Author Topic: Audio Drama  (Read 1870 times)

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Offline Parsival

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Audio Drama
« on: April 26, 2011, 02:12:40 PM »
Realising this forum is mainly for readings, but there are a couple of recent drama releases that may be of interest.
 
You may have read in the R7-R4 Extra newsletter about there being some \'lost\'  Dick Barton series being found in Australia and being released by BBC Audio/go - well they are not the original UK version, but a version made in Australia aroud the same time with their actors using the same scripts.
 
Another serial that what deemed lost many years ago was \"A Perfect Spy\"  by  John Le Carre originally from 1993.  There had been a reading of this with Alec Guiness doing the chore available for many years, but this Rene Basilco dramatisation  produced by the recently departed John Fawcett Wilson is now on release.

Offline cats22

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Re: Audio Drama
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2011, 02:38:54 PM »
I have just received my copy of the Dick Barton this morning but haven\'t listened to it yet.  I either didn\'t read the blurb carefully enough or they were obscure about the fact that this is an Australian re-recording but I expect it will still be fun.

I also already have A Perfect Spy on its way.  I remember listening to it at time but that was before I really discovered le Carre so I don\'t think I properly appreciated it.  There were other Rene Basilico dramatisations I think with Bernard Hepton weren\'t there?  I remember Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.  I cannot believe how careless the BBC is with its recordings - how can they lose something from 1993?

Offline Parsival

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Re: Audio Drama
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2011, 04:04:41 PM »
I imagine the cumbersome master tapes that they had in those days did take up too much space and if they were not re-used they were dumped, a sad tale of course, but its amazing how many plays have been rescued using the cassette version!!.
 
Bernard Hepton\'s versions of \"Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy\" and \"Smiley\'s People\" have been airbrushed from radio history in favour of the recent R4 Smiley festival with Simon Russell Beale (not my favourite choice to play Smliey)  and I bet the Colin Blakely as Alec Leamus  in \"The Spy Who Came In From The Cold\" barely gets a mention, but I prefer that to the Brian Cox one.

\"The Russia House\"  with Tom Baker is due in July, though what will happen with \"A Small Town In Germany\" is any one\'s guess, Bernard Hepton pops up in that as one of the characters - Rawley Bradfield.

Yes it was misleading information regarding Dick Barton, but at least they have some of the original gusto.

Offline cats22

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Re: Audio Drama
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2011, 05:50:01 PM »
I have now listened to both and enjoyed them.

I only remember the 1970s remakes of Dick Barton so I didn\'t mind the fact that this new one was an Australian re-recording and as it dates from the right time it was authentic enough for me.  \"Gusto\" is exactly the right word and the urgent questions at the end of each episode were perfect.  It\'s a great listen and bowls along at a tremendous pace.  Perhaps not something to listen to again and again but good to experience.

A Perfect Spy was interesting as for me as an example of the difference between the way drama was done then and now.  I like both and it would be sad if the BBC were to fall into the trap (I agree they are in danger of doing that) of ditching the old simply because there is a new version.  

When I heard it in 1993 I would just have taken it for granted as something that the BBC did such a lot of at the time.  Hard to believe now that 8 half-hour episodes over as many weeks was nothing out of the ordinary then.  It\'s a very straight rendition of the story but it doesn\'t capture the mood of the book or the style of work for me.  It\'s a perfectly good listen and the acting is fine, the adaptation faithful.  It does, however, make me appreciate the more atmospheric pieces we sometimes get now where that is right for the book.  

A Perfect Spy is I think very different from le Carre\'s Cold War novels as it is even less about the spying itself than the others.  One of the reasons why le Carre novels are so special I think is that they are all about character, the shades of grey, the lack of clarity of motive and where loyalties lie.  Also, le Carre\'s novels are about nothing if not mood and I felt that The Compete Smiley captured that beautifully.  This one just missed the mark although I am very glad to have heard it again.

I must admit I can only vaguely remember the Bernard Hepton Tinker, Tailor and can\'t recall The Spy who came in from the Cold at all.  They were on at a time when I was wary of le Carre as I thought it was too difficult to follow the plots - my mistake was to start with The Honourable Schoolboy, which is an excellent book but not the place to start at all.  I then picked up Call for the Dead on impulse and that got me started and now I\'m hooked.  I have realised that I don\'t need to try to work out the plot.  My copy of Tinker, Tailor is very ragged as I have re-read it so many times.  I wasn\'t trying to work out who the mole was the first time around and of course it\'s incidental now.


May I ask why Simon Russell Beale was not your first choice for Smiley?  Who would you have chosen?

Offline Parsival

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Re: Audio Drama
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2011, 04:11:23 PM »
Something to look forward to in October is a \"new\" Paul Temple dramatisation of the 1946 serial \"A Case For Paul Temple\" - it should be interesting to find out who is going to direct/produce it, will it be Patrick Raynor in his independent role, or someone else perhaps Bruce Young -time will tell.
 
It\'s a bit dissapointing that they are leapfrogging over \"Paul Temple & The Gregory Affair\" as it has had quite a few mentions as an aside by Paul in the last to be broadcast - \"Paul Temple & Steve\".  

Still, the Gregory ran originally for ten episodes which might be a bit much for an audio release.

Offline Janaru

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Re: Audio Drama
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2011, 05:25:12 PM »
Ooh, glad to hear that, Parsival. :)

Yes, it will be interesting to see if Patrick is involved. Thanks for posting this.
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Offline Sunshine Superman

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Re: Audio Drama
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2012, 06:24:45 PM »

Offline Janaru

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Re: Audio Drama
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2012, 07:32:34 PM »
I have some Sexton Blake. Can\'t remember where I got them from though.
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Offline lifeonmarsfan

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Re: Audio Drama
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2012, 07:42:51 PM »
I know about the original series because I was looking for the series Dirk Maggs did for Radio 2 a few years back, but beyond that I don\'t know anything. I don\'t have too much BBC radio content from the 1960s, probably just the Hobbit radio series. It is probably pretty good, Would be interesting to see if that old Sexton Blake is as tongue in cheek as the one Dirk Maggs made.

Offline Parsival

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Re: Audio Drama
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2012, 03:44:12 PM »
The William Franklyn series is a more serious production then the Dirk Maggs version, which to my mind was too clever by half - too much going on to actually follow the stories.