Ten­tac­u­lar trou­ble

SFX - - Reviews - Other high­lights of the sea­son in­clude adap­ta­tions of Brave New World and News From Nowhere.

Ra­dio 4’s dystopian drama sea­son Dan­ger­ous Vi­sions re­turned re­cently for a sec­ond year, and per­haps the most eye­catch­ing of its 10 new au­dio pro­duc­tions (most still avail­able on iPlayer) was this two-part adap­ta­tion of one of John Wyn­d­ham’s lesser-known nov­els.

The Kraken Wakes doesn’t have the same rep­u­ta­tion as The Day Of The Trif­fids or The Mid­wich Cuck­oos, but it’s a sur­pris­ingly rel­e­vant tale of cat­a­clysmic cli­mate change brought on by an alien in­cur­sion in the ocean’s deep­est depths. Crime writer Val McDer­mid’s script up­dates the story and the science to the present day, while there are strong per­for­mances from Tam­sin Greig and Paul Hig­gins.

Un­for­tu­nately, it’s ham­pered by the bizarre choice to record The Kraken Wakes as a live event with or­ches­tral mu­sic and an au­di­ence. The re­sult has the stilted un­re­al­ity and lack of im­mer­sion you’d ex­pect from a ’50s ra­dio play, com­bined with some clunky mod­ern-day pop cul­ture ref­er­ences. The com­pelling na­ture of the story still shines through, but this strangely ex­e­cuted adap­ta­tion is far from the best way to ex­pe­ri­ence it. Saxon Bul­lock

[Kraken not shown.]

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