THE KRAKEN WAKES
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.]