Red Dwarf. By Doug Naylor, Rob Grant and Kim Fuller. The brilliant cult T.V series comes to the radio read by Red Dwarf’s Rimmer- Chris Barrie. On the mining ship Red Dwarf, professional slob Dave Lister works as a technician with his immediate superior and bunkmate, the officious Arnold Rimmer. To say that Rimmer and Lister don’t get on would be like saying that high doses of radiation aren’t entirely good for you. Quite a coincidence, then, that a radiation leak picks this moment to wipe out Red Dwarf’s crew. Having smuggled his pregnant pet cat onto the ship, Lister is imprisoned in stasis – suspended animation – and so has no idea that his crew-mates, including love interest Kristine Kochanski, are being blasted into sherbet. Lister is woken three million years later. Holly, the ship’s computer, redirected the ship out of the solar system as soon as the accident happened, and then had to wait for the radiation to reach a safe background level. To keep Lister company Holly resurrects Rimmer as a hologram. He can’t touch anything, but he’s as irritating as ever.
Age Gap. So what is age? It is the individual’s private horror – personal, merciless, relentless…and sublimely comic. Peter Tinniswood’s dark comedy portrayal of two women thrown together in a rest home.
More Peter Tinniswood on the Peter Tinniswood Page.
Brave New World. Aldous Huxley’s vision of the future — of a world utterly transformed. Through the most efficient scientific and psychological engineering, people are genetically designed to be passive and therefore consistently useful to the ruling class. This powerful work of speculative fiction sheds a blazing critical light on the present and is considered to be Aldous Huxley’s most enduring masterpiece.
Des Res. By Ed Jones. Scriptwriter Luke loses his TV job and has to downsize from a bohemian terrace in a leafy Manchester suburb to the dark heart of Salford. The house is a bargain and he’s lived in worse; and he can handle those scallies that use his front doorstep as a youth club, can’t he?
Dewey Eyed. By Sarah Naomi Lee. Philippa is a librarian from a long line of librarians. When her father dies and her mother loses her wits, she tries the only language her mother understands, that of the Dewey cataloguing system, to guide her back to sanity.
Flaw in the Motor Dust in the Blood. Drama that explores manic depression, by Trevor Preston. Thomas’s dreams are like thriller plots, even if his daily life is anything but. His complex relationship with his partner Lizzie reaches crisis point when he tries to steal a lorry to drive a load of supermarket food to Africa.
Getting to Four Degrees. By Sarah Woods. What if we can’t limit global warming to two degrees? What if it reaches four degrees – or more? Three real-life climate change experts spin one average family into the future, to look at life on a warmer planet.
Hunting Tower. An old man takes what may be the last walking tour of his life. A young war hero tours the countryside on foot after convalescing from wounds he suffered during the first world war. A Russian princess is kidnapped. And the key to the crime lies in a romantic, foreboding castle on the coast of Scotland. In this novel of romance and adventure, John Buchan spins a tale of mystery, intrigue, and suspense.
Incident at Boulonvilliers. By Dave Sheasby. It is June 1982 and the Falklands War is drawing to a close. Three WWII veterans return to Normandy on a coach trip and are forced to confront a difficult incident back in 1944 and also their own ‘heroism’.
More Dave Sheasby on the Dave Sheasby Page.
Last Suppers. By Pearse Elliot. Jonah Toomb, a once renowned chef, stands on Death Row. There is nothing to do but wait for the inevitable. Or is there? Jonah embarks on a mission to ensure that the night before execution, each condemned inmate will have one last divine culinary experience.
Life of Penguins. By Katie Hims. Merle is a penguin keeper at London Zoo. When her sister Beth fails to make a date at the cinema, she goes searching for her. She soon realises that Beth has been abducted by aliens – not for the first time.
More Katie Hims on the Katie Hims Page.
Middlemarch. George Eliot’s most ambitious novel is a masterly evocation of diverse lives and changing fortunes in a provincial community. Peopling its landscape are Dorothea Brooke, a young idealist whose search for intellectual fulfilment leads her into a disastrous marriage to the pedantic scholar Casaubon; the charming but tactless Dr Lydgate, whose marriage to the spendthrift beauty Rosamund and pioneering medical methods threaten to undermine his career; and the religious hypocrite Bulstrode, hiding scandalous crimes from his past. As their stories interweave, George Eliot creates a richly nuanced and moving drama.
Newton and the Counterfeiter. Crawford Logan reads from Thomas Levenson’s biography of Isaac Newton and his rivalry with one of 17th-century London’s most accomplished and daring criminals, William Chaloner.
Q & A. By Vikas Swarup. Set in India, Q &A tells the story of Ram Mohammad Thomas, a poor young waiter who becomes the biggest quiz-show winner in history, only to be sent to jail on accusations (but with no evidence) that he cheated. The book was adapted into the famous multiple Oscar winning movie, Slumdog Millionaire.
Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption. By Stephen King. In mid-1940 Maine, banker Andy Dufresne is convicted for the murder of his wife and her lover. He is sentenced to life at Shawshank prison, where he befriends affable lifer Red. As a man ‘who knows how to get things’, Red provides Andy with a small rock hammer and a poster of Rita Hayworth, two items that will prove crucial in bringing about Andy’s ‘redemption’.
Rob Roy. By Sir Walter Scott. Frank Osbaldistone, the narrator, quarrels with his father and is sent to stay with an uncle, Sir Hildebrand Osbaldistone, in Northumberland. Frank falls in love with Diana Vernon, Sir Hildebrand’s niece, whose father has been forced to go into hiding because of his Jacobite sympathies. Frank’s cousin, Rashleigh, steals important documents vital to the honour of Frank’s father, William, and Frank pursues Rashleigh to Scotland. There he meets Robert Roy MacGregor, an associate of Diana’s father.
More Sir Walter Scott on Drama Page 74.
That Hideous Strength. By C.S Lewis. The fellows of a quiet English college are jubilant at attracting a prestigious new national institute to their sleppey university town. But why is the institute so determined to buy the site of the college’s ancient well?
The Sea Wolf. By Jack London tells the story of a soft, domesticated upper-class man named Humphrey van Weyden, who is forced to become tough and self-reliant by exposure to cruelty and brutality. The story starts with Humphrey aboard a San Francisco ferry, called Martinez, which collides with another ship in the fog and sinks. He is set adrift in the sea, eventually being picked up by Wolf Larsen. Larsen is the captain of the seal-hunting schooner, the Ghost. Brutal and cynical, yet also highly intelligent and intellectual (though highly biased in his opinions as he was self-taught), he rules over his ship and terrorizes the crew with the aid of his exceptionally great physical strength.
The Summer of a Dormouse. By John Mortimer. An elderly man stands in the darkening garden of a vicarage by the sea and looks back on a life which seems to have passed as swiftly as Lord Byron’s dormouse summer.
The Tank Man. By Julia Stoneham. The remarkable story of Ken Small, a hairdresser from Hull, who settled in south Devon and became dedicated to the creation of a permanent memorial to the victims of Exercise Tiger, one of the worst fiascos of the Second World War.
This is a True Story. The story of Howard Neal, based on his own handwritten accounts and adapted for radio by Pia Di Mattina from a stage version by Nick Harrington and Tom Wright. Howard, who has a low IQ, has been in prison for 25 years. Proceedings will soon be completed in the US courts to have him finally removed from death row on account of his mental impairment.
Troilus and Criseyde. Dramatisation of Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde. One of the great works of English literature, this powerful, compelling story explores love from its first tentative beginnings through to passionate sensuality and eventual tragic disillusionment. Lavinia Greenlaw’s new version for radio brings Chaucer’s language up-to-date for a modern audience while remaining true to his original poetic intention. After seeing the beautiful widow Criseyde at the temple in Troy, Troilus falls instantly in love with her. Inexperienced in love, he is unable to act on his feelings and locks himself in his room to compose love songs. Pandarus, worried for his friend, eventually persuades Troilus to tell him why he is so miserable and is delighted to hear that the cause is Troilus’ love for his niece Criseyde.Worried about her reputation, Criseyde is at first reluctant to enter into a relationship with Troilus. After much cajoling and manipulation, she reluctantly comes around to the idea. Pandarus is frustrated that the relationship is moving too slowly and engineers a complex plan to get Criseyde and Troilus in bed together.
Winter Storm. By Bernard Maclaverty. On a Midwinter’s day in Iowa in 1996, Scottish poet Andrew Younger steps from his office on a university campus and is engulfed by a severe blizzard. Lost and disorientated, Andrew muses upon the events which have led to him being stranded alone, so far away from home.