Some recent BBC drama or podcast output that’s really caught my attention, and which is available on iPlayer at the time of writing. Remember, this is just a small sample of the huge variety on offer.
Jarvis Cocker’s Wireless Nights
In this series people recount true stories that occurred during the night, exploring the proposal that their nocturnal nature had a direct impact on said events and those involved. Mr Cocker’s voice is perfectly suited to the presentation of these programmes. You can listen on the BBC iPlayer, or there’s also a podcast. (My wife and I saw Pulp at the NEC in 1995 – the best gig we’ve ever been to.)
Between the Ears – The Haunted Moustache
Worth inclusion for the title alone, this is another wonderfully quirky edition of Between the Ears in which David Bramwell explores a world of seances, spiritualism and curiosity shops as he attempts to find the truth behind the facial hair of the title, inherited from his Great Aunt Sylvia. Great audio in the voice of Ambrose Oddfellow, played from an antique wax disc.
We also have a mummified penis, which is the longest-standing erect penis in history.
– Suzette of The Last Tuesday Society
Between the Ears – The Art of Noise
I listened to and saved this episode a while ago, and listened to it again when it began to play after The Haunted Moustache. Dan Jones explores art created in the medium of audio, and touches on the importance and unappreciated impact of sound on our lives in general. Due to its constant presence we generally tune out the majority of the sound we hear, especially that which is familiar. Removing sound from its context and examining the everyday sounds that envelop us can be a fascinating exercise.
Although no longer available on iPlayer I also really enjoyed:
The Stone Tape in 3D
written by Matthew Graham and Peter Strickland, based on a TV play by Nigel Neal, directed by Peter Strickland
The Stone Tape is a great production that combines a fine script with modern digital technology to create an incredible, immersive and genuinely creepy audio drama. The scream – credited to Eugenia Caruso – is genuinely chilling.
“It took us around two weeks to do the Radio 4 and binaural mix, and I had very strange dreams during that time!”
– Eloise Whitmore
“Good headphones” were recommended for The Stone Tape in 3D; I’m not sure what qualifies as good headphones but I swear by my Koss PortaPros: they’re relatively inexpensive, light, comfortable and sound great.