Thought I'd create a fresh conversation topic, with the view of adding a Poll if there are enough responses.
What is your favourite audio drama production beyond Big Finish? It could be a Doctor Who, such as The Pescatons (BBC records) or one of the full cast Alien (Audible) productions, one of the HHGTTG Radio serials. It may even be a comedy such as a Monty Python record, a Hancock's Half Hour or Count Arthur Strong episode, so long as it is a specific title. If you feel a particular series is warranted, then OK (e.g. Series 2 of Dads Army Radio episodes). Is there a particular M.R James favourite ghost story (and narrator) amongst the many examples?
For starters, I nominate: Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds
Reasons - Richard Burton's memorable, mellifluous narration, Phil Lynott's notable acting performance as the Parson (dedication), David Essex as the Artilleryman and some wonderful atmospherics complemented by the illustrated booklet.
It was something that got a lot of play on Vinyl back when I was younger, to the point that it is ingrained in my memory. Indeed I cannot think of the Book without quoting in my head the abridged opening passage by Burton. One of the best dramatic introductions ever, to my mind. I have since bought an additional two mint original vinyl releases, the double cassette version, the double CD and even the abridged version (an aberration I concede). Oh, and it has an excellent musical backdrop...
Any other suggestions? as I say, I will add a poll if there is enough interest in this.
War of the Worlds is a definite contender, but I think my favourite audio drama - the one that actually got me into audio dramas in the first place - is the BBC's adaption of Lord of the Rings, starring just about everybody in the world! It's a huge undertaking, and for a story that consists of many lengthy fights (not easy on audio), it's an amazing, immersive, atmospheric epic that I still dip into every so often.
Also, any or all of Vivian Stanshall's 'Henry Rawlinson' craze-fest 'stories' comes pretty high on the list too.
I have lots but BBC’s LOTR is the one I listened to most, BBC’s 90’s Sherlock Holmes comes a close second
Others would be June Whitfield version of Marple, and Agatha Christie tale called the sittaford mystery, an occult drama called events at black tor, 90’s Narnia series, Tim curry reading sabriel, monks hood, bbc’s pet sematary & the first few series of pilgrim, Agatha raisin, League of gentlemen, Cabin pressure & the original Star Wars radio series of a new hope
Loads of other stuff I liked but those have probably listened to the above more than 5 times so they make my list
(Preamble: It's a podcast from the BBC, and I'm American, so I probably don't know what something is called)
The Lovecraft Investigations are a great series retelling HP Lovecraft stories as a modern investigative journalistic piece (for those in the know, think Limetown). It's three seasons long, each exploring a different Lovecraft story. Great stuff, super fun, plus it features Nicola Walker!
Dylan Thomas’ Under Milk Wood is one of my all-time favourite books, but I have a special place in my heart for the 1987 all-Welsh production produced by George Martin, with music by Elton John and Mark Knopfler featuring performances by Anthony Hopkins, Jonathon Pryce, Tom Jones, Bonnie Tyler, Harry Secombe, Freddie Jones, Mary Hopkin, Gareth Thomas and many others. It is a wonderful experience.
My entry point into audio dramas was Dimension X and X Minus One. Sci-Fi anthology radio shows from the 50s, X Minus being a sequel series to the other. Some real good stuff, including adaptations of well known stories and authors of the time. Not at all the cheese fests one might associate with classic radio from the way it's portrayed in modern media.
Definitely agree with the suggestions above. One of my favourites comes from America and is called Nightbeat. Set in Chicago it deals with reporter Randy Stone who covers the ‘nightbeat’ for the Chicago Star. A great performance from Frank Lovejoy in the lead role. The stories are varied and full of interesting characters with a tale to tell. Literate, full of atmosphere and an interesting listen. The audio quality varies due to the archive nature of the series.
They did make one tv episode which is worth a look. The audio series can be downloaded from a variety of sites including:
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