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Here we are, it’s nearly the end of the year, so what better time to look back at some of the audiobooks and radio series we’ve covered this year and offer my personal favourites. Because who doesn’t love a list?
DOCTOR WHO: BANG BANG A BOOM
Science fiction. Full cast drama starring Sylvester McCoy and Bonnie Langford. 2 hours approx.
A really enjoyable romp, one that bears re-listening.
WE SAID: This story doesn’t just play with the conventions of the Eurovision Song Contest but takes the archetypal setting of a space station and does what most – in fact all – of Doctor Who never, ever does and goes all Star Trek on us, which is akin to characters in Coronation Street sitting down in the Rovers Return to talk about what happened on EastEnders last night…. McCoy and Langford are, it must be said, not the most popular of Doctor / companion partnerships the series ever had. Their time on screen was dogged by crappy scripts, dodgy production values or unsympathetic directors. Not here. Big Finish pride themselves on attention to detail and righting the wrongs of the television serirs.
Available on Bigfinish.com
AGATHA CHRISTIE’S MISS MARPLE: AT BERTRAM’S HOTEL
BBC Radio Dramatisation in five parts. Original broadcast; 1994
Starring June Whitfield as Miss Marple with Maurice Denham, Geoffrey Bayldon and Fredrick Jaeger.
I have now listened to this three times now. Its brilliant.
WE SAID: I love Agatha Christie’s books but I never got on with Miss Marple….[but] June Whitfield makes this for me. This was no creepy old lady with “pearl white hair” as had been written in the books. This was a legend of the acting profession, the great, the irreplaceable June Whitfield, she of Terry and June, Absolutely Fabulous and many a Carry On, playing one of literature’s most famous creations. And she absolutely nails it. Fantastic is all I can say, really,
Available on radioechoes.com and the BBC Sounds app (UK readers only can access bBC Sounds)
WIND IN THE WILLOWS
Audiobook in three parts read by Richard Briers. 3 hours.
I’ve listened to it a good few times this year too but what did we say about this earlier in the year.
WE SAID: Briers was once a fine stalwart of that endangered beast, the gentle British sitcom and known for his fine comic timing. He imbues each character, even ones that appear for only a few lines, with a distinctive voice and personality, demonstrating his fine vocal range. Perfect if you’re looking to be pulled gently into this world of boats, rivers and, erm toads in drag. Though in some ways, the abridgement robs us of more hours of Briers’ wonderful narration
Available to hear and download from Youtube.com
DAY OF THE TRIFFIDS
Read by Robert Powell. Abridged. 2.5 hours approx.
An all-time favourite of mine, I simply could not leave it off the list.
WE SAID : As an introduction to the far more satisfying read of the book, this for me is by far the most successful attempt at an adaptation of Day of the Triffids – in any medium. It’s a must for teenagers, possibly with a short attention span and if you are already familiar with the book, Robert Powell adds a new dimension and undoubtedly makes this a very worthwhile and satisfying audiobook.
This can only be found on YouTube by typing “Triffids / Wyndham” into the search
THE MIGHTY BOOSH
Comedy radio series written and performed by Julian and Noel Fielding. 6 episodes first broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2001.
A bit of a revelation and a lovely surprise for this dyed in the wool fan of The Boosh.
WE SAID: The Mighty Boosh is very original, but the concept is twenty years old now. What was once new and cutting edge looks almost old hat, but this series has an ace up it’s sleeve; the meandering plots are odd and unpredictable, serving the originality of the comedy just as effectively now as it did in 2001….If you think you know The Boosh but never experienced these radio episodes you really should listen to this series. If you know nothing about it and only know Noel Fielding from Bake Off and panel shows, this is a great place to start. A passing coyote might even take pity and lend you his headphones (or sun glasses).
The Mighty Boosh Radio is available on vinyl,MP3 or CD from Audible or Amazon, and can be streamed in full on YouTube.
That’s all for now. Daily Audio will be back in the new year to help you through your latest local lockdown with more reviews and recommendations on easy-to-find audiobooks. Thank you for reading and for supporting the site, we hope you’ve had fun and we’ll see you back here in 2021. Happy new year! Stay safe and God bless
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