BBC Radio 3: Slaughterhouse 5 [RADIO DRAMA]

SFFaudio Online Audio

Radio Times - Slaughterhouse 5 [RADIO DRAMA] Airing on BBC Radio 3BBC Radio 3This Radio Times column is announcing that BBC Radio 3 will have a radio drama adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut’s novel Slaughterhouse 5 airing on September 20, 2009. I belive this makes it the world exclusive premiere of this novel in radio drama. I’m betting that because of it a lot of people are going to be visiting or installing Radio Downloader just to get it.

BBC Radio 3 - Slaughter House 5 - RADIO DRAMASlaughterhouse 5
Based on the novel by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.; Performed by a full cast
1 Broadcast – Approx. 90 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: BBC R3 / Drama On 3
Broadcast: 20:00-21:30 Sunday 20th September
Written by Kurt Vonnegut and dramatised by Dave Sheasby.
“Adapted from arguably one of the greatest anti-war stories of all time, the play centres on Billy Pilgrim, who hops back and forth in time, reliving various moments in his real and fantasy lives, as a prisoner of war, optometrist and time traveller.”

Narrator …… John Guerassio
Billy Pilgrim …… Andrew Scott
Bernard V O’Hare …… Nathan Osgood
Mary …… Joanne McQuinn
Montana …… Annabelle Dowler
Barbara …… Sarah Goldberg
Valencia …… Madeleine Potter
Roland Weary …… Simon Lee Philips
Mother …… Liza Ross
Eliot Rosewater …… Kerry Shale
Howard J Campbell Jnr …… Stephen Hogan
Bertram Rumfoord …… Peter Marinker
English Officer …… Michael Mears
Cinderella …… Philip Fox
Paul Lazarro …… Gunnar Cauthery
Soldiers …… Orlando James, Michael Shelford

Music by 65 Days of Static
Directed by David Hunter

[Thanks Roy!]

Posted by Jesse Willis

BBC World Service: Pontypool [the radio drama]

SFFaudio Online Audio

BBC World ServiceThe BBC World Service commissions an annual collection of new radio plays from around the world each year. They call it “Worldplay” and this year’s theme was “science.” Entries came in from the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, the USA and Canada. It was Canada’s entry that has drawn my ear. Not only because it is Science Fictional (and Horror-ish) but also because it happens to be related to a movie that I told you radio drama fans would probably dig. Here’s a CBC Edmonton review of the movie |MP3| (now on DVD). Perhaps this Pontypool radio drama would have been broadcast on CBC Radio One too, had not the CBC radio drama department been virtually mothballed. Luckily, the BBC and ABC Radio National seem interested in airing new Canadian radio drama even if CBC itself isn’t.

Now for a few caveats. As the Horror Squad blog points out this is not, strictly speaking, a new recording but rather a radio drama created by editing the movie’s dialogue and sound effects tracks. Ultimately, this does hurt the piece; it would have been better to have had these terrific actors in the studio to recreate their performances (as was done by the likes of Lux Radio Theatre). But to my ears this edit is good, if not the ideal. Here’s what Horror Squad said:

“This is actually not a new recording, but simply the original audio of the film re-cut as a play. If you haven’t seen the film, I’d highly recommend you do before giving it a complete listen. As fantastic as the audio side is, one of the best things about the film is Bruce McDonald’s [he’s the film’s director] ability to visually trap you within the confines of the radio station, which is something I fear this 40 minute shorter take on the material is without.”

I myself have a couple factoids about Pontypool the radio drama. I’ll throw out there. First, this AD has a different ending than does the film. Second, it’s substantially abridged. The movie runs 97 minutes, with dialogue running over the opening and closing credits; whereas the AD runs only 53 minutes. The AD’s end credits also, by the way, say that Pontypool, was directed by Gregory J. Sinclair as a production for CBC. This is news to me considering I haven’t heard it broadcast on CBC radio this year, or even announced for the fall. Sinclair, incidentally, is the producer of CBC Radio’s last standing radio drama series, Afghanada. Have a listen to Pontypool. It’s a very Canadian zombie story. I really liked it a lot!

BBC World Service - Pontypool by Tony BurgessPontypool
By Tony Burgess; Performed by a full cast
Streaming Audio – Approx. 58 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: BBC World Service / Worldplay
Broadcast: June 21, 2009
“Shock jock Grant Mazzy has, once again, been kicked-off the Big City airwaves and now the only job he can get is the early morning show at CLSY Radio in Pontypool Ontario, which broadcasts from the basement of the small town’s only church. What begins as another boring day of school bus cancellations, due to yet another massive snow storm, quickly turns deadly when reports start piling in of people developing strange speech patterns and evoking horrendous acts of violence start piling in. But there’s nothing coming in on the news wires. Is this really happening? Before long, Grant and the small staff at CLSY find themselves trapped in the radio station as they discover that this insane behaviour taking over the town is actually a deadly virus being spread through the English language itself. Do they stay on the air in the hopes of being rescued or, are they in fact providing the virus with its ultimate leap over the airwaves and into the world? Based on the novel Pontypool Changes Everything. Starring Stephen McHattie, Lisa Poole, Georgina Reilly, Rick Roberts, Hrant Alianak and Daniel Fathers .

This is also available in MP3 format via along with more of the Worldplay dramas.

And, for australian listeners without torrent capability, via ABC Radio National |STREAMING|.

[via Monster Rally]

Posted by Jesse Willis

P.S. I think perhaps it’s time for CBC to sell the J. Michael Straczynski radio drama series that they produced and never aired, to a station that will actually broadcast it! Maybe BBC:WS?

James Dean Palmer: The Scarifyers, Undone and Hordes Of The Things

SFFaudio Online Audio

James Dean Palmer's BlogJames Dean Palmer’s blog is about Ginger (a programming language), TiVo surgery, funny comp-sci final exam answers, and anything else popping into JDP’s life (mostly babies). But in between all that he also finds time to talk about the stuff he’s listening to. That brings me to a nice mini-reviewlet of three BBC Radio 7 programs that have aired over the past year or so. Writes James:

“My favorite station is BBC Radio 7 whose charter is to be an outlet for the BBC’s vast archives of audio content but they also serve a fair bit of original content as well.

One bit of original work, The Scarifyers, is particularly entertaining. Imagine The X-Files set in the 30s in the heart of London and Sculley and Mulder are replaced with an eccentric English professor and a past-his-prime police officer. Maybe it’s more Ghostbusters than X-Files. Regardless, it’s witty writing with clever acting.

I started listening to one drama on 7 called ‘Hordes of the Things‘ and have to admit I didn’t get too far before I got bored of it. It’s from many of the same people that brought Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (HHGTG) to life and there was much hope it would be the next HHGTG. That it is not but let me be bold and say that a new drama on 7 called ‘Undone‘ might just be. There’s very little similarity between Undone and Douglas Adams’ HHGTG but for some reason Undone just reminds me of the fun and imagination of HHGTG.”

All three of these shows are available over on The Scarifyers is also available on CD |HERE|. Hordes Of The Things is due for release on CD by BBC Audiobooks on October 8, 2009 (ISBN 9781408426234).

Posted by Jesse Willis

BBC R2 / The Hunt For Sexton Blake

Aural Noir: Online Audio

BBC Radio 2RadioArchive.ccHere’s a reminder that tonight sees the beginning of The Adventures Of Sexton Blake in a six week run on BBC Radio 2. But if you’re still not sure who this Blake bloke is, I’ve got the solution. Using my amazing skills of research ( I’ve uncovered a July 28th, 2009 documentary about this Sexton Blake character. It’s called The Hunt For Sexton Blake and runs a full hour. Interested parties can find the well seeded torrent for it through It’s filed in the “factual” section there. Here’s the description:

BBC Radio 2 - The Hunt For Sexton BlakeWho exactly is Sexton Blake? People under the age of 45 might ask that question, but anyone older is likely to have read one of the 4000 stories by over 200 authors, or seen the films, the stage adaptations, the many TV shows, or listened to his adventures on radio.

Sexton Blake is one of the most famous and long-lived fictional detectives and adventurers of all time, who battled opium smugglers, bandit chiefs and the Kaiser. In his heyday he was more widely read than Sherlock Holmes – enjoyed by working people all over the British Empire – and whilst Holmes features in very few stories, Blake appeared in thousands.

In this hour long profile and exploration of Blake’s impact, David Quantick talks to author Michael Moorcock, who used to edit the Sexton Blake Library; Jack Adrian a former writer; and comic book illustrator Kevin O’Neil, who co-created The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen and other heroes.

That Blake didn’t have the same critical recognition, could be attributed to the fact the stories were published in cheap magazines, rather than in proper books. Or because the writers themselves didn’t move in the right circles, to make friends and influence people. While Ian Fleming had been to Eton and Sandhurst, the Blake authors were a rag tag bunch of eccentrics, whose own lives were worked into the tales. Michael Moorcock tells David that the Blake writers were puzzled at how James Bond was liked by critics, when the early novels were badly plotted and featured cartoon-like villains hiding in volcanoes.

David also hears about the Blake author who vanished under mysterious circumstances. The writer’s wife sent in his remaining Blake manuscripts without saying he’d disappeared, and then passed off her new partner’s work as that of her dead husband. It wouldn’t take Sexton Blake to tell you there was something fishy going on there!

Posted by Jesse Willis

BBC Radio 4: Tarantino’s Jukebox

Aural Noir: Online Audio

BBC Radio 4BBC Radio 4 produces so many wonderful fiction programs. Every once in a while I get my paws on a BBC R4 documentary program that is just as good, and just as interesting as those readings and plays. I’m not much for music, but I love the music in Quentin Tarantino’s movies.

Here’s the perfect doc on that subject…

Tarantino's JukeboxTarantino’s Jukebox
2 Parts – Approx. 56 Minutes [DOCUMENTARY]
Broadcaster: BBC Radio 4
Broadcast: July 11th and 18th 2009
“Composer and film music historian Robert Ziegler talks to American film-maker Quentin Tarantino about the music he has used to soundtrack his films. Music plays a key role in Tarantino’s films, including Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown, and he reveals to Robert his musical influences and the way in which he plunders his own backstory, remembering the tracks of his youth and making references to – and featuring music from – cult films and television. Recorded on location in Tarantino’s favourite virtual Los Angeles diner, the programme also provides an insight into the way music can infuse a film, and the way a film can bring music back to life from the dusty vaults. The programme also features contributions from Mary Wilson of the Supremes, Dusty Springfield’s manager Vicki Wickham, film producer Laurence Bender, music and film critic Paul Gambaccini, film editor Sally Menke and music supervisors Mary Ramos and Karyn Rachtman”.

When you click through you may notice that BBC only has the second half of the two part doc still available in their iPlayer. But, that’s okay because you can get this terrific two part doc in an MP3 format via torrent from (just like I did).

Posted by Jesse Willis a torrent portal for BBC Radio

SFFaudio News is a torrent portal specifically devoted to spoken-word radio. The site deals primarily with content from the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC Radio) but also dips into spoken-word material from other public radio networks. One thing for seeders to remember, “ONLY ACCEPTS AUDIO MATERIAL WHICH HAS BEEN DERIVED FROM FREE-TO-AIR BROADCASTS VIA ANALOGUE RADIO / DIGITAL RADIO / DIGITAL TV / INTERNET STREAMING.” Those seeders who post audio from retail products will be banned from the site.

Some current torrents in the “Audiobook – SciFi & Fantasy” section included:

H.G. Wells – Sea Raiders
Isaac Asimov – Gimmicks Three and Light Verse
CS Lewis – Perelandra
Summertime on Icarus – Arthur C Clarke
The Green Hills of Earth – Robert A Heinlein
Ordeal in Space – Robert A Heinlein
2001: A Space Odyssey – Arthur C Clarke
Wee Free Men – Terry Pratchett
Methuselah’s Children – Robert Heinlein
Soldier – Harlan Ellison
The Last Days of Shandakor – Leigh Brackett
Jokester – Isaac Asimov
Arthur C. Clarke – The Parasite
Arthur C. Clarke – All the Time in the World
Brian Aldiss – Man in His Time
Burning Chrome – William Gibson
Brian Aldiss – Song of the Silencer
John Wyndham – Survival
Pattern Recognition – William Gibson
I Am Legend – Richard Matheson
We Can Remember It for You Wholesale – Philip K. Dick

[via The Website At The End Of The Universe]

Posted by Jesse Willis