Friday, September 3, 2010

Retro August 2008

1 August 2008 The Tyger Hunter by Lavinia Murray
Really, really weird day in the life of a 11-year-old William Blake, full of talking dogs and phantasmagoria. It had some really interesting lines, but I would have switched off if I was just listening to the radio.

7 August 2008 Left at Marrakech by Richard Stevens
Fast-moving period piece with strong performances outweighing wavering American accents. American pilots, bravery, a British broad, and a highly moral stiff upper lip RAF pilot.

9 August 2008 Dover and the Unkindest Cut by Joyce Porter
Hard-boiled, hilarious look at dismemberment in a Welsh village--spot on characterization, and the Chief Constable of the town sounded just like Nigel! It was a stretch over a whole hour, though!

16 August 2008 The Balloonists by Craig Stephens
Confusing, not sure if the parallel story of actual ascent and theatrical representation worked. Good characters, fun stuff, very Mesmerist-like.

21 August 2008 Sex for Volunteers by Laura Marney & David Ramos Fernandes
Somewhat silly story about First Aiders and a lingerie shop owner in Scotland. The two sisters started out interesting but it kind of limped to its conclusion with a happy ending I'm not sure it earned.

22 August 2008 Gold's Fool by Paul B Davies
Some easy narrative devices but it all hinged on the implacable personality of Elizabethan privateer Frobisher, played with gusto. A bit affected period-wise but some very funny dialogue from the Queen.

22 August 2008 Fridays When It Rains by Nick Warburton
Creepy in the extreme with some excellent mood music. The suspense and the dialogue were perfectly pitched, and Clive Swift was terrifying. The end didn't make sense entirely, but overall this is one of the best radio thrillers I've ever heard. Set entirely on a steam train in 1964, 1910, and today.

28 August 2008 This Cold August Light by Jerome Vincent
Disappointing story with such a promising idea. Too diffuse, too heavy-handed--it should have been about Poe in London in 1816 OR Turner in a storm in 1816 OR Polidori and Shelley in Geneva in 1816, not all of that woven clumsily into Poe in the 1840s being cantankerous. The child actor apparently coouldn't act and have an American accent at the same time. And Poe was Southern, not neutral mid-Atlantic!

listening to now . . .

Elephant & Castle by Robin Baker --Radio 4

The Great Swim by Gavin Mortimer/Anita Sullivan --Radio 4