A new season of dramas that present uneasy reflections of the future mixes classic SF with new writing. Dangerous Visions 2016 features new productions – 10 in total – and a strong line-up of acting talent, including Tim McInnerny (Blackadder), Tamsin Greig (Green Wing), Anton Lesser (Game of Thrones) and Catrin Stewart (Doctor Who, Misfits).
The season begins on Sunday 22nd May 2016 with a step into Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, adapted by Jonathan Holloway, and directed by David Hunter. “It’s 2116 and Helmholtz Watson and Bernard Marx are token rebels in an irretrievably corrupted society where promiscuity is the norm, eugenics a respectable science, and the drug Soma freely available.” The two-part adaptation starring Anton Lesser concludes on Sunday 29th. (The BBC website suggests that the original 2540 setting has been retained; it hasn’t.)
That evening comes the first of four Dark Vignettes – short stories presented on four consecutive Sundays, starting with Julian Simpson’s Blackout.
Monday 23rd May brings Produce, “a dark fable about parental expectation and the pressures of parenting in a competitive and commodified world” is written by Joseph Wilde and directed by Abigail le Fleming.
That evening, the Book at Bedtime is Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro’s acclaimed novel following the lives of students at a very exclusive, very strange English private school, read in ten parts.
Tuesday 24th’s play is Your Perfect Summer, On Sale Here, written by Ed Harris and directed by Jonquil Panting. A twisted romance, it asks “What will happen when VR games can deliver real love?”
Wednesday 25th brings a dramatisation by Sarah Woods of William Morris’ 1890 vision of the future, News from Nowhere. “Will Guest is a modern day, 21st Century man, travelling from 2016 to a future Utopia. The word utopia comes from the Greek ou-topos, meaning ‘no-place’ or ‘nowhere’. There is uneasy antagonism between Will’s 21st Century values and those of ‘Nowhere’. But there is also love……Will goes on a time travelling voyage of discovery, finding a new love for society, as well as a woman.”
The season then continues on Saturday 28th with the first of a two-part adaptation by Val McDermid of John Wyndham’s The Kraken Wakes. Performed with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra this is “a terrifying modern retelling of alien invasion and global flooding.” It concludes on June 4th.
The Dark Vignettes continue with Toby Litt’s The Fanglur and the Twoof on May 29th, Anita Sullivan’s Spine is broadcast on June 5 and the season concludes with Melissa Lee-Houghton’s Inertia on June 12.
As with previous seasons, Sci-Fi Bulletin will be reviewing all the plays and will also feature bonus material, including an interview with Your Perfect Summer writer Ed Harris. For more details on the season click here