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BBC Radio
Posted on Sunday 19 January 2014 at 8:30 am

Rachael's Week in BBC Radio 2014:3

Listened To: Series 2 and 3 of Giles Wemmbley-Hogg Goes Off and a Tom Stoppard play, The Real Thing.

Coming Up: There's some OK stuff but nothing that's got me exceptionally excited this week.

Listened to 12 to 18 January:

Giles Wemmbley-Hogg Goes Off Series 2 and 3
There's not much I can say here that I didn't say about series 1 last week. I enjoyed Series 2 and what I've listened to of series 3 (I've finished the first 4 episodes and have the last two to go). as expected, I'm a bit burned out on it now and will finish up series 3, probably later today, then move on to something else for a while and come back to this later.

Tom Stoppard - The Real Thing
I generally like Stoppard and many of the actors here (Alex Jennings, Imogen Stubbs, Roger Allam, etc.). This was a well-done production and I could see a lot of good and interesting things in the play,but it just didn't really move me. I suppose I'm just tired of "literary drama," for lack of a better term, always being about unhappy couples and their various dysfunctions. As with many stage plays adapted to audio, I read the script while listening to this one and enjoyed the experience overall. This was a BBC Saturday Play/Drama back in 2006 but it hasn't re-aired recently so I couldn't find the BBC page for it. The link goes to its entry at the Audio Drama Wiki.

Comedy Panel Shows

I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue
I listened to Series 51 from 2009 this week, which was the first without Humph. There were three temporary chairs, Stephen Fry for the first two episodes, Jack Dee for 3 and 4, and Rob Brydon for the last couple. It was easy to see listening to these why Jack Dee ended up as the new permanent chair of the three. Fry's general media persona just doesn't quite fit the role of chairman on ISIHAC. Brydon was good, but not as natural a fit as Jack Dee. Besides, I love when Brydon is a guest on the show and I think he works better there then in the chair.

The Unbelievable Truth
I listened to the latest episode (12:3) and series 4 and 5 from the backlog. The most recent one was fun as Victoria Coren Mitchell was a guest for the first time since she and chair David Mitchell were married and they had a lot of fun playing with that. Series 4 and 5 were both generally enjoyable. I think series 4 had a few more highs and lows while 5 was more across the board good, but nothing stands out as an especially bad or brilliant episode.

Downloading 19 to 25 January:


Paradigm (Afternoon Drama)
A dark comedy that says it is "'Shameless' meets 'The Truman Show,'" which I think sounds interesting.

The Moonflask (Saturday Drama)
The BBC site doesn't currently have a description up for this, which is odd, especially since the Beeb's Media Centre and the RadioTimes site both have full information. It is an adventure comedy about various people out of work deciding to see if their various skills can combine to pull off an antique heist.

Agatha Christie - Philomel Cottage
An Agatha Christie dramatization. What more is there to say?

RL Stevenson - Treasure Island
Dramatization of the pirate adventure novel.

Daily Multi-Episode Programs Starting This Week

Demon Brother (Afternoon Drama)
Two radio plays looking at long-lost brothers who reunite and then swap places in the aftermath of their father's death. Each play is from the point of view of one of the brothers.

Wally K Daly - The Children of Witchwood
Daly is a prolific radio playwright for the BBC and I generally like his stuff, which often has a science fiction or fantasy tinge. This one is about people with supernatural powers, disappearing children, and a possible connection to a much older mystery.

Weekly Multi-Episode Programs Starting This Week

Jacqueline Susann - Valley of the Dolls Omnibus
Dramatization of the famous novel about young women trying to make it in New York City and facing drugs, patriarchy, and other problems.

Comedy Panel Shows
The Unbelievable Truth is in the midst of a new run.
I've Never Seen Star Wars is running repeats.

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

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