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BBC Radio
Posted on Sunday 6 April 2014 at 9:56 am

Rachael's Week in BBC Radio 2014:13 and 14

Sorry for never getting last week's up. I didn't listen to much anyway. I've put the past two week's together under listen to. There was mostly a ton of random single radio plays that I downloaded last week, some of which I really wanted and others that just sounded vaguely interesting, but I've gone ahead and listed all of the downloading from last week and this upcoming week separately since there were just so many one-shots last week.

Listened To: Along with the usual panel shows, I listened to a dramatization of J G Ballard's Drowned World and enjoyed it quite a bit and I started Slip Stream but found it rather boring so didn't finish it.

Coming Up from Last Week:I most wanted some Alan Ayckbourn plays. They're running several right now in honor of his 75th birthday so it was two last week and another one this week, I think. I was also interested in the London Noir series starting, three dramatizations of 1920s or so crime novels by C. S. Forester, perhaps best known as the author of the Horatio Hornblower series.

Coming Up This Week:I'm most interested in Airswimming, an adaptation of a stage play about two women placed in a mental institution in the 1920s due to being pregnant without being married. I'm also excited about the re-airing of the long dramatization of I, Caludius with Derek Jacobi. Also, from the panel show side of things, Unbelievable Truth is starting back up with John Finnemore and Jack Dee in the first episode.

Listened to 23 March to 5 April:

The Drowned World
Adaptation of J. G. Ballard's novel in a dystopic world of Global Warming where the icecaps have completely flooded many coastal and somewhat inland cities and the heat has pushed remaining humans ever north. This is set in a drowned London and is very well done as an atmospheric piece, but not at all realistic as a scifi piece.

This is a radio drama about a possible advanced jet / spaceship employed by the Nazis and the secret British team sent in to capture or destroy it. I listened to the first two of five half-hour episodes and decided it might have made for a good 45-minute radio play but at 2.5 hours it was stretched too thin and I was bored. The wikipedia entry makes it sound like the ending couple be cool so maybe I'll just skip episodes three and four (or just 3) and see if I can jump back into episode five (or 4 and 5) for the good bits.

Comedy Panel Shows

News Quiz 83: 7 and 8
Two perfectly fine episodes. I liked #7 a bit more as the non-regular guests were Susan Calman, Phill Jupitus and Lucy Porter, all of whom I enjoy on these shows and they were great together.

Just a Minute 68:7
OK episode. Fun but nothing special.

Downloading 30 March to 5 April:


Chiwawa (Aft Drama)
A ripped-from-the-headlines kind of radio play. A writer leaves terrible reviews of a rival's works on websites. When the scandal breaks, blame is shifted to an assistant and things get worse.

The Great British Bridge Scandal (Aft Drama)
Radio play about a real-life incident in which a team in a high-level Bridge tournament is accused of cheating. The accusers win the first round but then have to meet a higher burden of proof after-the-fact to maintain the charges.

Rachel Joyce - Take One Night (Aft Drama)
Absurdist play about a couple assembling a child's toy with useless directions that say only to take one night.

The Lighthouse (Aft Drama)
Radio play about a real incident in which two men stationed in a lighthouse together have a shared past that comes out and causes trouble.

Boz Temple-Morris - Scream (Sat Drama)
Radio play about the real life theft of the famous painting.

Alan Ayckbourn - Things We Do for Love
I generally really like to love Ayckbourn. This play is about an engaged couple moving in with an old friend of the woman's and love-triangle nonsense ensues.

Alan Ayckbourn - Man of the Moment (Sat Drama)
Ayckbourn. This one is a dark comedy about a criminal-turned-TV-host agreeing to a reality TV show.

The Boy at the Back (Drama on 3)
Adaptation of a Spanish stage play about a young man who quietly watches and writes about what he sees in a friend's house, encouraged in his "literary voyeurism" by a teacher.

Nick Warburton - Our Late Supper
Middle-aged woman and 12-year-old-girl bond. I generally like Warburton's radio plays.

Daily Multi-Episode Programs Starting This Week

Charles Chilton - Journey into Space - The World in Peril
This is the third and final, I think, of the original Journey into Space radio serials. They are scifi radio classics and I'm looking forward to eventually listening to them all.

Weekly Multi-Episode Programs Starting This Week

CS Forester's London Noir (Sat Drama)
Adaptations of three crime novels written in the 1920s by the author of the Horatio Hornblower books and The African Queen, among other things.

Gloomsbury Series 2
Radio play about a fictional writing group very much based off the real Bloomsbury group of E. M. Forster, Virginia Woolf, Maynard Keynes, etc. I downloaded series 1 of this a while back and listened to the first episode but haven't gotten to the rest. I enjoyed the first one enough to want to give the rest a go eventually, but not enough to prioritize it, obviously.

Downloading 6 to 12 April:


Blood Count (Aft Drama)
Radio play about the working relationship of legendary musicians Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn.

Alan Ayckbourn - Relatively Speaking
Another Ayckbourn play (see the stuff from last week and the intro.). This one is mistaken identities when a young, engaged woman tries to dump her married-man-on-the-side only to have her fiance arrive and think the lover is her father.

Peter Tinniswood - On the Train to Chemnitz
I generally enjoy Tinniswood's radio plays. This one is about two women telling stories and dealing with guilt, but I don't know more than that.

Sarah Daniels - Cross My Heart and Hope to Fly
Don't know much here, either. Just the BBC description: "Lyn, Dave and Chris learn to recover from illness and loss in quite unexpected ways."

Charlotte Jones - Airswimming
This one sounds really interesting. In the 1920s, two young women are committed to an insane asylum due to being pregnant out of wedlock. This is their lives there through their release in the 1970s.

Daily Multi-Episode Programs Starting This Week

Robert Graves - I, Claudius
Dramatization of the novel about the life of the Roman Emperor, starring Derek Jacobi. . I have the version with Timothy West where they did the entire huge novel in an hour and a half, but this is the one with six episodes of an hour each.

Paul Temple and the Geneva Mystery
I keep getting the Paul Temple stories as they air as they sound good in theory. I'm not sure I've ever actually listened to one. Someday.

Weekly Multi-Episode Programs Starting This Week

Radio 9
This just sounds silly: broadcasts from a fake radio station specializing in alternative lifestyles and advice.

Comedy Panel Shows
Unbelievable Truth is starting a new series this week. News Quiz is running its last new episode of the current series this week and Just a Minute ran its last one this past week.

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


bowl_of_glow at 6:13 pm on 06 April 2014 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I Claudius! I've been meaning to read the novel for quite a while. The dramatization sounds interesting. May I ask if you'd be willing to share if you are going to download all the eps? (I still haven't managed to download a thing after Radio Downloader went down. I haven't had time to give it another try but I'm technologically challenged anyway.) No worries if you can't. Though I'm curious to know what you think once you listen to it :)
bratty_jedi at 6:55 pm on 06 April 2014 (UTC) (Link)
I'll be downloading 'em and probably won't get around to listening to it for a while. I can certainly pass the files along once I have them. I can get you the very condensed version with Timothy West and the West adaptation of the sequel novel (Claudius the God) if you want that, too. I think the Jacobi one adapts both novels under the name I, Claudius, but I'm not certain on that. It might just be the original novel.
bowl_of_glow at 4:05 pm on 12 April 2014 (UTC) (Link)
I can certainly pass the files along once I have them. I can get you the very condensed version with Timothy West and the West adaptation of the sequel novel (Claudius the God) if you want that, too.

Oh, yes please? I'd be delighted if you could. Thank you ♥

(sorry about the late reply, I'm having a busy few days)

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