Our debut series of Unmade Movies for BBC Radio 4 featured world premieres of screenplays by Alfred Hitchcock, Harold Pinter, Orson Welles, Arthur Miller and Ernest Lehman.
They starred James McAvoy, Mark Strong, Hugh Laurie, David Suchet and Rebecca Front and were directed by Richard Eyre, Jamie Lloyd, Mark Gatiss, Joanna Hogg and Adrian Noble.
“The Blind Man should have a 21-gun salute…the story is a typically Hitchcockian psychological crime thriller, with a splash of romance thrown in, achingly tense scenes of life-or-death entanglements and a masterpiece of a climax on the side of an active volcano. This play is as hot and explosive as its finale and the BBC should be burning with pride.”
On the adaptation of Harold Pinter’s Victory…
“All radio drama should be at this level. The concept of broadcasting unfilmed screenplays on radio is a brilliant one…the pairing of Conrad and Pinter was perfect, their mutual mastery of ambiguity creating an atmosphere that was, at times, overwhelmingly tense.”
On the adaptation of Harold Pinter’s The Dreaming Child…
“If the first of Pinter’s unmade screenplays, Victory, translates to radio in a tropical ferment, like a Gaugin turned sinister, this second premiere has the ethereal quality of a JW Waterhouse painting. Set in the 1860s and based on a short story by Out of Africa writer Karen Blixen, the play initially shifts with intoxicating speed between different set-ups.”
Series two launched with Hammer Horror’s The Unquenchable Thirst of Dracula.
Written by Anthony Hinds and directed by Mark Gatiss, starring Michael Sheen, Nikesh Patel, Meera Syal, Anna Madeley, Ayesha Dharker and Kulvinder Ghir.
Dennis Potter’s unproduced screenplay adaptation of D M Thomas’s novel The White Hotel broadcast in 2018 and can be found here. It stars Anne-Marie Duff, Bill Paterson, Simon McBurney, David Gyasi, Nigel Lindsay, Morwenna Banks, Wayne Forester, Jasmine Jones, Nick Underwood, Tillie Murray and Felix Jamieson.
“…woozy, sexually charged…”
“…strong, powerful and well acted…”
Gillian Reynolds, The Sunday Times
The late director Alexander Mackendrick developed Mary Queen of Scots with Jay Presson-Allen, but it never saw the light of day…until December 2018. You can listen to our adaptation here, directed by the award-winning Hope Dickson Leach. Narrated by Glenda Jackson, it stars Ellie Bamber, Mark Bonnar, Emun Elliott, Edward Holcroft, Bill Paterson, Struan Rodger, Kevin Guthrie, Jamie Quinn and Katharine O’Donnelly.
“Rain-drenched spectacular…Jackson brings authority and asperity, but so much more. It’s impossible not to think of her as Elizabeth I in the 1971 BBC mini-series, with the aura of revisionist history she brought to that.”