The State Of The Art - BBCR4 - 5 March 2009 1415
Paul Cornell's adaptation of the Iain M Banks novella, The State of the Art, is being broadcast at 14:15 on Thursday, 5 March, 2009.
Press release details are at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pro...tml#thu_radio4
I have a CD from the BBC and will hopefully have a review written by Monday for the next issue of The Banksoniain, but if I don't upload the PDF I will post the review here anyway.
Duly noted. Many thanks Dave.
Lurker at the threshold
Is it a one off or a series?
"Just have fun"
The novella is about 30,000 words. The radio programme is just under 44 minutes, and so a little of the content has been removed in the adaptation so it is a one off like most Afternoon Plays.
There are going to be other SF Afternoon Plays, including some specially commissioned stories, plus Arthur C Clarke's, Rendezvous with Rama, as a two parter in the Classic Serial R4 slot, and HG Wells, The Time Machine, on R3. So look out for lots of SF radio on R4, R3 and BBC7 starting from next weekend.
ooooh, I'm looking forward to this.
Of course they're going to get it all so wrong, but I'm looking forward to it.
I want to be Cultured
They can't have got it too wrong, TMH was happy with the script.
Here is my review of the radio programme that appears in the new issue of The Banksoniain. There are more articles about The State of the Art in this issue #14, available from http://www.banksoniain.netfirms.com
The BBC kindly sent me a review copy, and my listening was all the more poignant for being in Paris one of the locations in the story.
The framing of the story as a letter from Sma to a researcher studying Earth with comments at the end by 'The Drone', Skaffen-Amtiskaw, has been removed. The production loses nothing for that. I didn't notice until my second listening when checking the text of the novella with the adaptation. It does, without explanation, sometimes jump to Sma looking back on her time on Earth from the future.
So what is presented is a three-headed production. Anthony Sher as the Arbitrary, the powerful Culture Mind, in a role expanded from the original, e.g. directing Sma to the Memorial de la Deportation, and speaking to her through various proxies, and moving from playful to sinister with ease. Nina Sosanya as Sma, the central Culture character who argues for intervention, works through her concern for Linter and her frustration with the situation on Earth with gusto. Paterson Joseph plays Linter, the rogue Culture agent who goes native, emotionally arguing that Earth is better as it has not lost what the Culture has. Banks sets all his Culture stories on the fringes of the civilization as they provide us with a window onto the advanced Utopia, and The State of the Art, and this adaptation, with Earth as a foil shows that very effectively.
Paul Cornell seems to have very much enjoyed his foray into radio. If you want him to get the chance to adapt a full-length Banks novel then tune in, AND then tell the BBC that you tuned in. The team in Manchester have done a great job realising The Culture into an audio form. The effects are great, as is the Seventies soundtrack, but used sparingly. The supporting cast have fun making up the rest of the Arbitrary's crew, getting some of the best lines, as well as playing the humans.
Look for more details around the broadcast date (Thursday, 5 March, 14:15) on the BBC Afternoon Play website at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/afternoonplay
Just a link to the full details of BBC's 'Sci Fi Season' that the State Of The Art play is part of
Ep. 2.05 of the "Reality Check" Podcast is an interview with Paul Cornell by Alex Fitch. The main topic is Cornell's adaptation of The State of the Art.
Available at: http://www.sci-fi-london.com/audio/
Assuming that this will go out over the Internet as well as broadcast, it's going to hit my computer at 615 on a work day. I doubt if I can listen while getting the kids ready for school and the like.
Do they rebroadcast these programs? Any technical suggestions about how to listen to it later?
I'll contact BBC, which will at least show interest