Drama Page 56

Metropolis-1-1-1Metropolis. Thea von Harbou’s novel became husband Fritz Lang’s 1927 silent movie classic. Its terrifying vision of the future was born in an age of booming heavy industry. Peter Straughan’s new version finds its hero, F T Fredersen, caught up in a nightmarish world all too recognisably drawn from the one we find ourselves in today.

This file is not the corrupted version that is in general circulation.

The Rain Maker-1-1-1The Rain Maker. By Matthew Broughton. When a father takes his son on a trip to a cabin in the woods, he has no idea what terrible horror is to come. A sinister story about the demons that lurk in the dark forest of the mind.

43 Letters-1-1-143 Letters. By Rony Robinson. Julia and David work together in the family archives. One day, a mysterious envelope arrives for David with letters from 43 women, all answering a lonely hearts advert that he didn’t place.

A Nursery Tale-1-1-1A Nursery Tale. By Kate Clanchy. A missing child unites two women in Kate Clanchy’s compelling nursery tale for grown ups.

Burned To Nothing-1-1-1Burned to Nothing. By Rex Obano. Matthew returns to Nigeria, the land of his birth. He has come to secure the release of his son who has become caught up in the politics of a land in turmoil; a land he has fallen in love with.

Porterhouse Blue-1-1-1Porterhouse Blue. By Tom Sharpe. Porterhouse College is world renowned for its gastronomic excellence, the arrogance of its Fellows, its academic mediocrity and the social cachet it confers on the athletic sons of county families. Sir Godber Evans, ex-Cabinet Minister and the new Master, is determined to change all this. Spurred on by his politically angular wife, Lady Mary, he challenges the established order and provokes the wrath of the Dean, the Senior Tutor, the Bursar and, most intransigent of all, Skullion the Head Porter – with hilarious and catastrophic results.

Three forty-three minute episodes, this was originally nine thirteen minute episodes.

Believe Me-1-1-1Believe Me. By Stephanie Dale. When art teacher Rachel bumps into chef Tyrone on his first day in London it is the start of a sunny, passionate love affair, an affair that will take them into much darker places.

Major Gregory Keen of MI5-1-1-1Adventures of Major Gregory Keen of MI5. Before 007 came on the scene, Major Keen was already protecting England by hunting down spies from other countries. The books came later so it looks like Bond beat Keen but that definitely was not the case. Gregory Keen is an agent with MI-5. With the imposing name of Gregory George Athelston Keen, the hero of this five case series is a serious, determined former Major in the British Army, now an experienced agent in Special Service of Home Security, or MI-5 as it is more commonly known. Little of his background is mentioned although in passing it is obvious that he had served in Military Intelligence during WWII. He is single with a good eye for the ladies but not one to let a pretty leg sway him from his task. Based on his activities, Keen is a very good detective in addition to being a trained agent. His methodical process of studying the evidence and coming to the correct conclusion is demonstrated clearly. Backing him up on his missions is the junior but still dependable Agent Coutts with whom Keen has a good relationship.

Each program ran a short 12 minutes long but there were an impressive 104 episodes in each adventure, making an entire case last over 20 hours. There were actually 5 separate adventures (5 x 104 x 12 minutes) although case five ‘The Smell of Terror’ is currently missing. In the first three adventures the role of Keen was played by New Zealand’s Bruce Stewart and his nemesis in both adventures (Dumetrius in “Dossier on Dumetrius” & Dumetrius’ half-brother Felix Hubermann in “Deadly Nightshade”) was played by fellow Kiwi, Guy Doleman – the latter moving on to prominent film roles in Thunderball (1965) and Michael Caine’s mid 60’s Harry Palmer trilogy (The Ipcress File, Funeral in Berlin & Billion Dollar Brain). The other two adventures, Two Roads To Samarra and The Smell Of Terror, followed after a while but a different actor played Keen.
Dossier on Dumetrius was probably the best and most successful radio serial ever produced. It introduced Major Gregory Keen of MI5 who was the forerunner to James Bond. An interesting and distinctive feature of this programme is the theme melody. Each episode opens with a few bars of whistling, the tune of which is then taken up by a full concert orchestra.The whistling of this theme serves throughout the story to identify Dumetrius. Dossier on Dumetrius was incredibly popular where in New Zealand alone the Members of Parliament rose early to be able to hear the final episode.
Dossier on Dumettrius. The story is set in Post War London and tells of the search for missing Nazi loot which was brought into England by a mysterious, vicious criminal Dumetrius, his gorgeous girlfriend Hedy Bergner and Yottie Bleem, a butcher who thinks murder is fun.
Deadly Nightshade. Keen travels to Sydney in an effort to trace an atomic scientist who has vanished.
26 Hours. The action takes place in occupied Berlin within twenty-six hours which, incidentally, is the actual playing time. A gang of spies has stolen a set of documents belonging to an American general.
Two Roads to Samarra. Keen is sent to Scotland to protect one of the world’s richest men who is willing to set the world ablaze to save his financial empire.
The Smell of Terror. Currently missng.

In Memoriam-1-1-1In Memoriam. An adaptation of Tennyson’s long sequence of poems of grief and hope written after the death of his close friend Arthur Hallam. Performed by David Bamber. Hallam was born 200 years ago and died in 1833 in Vienna. He and Tennyson had met at university and had become friends; Hallam became engaged to marry Tennyson’s sister. His sudden and unexpected death prompted some of the most personal poetry Tennyson ever wrote and some of the most moving and powerful poetry of loss and grief in the language. Tennyson returned over several years to write more and more poems in an accumulating sequence about the friendship of the men, the agony of the news of Hallam’s death, the journey of his body back to his family home in Clevedon, the life denied Hallam. Alongside these intensely personal and exposing poems he wrote others of philosophical and religious investigation. Tennyson wanted to know why Hallam had died – what emotional purpose could be served by death, what faith had to say about loss. He was simultaneously grappling with the beginnings of revolutionary ideas and findings about geology, the age of the earth, the development of species, Darwinism, even, before Darwin was known. Never before or since in English poetry has one death brought forth such a charged outpouring of thought and imagination, passionate grief and stoical scrutiny. The sequence includes several poems that have given phrases to the common language – In Memoriam is where we hear ‘nature, red in tooth and claw’ for the first time and aso ’tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.’

Miracle Worker-1-1-1Miracle Worker. By Katharine Way. Seventeen-year-old Hannah is a spiritual healer, driven by her emotionally-vulnerable mother and guided by the memory of her dead sister, Lucy. Into this intense atmosphere enters Sam, Hannah’s first real friend, who Hannah apparently heals of her crippling asthma. But when Sam suffers an almost fatal relapse, Hannah has a major crisis of confidence. Hannah Bradley’s only 17, but she’s a spiritual healer. It doesn’t seem strange to her; it’s what she was brought up to be. She’s healed many people; but maybe there’s one person she really needs to heal.

My Name Is Iqbal Masih-1-1-1My Name Is Iqbal Masih. By Bettina Gracias. The moving true story of Iqbal Masih, a young Pakistani boy who was forced into bonded labour in a carpet factory at the age of four, an international figurehead for the Bonded Liberation Front at the age of 11 and brutally murdered in 1995 at the age of 12.

Ghost Stories By M R James-1-1-1Ghost Stories By M R James. (R) Read by Benjamin Whitrow.

Canon Alberic’s Scrapbook. A collector of antiquities finds a priceless ancient book. But something evil lies within its pages.
Lost Hearts. A young orphan goes to stay with his cousin and finds himself haunted by a pair of ghostly children.
A School Story. A man recalls the ghost story from his childhood days at boarding school when a bizarre series of events led to the disappearance of a schoolmaster.
The Haunted Dolls House. Why are the Chittendens so pleased to be rid of their rather splendid miniature mansion?
Rats. Mr Thompson decides to explore the rooms at the inn where he is staying and comes to wish he hadn’t.
The Mezzotint. (R) Read by Robin Bailey. A mysterious print reveals a tragic tale of rural revenge. From the Classic Tales of Horror series.
M R James at Christmas. Derek Jacobi as the voice of MR James introduces classic ghost stories.
Oh, Whistle, and I’ll Come to You, My Lad. During a winter golfing holiday in Norfolk, Prof Parkins uncovers a curious artefact from the ruins of a Templar preceptory.
The Tractate Middoth. Diligent curator David Garrett gets caught up in the machinations of the mysterious Dr Rant when he is sent down to the library stacks to retrieve an obscure manuscript.
Lost Hearts. Stephen Elliot, orphaned at the tender age of 12, moves in with his wealthy uncle in Lincolnshire, only to find himself troubled by dreams of two ghostly figures.
The Rose Garden. Mary and George are renovating an old house in rural Essex. When they remove an ancient post from the back garden, it opens a doorway to the region’s turbulent past.
Number 13. Dr Anderson’s obsessive interest in why his hotel doesn’t include a number 13 puts him in terrible danger.

The Understudy-1-1-1The Understudy. By Jo Anderson. An actor’s obsession with a bizarre murder in Victorian theatreland sparks a deadly confrontation.

My Haunted Expression-1-1-1My Haunted Expression. An offbeat 21st Century urban love story by Helen Clohessy. Sue dreams of living by the sea and leaving their tough housing estate behind but husband Finn earns little and won’t borrow.

War With The Newts-1-1-1War with the Newts. By Karel Capek. When humanity encounters another race of intelligent bipeds sharing the Earth, what choice is there but to exploit it? When the existence of a group of speaking newts comes to the attention of ruthless GH Bondy and his Salamander Syndicate the newts find themselves turned into a commodity, and fought over by nations. At its heart, this joyously funny satire is a plea for decency and tolerance towards others, as relevant now as when it was first written in the 1930s.

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