Last week I couldn’t choose between two comedy shows, so had two highlights. Incidentally, D&D is for Nerds and Hector Vs The Future both had great episodes again this week, but I can’t keep choosing the same shows!
This week Radio Drama has most impressed me and, since they both come under the same Podcast, I’m going to cheat again by having two highlights.
(Drama of the week podcast titles are only available for a brief period, you have until 18th August to download. )
This is a lovely, well written and well performed piece, first aired in the 45 minute afternoon play slot. It’s a simple, touching play, concerning the journey of 5 strangers on a train from London to Manchester. We hear their personal internal thoughts and the stilted public conversations between them. There are no great dramatic, impassioned speeches, just charming sketches of everyday people sharing a space together for a brief period. As a non-driver I am more than familiar with the practice of silently assessing your fellow passengers and how your thoughts wander away on a long journey. (Or, in my case, fall asleep with you head against the window, so when the bus goes over a bump, you wake up with a start and bite your own tongue.)
Written by Katie Hims this was, to me at least, a lovely 45 minutes.
Highlight of the Week – Tracks Epi : 1, Also available as Radio 4 Drama of the Week.
In contrast to the gentle emotion and humour of Poetry in Motion, Tracks is a nine part thriller, mixing elements of scientific conspiracy, a merest hint of sci-fi, and unnamed menace.
Without giving up too much of the plot, the lead character is a GP, Helen, who is first on the scene of a plane crash. A plane full of scientists on the way to a medical conference. One passenger, who dies in her arms, is later found under autopsy, to have no heart. The corpse is quickly removed by a shadowy medical research corporation. This all sets up for a search for the truth by Helen and Freddy, the doctor who performed the autopsy.
The writing from Matthew Broughton, is great, tense and keeps you off balance. The characters have real depth, with real tangible personal issues. A good radio drama always, to me at least, has a way of engaging with the listener and allows a more subtle and emotional connection than TV drama, where spectacle is more important and characters tend to be drawn with broader strokes.
The first two episodes are available at time of writing, and Tracks is available as a stand alone podcast. Episodes will apparently be online for 60 days, so I recommend downloading quick as each episode is released, not to miss out.