Independence Day UK
Produced, written, and directed by Dirk Maggs
Starring Nicky Campbell, Patrick Moore, Toyah Wilcox, Colin Baker, and Simon Treves
1 Cassette – 1 Hour [AUDIO DRAMA]
Date Published: 1995
Published by the BBC
Themes: / Science Fiction / UFOs / Alien invasion / First contact
I was very intrigued by this title, because First Contact is one of the themes in science fiction that interests me most. This title appears to have been released as a promotion for the movie called Independence Day. The story is new, though it follows the same lines as the successful film.
In this one, a BBC FM Radio station holds a UFO watch after spending some time previous to the story beaming signals into space with hopes that a UFO will respond. The whole thing is tongue-in-cheek and done in good fun. But then something does respond, and it’s headed this way.
The structure of the story is very much like Orson Welles’ War of the Worlds, which is referenced in the beginning. It starts out in a realistic way, the FM host Nicky Campbell reporting the news as it’s happening, then moving into a third person perspective after the aliens have landed, just like Orson Welles’ 1939 production.
I wasn’t fond of this audio drama for one main reason – the entire “realistic” part of it was simply not believable. Nicky Campbell was on an aircraft along with an astronomer (Patrick Moore) and reported live as they monitored the incoming signal. None of the performers in this part of the production act in a believable manner when presented with evidence of an extraterrestrial craft headed their way. It’s more of a “isn’t this interesting and amusing” attitude rather than a “wow, this is REALLY happening” attitude.
In the production’s favor, the host they used (Nicky Campbell) is a real BBC host, and the astronomer (Patrick Moore) a real astronomer, both of BBC Radio 1. In other words, these folks were not actors. Regardless, it just didn’t work, but perhaps the entire production was not meant to be taken seriously.
The rest of the production? More Dirk Maggs audio magic. UFO’s and jets dueling in the skies, all remarkably done with sound.
Posted by Scott D. Danielson