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BBC Radio
Posted on Sunday 26 January 2014 at 8:49 am

Rachael's Week in BBC Radio 2014:4

Listened To: Warhorses of Letters Series 3 (first half) and Tales of the City, plus some panel stuff.

Coming Up: There's some OK stuff. I'm most interested in an adaptation of My House in Umbria with Prunella Scales and Ian McKellen reading a Wordsworth poem.

Listened to 19 to 25 January:

Warhorses of Letters Series 3
Love Warhorses of Letters! I listened to the first half (episodes 1 and 2) of the new series this past week and can't wait for the rest. I'm especially pleased by the way they're blending their characters with real known events this time.

Tales of the City
I listened to the first series of these dramatizations of famous stories about the random people and relationships of San Francisco in the 1970s. It was a very enjoyable take on the magical appeal San Fran held at that time for bohemian youths, especially of the gay variety, and the harsh reality often found there. If anyone has the second set, More Tales, I'd be interested in getting it.

Comedy Panel Shows

The Unbelievable Truth
I listened to an old series (6) and the latest new episode (12:4) again this week. The new one was good but not amazing while there were some true classics in the old series (episodes 1, 4, and 5)

Downloading 26 January to 1 February:


William Trevor - My House in Umbria
Dramatization of the novella about a British novelist living in Italy. The story is best known from a movie starring Maggie Smith. This version stars Prunella Scales.

Playing for His Life
A gay man living in World War II Germany has angered Hitler: as long as he keeps winning at international tennis, he lives.

Seance on a Wet Afternoon
A "medium" and her husband plan a hoax to gain credibility for her psychic powers: they will kidnap a little girl then "find her" using the mystic abilities.

Writing the Century: The Dock, Nuremberg
This is an ongoing series the BBC has been doing in which they dramatize the personal letters or diary of someone unknown whose life illustrates important elements of the past century. This one is about the artist who drew the images of the Nuremberg trials after World War II. This is also available as the 15 Minute Drama this week.

Daily Multi-Episode Programs Starting This Week

Therese Raquin
Dramatization of an Emile Zola novel in which the main characters are all standins for basic character archetypes or temperaments.

Something Fresh
Dramatization of a P. G. Wodehouse Blandings novel. I like Jeeves better, but Wodehouse is lovely all around.

Alan Plater - The Devil's Music
Three connected Plater plays about African music, starting with Roll Jordan Roll among freed slaves in the 1880s.

Mind's Eye
Not sure exactly what this is. There are five episodes and they each are about something supernatural (a woman's hand moving against her mental volition, a man saved by an angel, etc. Not sure what the overarching plot, connection, or take on it is.

William Wordsworth - The Prelude
Ian McKellen reading Wordsworth's poem.

I Was There Too Series 2
Series of short stories about unknown people at famous historical moments.

Weekly Multi-Episode Programs Starting This Week

Vent Series 3
Dark comedy about the thoughts of a man in a comedy. I've got series 1 and 2 but haven't listened to them yet. Someday.

Dick Francis - Proof
Dramatization of a Dick Francis novel, which automatically means comedy and drama at horse races.

The Barchester Chronicles
Dramatizations of some of Anthony Trollope's comedy novels about an English county in the 1850s and the ridiculousness of the social maneuverings, political fighting, etc. of the gentry and clergy. Not sure if they're doing all six novels, but they're at least getting through the first two. These appear to be new and one of the things BBC is heavily advertising at the moment.

Tony Teardrop
Three linked plays that claim to be "biting and humorous" looks at homeless people.

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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