CBC begins podcasting RADIO DRAMA: Backbencher

SFFaudio Online Audio

So I turned on CBC Radio late one evening last Thursday and discovered a new radio drama! Backbencher airs twice on Thursdays, once at 11:30 am and once at 11:05 pm.

Oh well. I figured it was just another radio drama that I’d almost never be able to catch. But, I’m very pleased to say that my assumption was absolutely and completely WRONG WRONG WRONG. The great news, the fantabulous news, is that Backbencher, a CBC Radio One radio drama, is actually being OFFICIALLY PODCAST!

Four episodes are out already, and I declare Backbencher very good. I’m afraid that Backbencher has absolutely no SFF or Aural Noir content at all, but there are a few actors you may recognize like Nigel Bennett. The show is richly produced in Halifax, Nova Scotia and features a number of CBC radio drama veterans (from shows like Vanishing Point and Clean Sweep).

It’s great to know that CBC Radio is living up to it’s mandate, specifically the requirement that CBC programs “be made available throughout Canada by the most appropriate and efficient means.” Podcasting is that.

Score one for the Mother Corp and score one for Canadians in the copyfight.

CBC Radio One - BackbencherBackbencher
By Wendy Lill; Performed by a full cast
Podcast – Approx. 28 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Podcaster: CBC Radio One
Podcast: April 8, 2010 – May 27, 2010
In Backbencher, we follow the story of Nellie Gordon, a paramedic from East Nova in Nova Scotia who decides to run for MP on a whim and, much to everyone’s surprise, gets elected. We go into caucus meetings, the hallways of Parliament and the House of Commons itself and experience it all from Nellie’s perspective each and every episode.

Episode 01 |MP3| The Nose Ring
After bragging about being The Voice of the People in her Maiden speech, Nellie’s first vote in the House of Commons is against a bill that could bring jobs to the people in her community of East Nova. Nellie’s first of many hurdles in Ottawa.

Episode 02 |MP3| What Goes Around
Nellie is swamped by applications for her riding office job in East Nova. Everyone is trying to sway her but she has to adhere to process and nepotism and patronage are not on the table. Or are they?

Episode 03 |MP3| Second Chance
MP Nellie Gordon struggles with two conflicting goods- protecting victims’ rights versus giving people a ‘second chance’. A government bill calling for longer sentences and no early release for violent offenders comes up in the House of Commons. Nellie clashes with her seat mate Herb Proctor and finds herself struggling with where she stands, even within her own party.

Episode 04 |MP3| Cutting Loose
MP Nellie Gordon finds herself on the wrong side of her party again when she supports a Liberal Private Members motion to cap MP salaries. Despite her best intentions to stay out of the media, she’s caught saying way too much and the Leader Charlie Dunn is not amused.

Joanne Miller is Nellie Gordon
Louise Renault is Renee LeBlanc
Lee J. Campbell is Herb Proctor
Jacob Robertson is Ben Gordon
Christopher Shore is Lars Edmunds
Susan Stackhouse is Anna Dobchuck
Deborah Allen is Catherine Gordon
John Dunsworth is Earl Higgins
Nigel Bennett is Charlie Dunn, Leader of the NDP

Podcast feed: http://www.cbc.ca/podcasting/includes/backbencher.xml

iTunes 1-Click |SUBSCRIBE|

Posted by Jesse Willis

P.S. Now all CBC needs to do is podcast the J. Michael Straczynski radio drama series: The Adventures Of Apocalypse Al!

4 thoughts to “CBC begins podcasting RADIO DRAMA: Backbencher”

  1. Well, that’s great news, but didn’t they just fold their tents and close down radio drama “forever”? I’m happy they changed their minds, but does anyone at CBC know what the plan is, or will they just muddle along for a few years and then reveal that half of senior management are Cylons and supposedly always have been?

  2. It’s funny how these things work out. There WAS a meeting for CBC radio A&E where they were told no more radio drama. And I got a phone call saying, “That’s it.” after the meeting. So I wrote that post. Everyone I talked to was under the impression that Radio Drama was done.

    But Afghanada still had it’s run left. The idea was that they would finish out Afghanada and then shut it down.

    But Afghanada keeps going.

    So, what it seems they’ve decided to do, is while Afghanada is on hiatus, they keep the “machine” going (as it were) by pooling their resources into other shows.

    They’re developing things, it’s not as over as they once said it was.


    I guess I’ll redact that statement “officially” at some point on my blog.

    But the future isn’t bright, either. It’s in a sort of limbo. When Afghanada goes off the air for good – that is when I think there will be some sort of definitive answer as to the future of Radio Drama on CBC.

  3. Thanks Matt.

    I love CBC radio, some of the very best stuff they’ve done has been radio drama. It would be a terrible mistake to stop making radio drama – especially now that it’s become actually followable via podcasting.

Leave a Reply