelists must all pitch their own, new political party; "Tax Loss Entertainment", in which panelists must improvise the worst play in history; and "How Much Would It Cost For You To?", in which panelists must guess the various unpleasant tasks other panelists would do for stated amounts of money.

The Museum of Curiosity
I listened to the last episode of the current series. The big advertising push around this one was that it was the last broadcast ever recorded by David Frost before his death. It was a pretty good and interesting episode.

Downloading 10 to 16 November:


Sorry, Boys, You Failed the Audition (Afternoon Drama)
An alternate history comedy about what might have happened had the Beatles failed their last audition and not gotten a recording contract.

Air-Force One (Saturday Drama)
Historical fic imagining what happened on the President's play immediately after JFK was shot.

Mary Toft's Rabbit Tale (Afternoon Drama)
Historical fic based on a woman in the 1700s who gave birth to a rabbit. It was obviously a scam, but why and how she was able to pull it off is an interesting story.

Bernard Pomerance - The Elephant Man
Another historical fic, this time about a man in a Victorian freak show.

Daily Multi-Episode Programs

Doctor Who
Starting this upcoming Saturday, they're airing a bunch of Doctor Who radio dramas, fiction readings, etc. I probably have some of what they'll air and not others so I'll just grab it all and sort through it later. they look to be doing entire series in one day so 10 or more episodes some days.

Marcel Proust - In Search of Lost Time
Dramatization of Proust's epic. I've never read the novels and sort of want to but it also seems rather daunting since there are seven volumes.

Jenny Stephens - Jefferson 37
A science fiction thriller about clones being used for organ harvesting and maybe other things.

Comedy Panel Shows

I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue is starting a new series and John Finnemore is a guest on the first episode! < a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006r9yq">The News Quiz</a> is in the midst of a new series.
Heresy, It's Your Round, and Dilemma are all running random repeats.

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

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