Witness: Five Plays from the Gospel of Luke

by Harry on December 22, 2007

It has always been a bit difficult for me to take Peter Firth seriously. Its not his fault. Tess of the dUrbevilles was a set book for my A-level English syllabus, and serendipitously Polanski’s Tess was released while we were studying it. I went with a friend who was, in fact, dating a teacher at the time (but would occasionally get me to go out with her as cover, which I was happy to do). Unfortunately, as Angel Clare appeared on screen she shouted out “Ooh, look, its Scooper from the Double Deckers”, to my mortification, but the delight of the rest of the audience (several of whom said “Oh, yeah, look, so it is”). (Recognise him?) The phrase comes into my head pretty much every time he comes on screen in MI-5/Spooks, which is inconvenient at best, beating out even the wierdness of seeing him teamed up with Jenny Agutter again after so many years.

Fortunately, you can’t see him on the radio. All last week he appeared in a series of wonderful and moving radio plays about the life of Jesus, based on Luke’s gospel (Firth plays Peter). I nearly skipped them, thinking “well, I know the story, what’s the point of listening again”. What a mistake that would have been: brilliant writing, acting, and producing, with an all-star cast (Firth, in particular, is excellent). I was rivetted. If you have five 45 minute breaks in the next few days, this is the only way to use them. The first play will go offline Monday, the second on Tuesday, and so forth, so you’d better get listening. Better than anything the TV writers who are on strike were producing when they weren’t. And if you’re lucky nobody will shout “Oh, listen, its Scooper from the Double Deckers”.

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Crooked Timber » » BBC Radio Drama
12.30.07 at 7:50 pm



Alison P 12.24.07 at 1:08 am

I’ve had the theme from the Double Deckers going round in my head since I read this post this morning. So thanks a lot.

NB Travis from Blakes 7 is John the Baptist.


aaron 12.25.07 at 3:30 pm

the story went a bit quickly for me, but i suspect it would not have if i were already familiar with the story.

to those who are, is this radio play an adequate summary of the gospel of luke?


harry b 12.25.07 at 6:10 pm

alison I can’t tell if that is ironic thanks. I wish they’d put it on DVD.
Anyway, go to last saturday’s BBC7 schedule — there’s a new radio dramatisation of Blake’s Seven. It alters the origin a good deal, but is pretty good.


Alison P 12.27.07 at 10:16 pm

well, just a wee bit sarcastic perhaps

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