Review: Dangerous Visions: Very British Dystopias

Very British Dystopias 1984Radio 4, Saturday 15 June

An overview of British dystopias from 1984 to The Hunger Games…

Yes, that last one does stick out like a sore thumb at the end of this otherwise Anglocentric documentary, which looks at some of the usual suspects – 1984 (with clips from the Cushing, Burton, and Eccleston versions); the Daleks (with a different clip from the usual one from The Dalek Invasion of Earth); and V for Vendetta – as well as unearthing some interesting clips from the archives. Those who’ve not heard of Douglas Hurd’s Scottish independence series Scotch on the Rocks (and its fate after first transmission), or 1990, starring Edward Woodward, will find some surprises here.

Professor Steven Fielding doesn’t pretend that he’s trying to break new ground , but there are some new views on old favourites such as Quatermass and Edge of Darkness. Frederick Forsyth and Chris Mullin discuss their 1980s contributions with a couple of amusing anecdotes about their readership, and David Aaronovitch adds  various perspectives.

Apart from the really odd misfire regarding The Hunger Games – where on Earth is the British link to that? Survivors’ recent incarnation would have fit the bill as well – this is well worth a listen.

Verdict: As the Dangerous Visions flagship documentary, this sets out the season’s stall well. 7/10

Paul Simpson

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  1. Pingback: Radio 4 reveals new Dangerous Visions | Sci-Fi Bulletin - June 12, 2014

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