TRACKS: Strata

TRACKS STRATA  is Series 2 of Tracks

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Tracks: Strata is a prequel to the first series, and is set in 1980 in the mountains of Snowdonia.

It stars Fiona O’Shaughnessy (Utopia), Kai Owen (Torchwood) and Robert Pugh (Game Of Thrones).

Told over six 15-minute episodes, the drama is an online-first commission for Radio 4. It will be serialised as a podcast online before being broadcast on air as two 45-minute Afternoon Dramas.

TRACKS – Series 1:

Series 1 episodes start here.

TRACKS STRATA (Tracks Series 2):

Episode 1 – Ordovician

Episode 2 – Archean

Episode 3 – Devonian

Episode 4 – Pleistocene

Episode 5 – Holocene

Episode 6 – Anthropocene

Tracks: Strata will be broadcast as an omnibus on BBC Radio 4  – 7 & 8 December at 2.15pm.

Omnibus – TRACKS STRATA:

Part One

Part Two

Cast:
Rachel…. Fiona O’Shaughnessy
Ifan…. Kai Owen
Sam…. Robert Pugh
Afa…. Betsan Llwyd
Charlotte…. Shelly Rees
Ronny…. Dafydd Emyr

Directed by James Robinson
A BBC Cymru Wales Production

13/11/17 – Tracks Strata was reviewed on Front Row – BBC Radio 4.  (Roughly the last ten minutes of the programme.)

10/12/17 – Tracks Strata was Sheila McClennon’s BBC Radio 4 ‘Pick of the Week.’  (It appears as the second item in the programme.)

LINKS:

Tracks Strata – Trailer

Tracks Strata – Guardian Preview

Podcast Home Page

TRACKS BBC HOME PAGE

Tracks – Series 1 blog

*****Slightly Spoiler-ish*****

(Don’t read if you’d rather not hear anything about the story before you listen to it.)

This (below) is from the BBC publicity:

“Snowdonia, 1980. It’s the dawn of a new decade and the future is coming. But in the wilds of Snowdonia, the ancient history of the landscape is hard to escape.

Rachel Turner is looking for fossils with her four year-old son, Joe. But when a freak earthquake shakes the land beneath their feet, Joe vanishes. With the help of two locals, Rachel embarks on a desperate search to find her son. But as darkness descends, the secrets hidden in the ancient forests of the mountain are uncovered.

The first series of Tracks became the most successful drama series launched by Radio 4 in 2016. Over nine 45-minute episodes it told the story of Dr Helen Ash, as she uncovered a dark medical conspiracy.

Tracks: Strata is a prequel to series one, set 36 years before the events that rocked the life of Helen Ash. It explores the roots of a conspiracy that’s set to envelop the world.”

 

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Tracks

TRACKS is a 9-part conspiracy thriller with a cast led by Romola Garai.

It was Originally broadcast on BBC Radio 4  (August-October 2016.)

Series 1 is available to download as a Podcast and on the BBC Iplayer 

Series 2 of Tracks – “TRACKS: Strata” – is now available – Info and blog post

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(9 Episodes x 45 mins)        Trailer

Series 1 – EPISODES 1-9

Episode 1 – The Nervus Vagus – is  Here

Episode 2 – The Broca and Wernicke Areas – is Here

Episode 3 – The Pineal Gland – is Here

Episode 4 – The Bridge of Varolius – is Here

Episode 5 – Hippocampus – is Here

Episode 6 – Nociceptors – is Here

Episode 7 – The Accumbens Nucleus – is Here

Episode 8 – Amygdala- is Here

Episode 9 – Habenula – is Here

(Archive: Here’s a STATEMENT by R4 about the broadcast of the last episode of Tracks)

PRESS/REVIEWS/MEDIA

Review of Episode 1 in  The Guardian

Review of Episode 1 in The Spectator

TRACKS Ep 6 was a R4 – “Pick of Week” – (18/9/16)  – Chosen by Hardeep Singh Kohli.

TRACKS Producer, James Robinson was interviewed on Radio 4  Friday  30/10/16 –  discussing audience FEEDBACK

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TRACKS –  DIRECTORS / PRODUCERS:

Episodes 1,2,5,8,9 – James Robinson @mcgrin

Episodes 3,4,6 – Helen Perry @bellaperry

Episode 7 – Abigail Le Fleming @haywarddollerton

Supervising Sound Designer – Nigel Lewis

SOME MUSIC USED IN THE SERIES:

Tracks theme – (written for the series) by Stu Barker.

Studio Suicide, 1980 – By Tim Hecker.

Prungen – By Jaga Jazzist.

Dido’s Lament (Dido & Aeneas) – Andreas Scholl, William Orbit, & Rico Conning.

Some Absolute End – Bill Ryder-Jones.

A1 – Olafur Arnalds & Nils Frahm.

I’ll See You In My Dreams – Johnny Mercer (featuring the Pied Pipers.)

Symphony Number 4 in G major: III. Ruhevoll, Poco Adagio – Mahler

Body Eraser – Halls.

Cancer – I Break horses

Other News:

(12/11/16): An interview with James Robinson (including audio) detailing some of the process of How We Made Tracks

Tracks short-listed for a British Podcast Award

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Tracks short-listed for some BBC Audio Drama Awards

Tracks short-listed for a Prix Europa Award

A Tracks Q&A can be found on the menu above – beware it contains spoilers.

Readers/Listeners comments for Tracks are  here under the Tracks post,  under the Contact page, and under the Tracks Q&A page.

Frank Zappa and Me

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I’ve adapted Pauline Butcher’s memoir: “Freak Out – My life with Frank Zappa” for the afternoon drama slot on BBC Radio 4.

The play is called “Frank Zappa and Me” and it goes out at 2.15pm on Tuesday 6th March 2014.

The details are here.

Demon Brother

My 2-part radio drama Demon Brother is on Radio 4 next week.

(Wed 22nd & Thurs 23rd January 2014 BBC Radio 4 – 2.15pm)

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It’s a dark psychological thriller about a pair of twins – Jasper and Eddie – who have been estranged all their lives, until their dad dies – They’re both played by Shaun Dingwall.

Part 1 is Jasper’s Story and from his point of view, Part 2 is Eddie’s  – it’s best to listen to them in order – as there is a bigger story going on in there.

Also in the cast we have – Valene Kane, Kenneth Cranham, Vera Filatova, Simon Ludders, and John Norton.  It  is produced/directed by James Robinson.

We recorded the play in the bbc studio in Cardiff – (lovely team.)

The Radio Times Preview can be found here

The BBC page for the play is here

***Update – 7th Feb 2014 ****
Just want to say thanks for the kind comments I’ve received about this play. -MB

“Vincent Price and The Horror of The English Blood Beast”

My play about the uneasy relationship between film director Michael Reeves and actor Vincent Price – on the set of seminal 60s English horror movie “The Witchfinder General” – was first broadcast on Radio 4 in the Saturday play slot in 2010.

It’s now been brought to my attention that the play can be listened to Here

There’s also a very good and insightful review / essay written about the play that is HERE – (Even if they do get the title of the play slightly wrong!)

I remember having a roaring time recording the play in Cardiff. The cast included: Kenneth Cranham as Tony Tenser, Nickolas Grace as Vincent Price, and Blake Ritson as Michael Reeves.

*UPDATE* – 1st March 2013-
“Vincent Price and the Horror of the English Blood Beast” will be repeated on Radio 4 next Friday (8th March) evening at 9pm.

*UPDATE* – 7th November 2015 – just seen that the play is up on Youtube.

The Rain Maker

Radio 4 are repeating The Rain Maker on Wednesday 4th July at 2.15pm. (It was first broadcast 2 years ago.)

James Robinson, Caleb Knightley, Ken Cranham, Joe Dempsie. (From L to R)

The play tells the story of a father and son who take a trip to a cabin in some remote woods to repair their relationship. It is a kind of psychological thriller… There are references to a supernatural world – and I wrote the play after a re-reading of ‘The Golden Bough’ by Sir James Fraser.

We recorded the play in a real forest – and it was not without incident.

The Producer wrote a blog about it, at the time, that can be found HERE

Kenneth Cranham plays the Father. Joe Dempsie plays the son.

(I have previously blogged on this play HERE.)

**Update** – THE RAIN MAKER is being repeated on Radio 4 Extra next week – Wed/Thurs – 9/10th October 2013

White Noise

I have a new play on Radio 4 this coming Tuesday (10th April.)

It’s called WHITE NOISE and it is set in current day Dagenham, East London.

The details are here.

Here’s a photo from the studio during recording.

(Ricci Harnett, and Theo Barklum Biggs are the actors pictured playing ‘Danny’ and ‘Freddy’. The back of head belongs to Scott Handcock the production co-ordinator)

The play is part of the ‘Rapid Response’ series. This means that the turnaround time between commissioning and broadcast has been very short (by Radio Drama standards.) This is to ensure that the play is as contemporary as possible – which is what the strand is all about.

(This is Louise Jameson playing ‘Kath’)

Other members of the cast (not pictured) are Matthew Gravelle (Who I’ve worked with on ‘Burning Both Ends’, and ‘Gulliver’s Travels.’) And Ayesha Antoine.

The Director / Producer is James Robinson who I worked with on “The Rain Maker” a couple of years ago. (That was the radio horror play that we recorded on location in a forest in Kent.)