Saturday, May 29, 2010

listening to now ...

The Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliff

listening to now ...

Classic Tales of Horror: My Own True Ghost Story by Rudyard Kipling
The Man in the Bell by WE Aytoun
Narrative of the Ghost of a Hand by JS LeFanu
The Masque of the Red Death by E A Poe

best of the week

Waves Breaking on the Shore by Michael Eaton & Neil Brand
--Afternoon Play, Radio 4

Monday, May 24, 2010


Orbis is an Eighth Doctor audio play starring Lucie Miller as the companion, though it’s the first story after Lucie thought she saw the Doctor killed. It’s a terrible blow to her when she encounters him on the planet of Orbis and he doesn’t recognize her (but then he’s been there for 600 years , apparently, and doesn’t remember bipedal hominids very well).

I’m getting ahead of myself. This play, written by Alan Barnes and Nick Briggs (and script-edited by Alan Barnes and directed by Nick Briggs; as Jamie pointed out, a bit of an oligarchy!) uses the sound medium quite well (much better than Sirens of Time!). There’s no way a battle over the planet Orbis between the jellyfish Kelta and the Molluscari could be seen on TV; it would end up looking like the Bandrills and the Axons. The performers playing jellyfish and molluscs pull out all the stops, which is both a source of humor (Andrew Sachs playing the gender-changing Molluscari ruler who ends the play spawning over everyone!) and pathos—Selta (Laura Solon), a young jellyfish companion of the Doctor with a bit of a crush on him, is played sensitively. The ending carnage is difficult to take in, especially for the Doctor, who felt he had found peace and a home on Orbis.

The play is also hellish for Lucie, who steals the show with lots of good one-liners. The Headhunter (Katarina Olsson), who I last heard in Human Resources, also has a large role (I find her quite annoying, to be honest). The Doctor acts very alien in this play, though in keeping in character he does find delight in simple things like Lucie’s sodden pair of tights (and no, I don’t believe there’s any subtext there—Lucie’s multiple slaps of the Doctor were both amusing and much deserved). Sometimes you have to wonder why companions stay with the Doctor, the way he treats them. I guess in Lucie’s case she didn’t have much choice, what with the manipulations of the Headhunter. So where do they go from here?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

listening to now

John Milton's Paradise Lost
dramatized in 40 parts!!

listening to now ...

The Price of Fear: The Waxwork
Vincent Price's narrated tales of horror and the supernatural --BBC7

Sunday, May 16, 2010

best of the week

Who and Me Barry Letts' autobiography, as read by the author -- BBC7

listening to now ...

Orbis by Alan Barnes & Nicholas Briggs -- BBC7
The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas -- BBC7