One show I forgot to mention in last week’s 10 Best Crime Dramas Of The Week was this radio play, The Thrill Of Love. We don’t cover nearly enough radio crime dramas here at The Killing Times, which is a shame because radio is perhaps my favourite medium. But… when I saw that this new, one-hour story – produced by the excellent Savvy Productions, starring Maxine Peake, Siobhan Finneran and Joe Armstrong, and written by Amanda Whittington – was to tell the Ruth Ellis story (the infamous killer who became the last woman in the UK to be hanged) I was immediately onboard. In fact, if I had remembered to put it into my round-up, it would have surely been number one.
For superb Scottish crime author Val McDermid, Dead Clever represents her second radio drama after last year’s Deadheading. Fitting snugly into Radio 4’s 15 Minute Drama slot, McDermid showcased her deftness in the genre, as well as all the warmth and humour we’ve come to expect and admire about her. That first instalment in the Dead… series (made by the always excellent Savvy Productions, makers of Craven) introduced us to down to earth DCI Alma Blair (Julie Hesmondhalgh) and her partner DS Jason Trotter (John Hollingworth), and the likeable pairing has returned for a new five-episode story, which has played out across this week.
Radio crime drama is something we’ve neglected a bit lately (quite a lot if I’m being honest), but when one pops up in the 15 Minute Drama slot on BBC Radio 4 that’s written by the ever-terrific Val McDermid, you have to sit up and take notice. The first episode of Dead Clever is now on the BBC iPlayer right now, with four more episodes to air during the week. Find out more after the jump.
A very happy New Year to all our readers – your support for the site has ensured a successful first year and, hopefully, 2015 will see The Killing Times expand and deliver more content to you. I can’t thank you enough. But as 2014 ended a new, four-part radio drama made sure that we ended a fantastic year of crime drama on a high. Over on Radio 4, The Rivals flared our nostrils with that familiar tang of Edwardian London. And when we talk about crime drama and Edwardian London we can only mean one person – Sherlock Holmes. But wait… Sherlock was nowhere to be seen.
Last year we were treated to some new Sherlock on TV, but this year, as Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman struggled to find time to fit any more new episodes of the updated and snappy series into their busy schedules, this year’s festive period is a little bit barren when it comes to crime drama. But thank the crime gods for radio, because that’s where you’ll find a little morsel of Victorian/Edwardian crime to sate your need.
Oh why not. Let’s make it a hattrick of stories that celebrate The Cumberbatch and all his many talents (mostly acting). The couple of posts today have been altogether quite Sherlocky in nature, but this one is all about Benedict, or ‘Benedict’ as we like to call him. The news is this: he’s returning to BBC Radio 4 this week for a new two-part drama that once again sees him slip into the shoes of Rumpole.
Tucked away in the final quarter of Women’s Hour this morning (Monday 24th February) was the first 15-minute episode of a five-part drama that supposed something that, if ever proven correct, would send shockwaves through the literary and cultural worlds – that one of Britain’s favourite and most enduring novelists, Jane Austen, died at the hands of a murderer. That’s the conceit that best-selling crime writer Lindsay Ashford based her 2012 novel, The Mysterious Death Of Jane Austen, on. Now it’s been made into a radio drama, airing out every morning this week on Radio 4.