Picofarad #26

Winter 2011

Radio Ranch

With the vote on what will almost certainly be the next British Worldcon just under a year away, and the con itself slated for 2014, it is not too soon to start developing ideas for what should happen there. Particularly if it's an idea for a brand-new programming track, or at least one not done in recent memory.

Radio is not as dead a medium in the UK as it is in North America, and I feel it ought to be celebrated while it's still alive. There's more than enough quality sfnal comedy and drama, most of it produced by or connected to the BBC, to occupy a room for the duration of a Worldcon. And since it's traditional for a task like this to fall to whoever's most enthusiastic about something, well, I think I'd better get cracking at coming up with suggestions.

There are of course some obvious choices: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Some of the more genre Goon Show episodes, with the top of the list naturally being their parodies of 1984 and Quatermass and the Pit. Something from the Doctor Who radio dramas created by Big Finish. The BBC adaptation of The Lord of the Rings, starring Ian Holm (Bilbo Baggins in the Peter Jackson version) as Frodo.

The infamous adaptation of War of the Worlds naturally springs to mind-- well, it's at least based on a British work. And if we're going to allow a few visitors from the colonies, how about the little-known but excellent radio version of Star Wars: A New Hope?

What would you add, dear listeners, er, readers? What plainly obvious choice have I overlooked here? What obscure but brilliant work should be added to this list?

I stress that this isn't in any way an official part of the hypothetical 2014 Worldcon yet. The basic idea has been outlined to its suggestion box, and I've received the standard "Thanks, we'll have it in our idea list if and when we win" reply. But there's nothing wrong with working on fleshing it out and making it more attractive now.

Besides, if the London people don't want it, I'll still have gotten to hear some good sf radio programs, and there are always other Worldcons...

Next: The Encounter Log

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