Hello, World

UK Audio Drama, CHAPTER 1: BBC

Sometimes it seems like they stuck with radio longer, and in fact they still produce plenty of radio programs today. They got better at the artform, while we really never did, and our best radio artists were more like “competent entertainers” than “revitalizing geniuses.” 

* Specifically uses the fact that it’s audio as part of the story or in some innovative way


November Dead List  - BBC, Nick Perry
Rock of Eye  - BBC, Anita Sullivan
I, Regress -  BBC, Comedy Series
Pericles - BBC, Shakespeare
Shirley - BBC, Charlotte Bronte
Devil in the Fog - BBC, 
Reasons for Leaving - BBC, Peter Whalley
My One and Only - BBC, Dawn King
When Last I Saw You -  BBC, Peter Whalley
Who Shot Ada Tansey -  BBC, Peter Whalley
Second Body - BBC, Trevor Preston
Letter of Last Resort -  BBC
Man in the Moon - BBC, Linda Marshall
What England Owes - BBC, Christopher William Hill
The Exhuberant  - BBC, Jeff Young
The Gray Ones - BBC, JB Priestly
Corona Chillers: Four Tales of Terror (S. Delany)
I Have No Mouth…  - Scream Chillers: Four Tales of Terror (H. Ellison)
Scherzo*  - Big Finish, Doctor Who (8th Doctor)
Spare Parts  - Big Finish, Doctor Who (5th Doctor)
Serious Money BBC, Caryl Churchill
A Number “ “
Bad Memories* -  BBC, Radio 4
Alpha - BBC, Mike Walker
Omega - BBC, Mike Walker
Fugue State -  BBC, Julian Simpson
No Man’s Land - BBC, Harold Pinter
The Exorcist (1971) -  BBC, William P. Blatty
Feathers - ??
Alphabet Islands  - Orson Welles Almanack
Sherlock Holmes & Moriarty Welles & Rathbone
Harry Lime: Voodoo
Ghost Hunt Suspense
Sorry, Wrong Number Suspense (half-hour Agnes Moorhead version only)
On the Fourable Board* Quiet, Please
Dybbuk CBS Radio Mystery Hour (it has other names)
The King Shark  - God Witch’s Tale

ZBS has a special place in my brain -- I feel like it's a cut above everyone in some ways, but it's definitely hung up on spiritual principles which, while lovely and universal, can feel... well, maybe a little obvious after a bit. Your mileage may vary. 

Ruby 4 ZBS
Mumbo Jumbo ZBS

Ulysses, James Joyce, terrific Audiobook done as drama : https://archive.org/details/Ulysses-Audiobook-Merged/


Radio Plays I don’t love but which are considered pivotal

Three Skeleton Key Suspense
Tight Grip Tales From the Crypt Radio (Tim Curry)

If fiction podcasts were on the list, it would only be their concepts and not the podcasts themselves. The idea of Welcome to Night Vale is great, but do you really want to hear Joseph Fink advertising himself for a full minute-and-a-half before every episode? The Truth was promising, but cliquey casting of half-talented performers, and writing that doesn't seem to know how predictable it is, dragged it down to hell. For every Sylvia’s Blood (the one I like, written by Philip K. Dick) there are a half-dozen Songonauts. 

If you’re trying to create innovative audio dramas, then it is wrong to enjoy the other offenders I’ve listed. You do owe it to your audience to develop some taste. It’s not about your “right to enjoy whatever you happen to enjoy,” although you certainly have that. Audio is where the James Joyces of new media can find their voice, and you owe it to your audience to stop being dull, stop liking dull things.