At first, the fireballs seemed to be nothing more than
a dazzling display of lights in the sky, plunging into the
deepest oceans and disappearing without trace. But when ships
started sinking inexplicably and the sea-lanes became impassable
it seemed that the world was facing a threat of unprecedented
proportions. Mike and Phyllis Watson, both radio journalists,
are caught up at the centre of events, well aware that it's
not the cold war or international conflicts that are causing
these events, but something infinitely more deadly - an alien
invasion. And that's not all: the sea level is rising, the
ice caps are melting, London and other cities are flooding,
millions of people are drowning and ecological disaster looms.
And whatever the alien beings are, they have begun to emerge
from the sea...
BBC's radio play adaptation of John Wyndham's The
Kraken Wakes was
originally broadcast on Radio 4 in 1998.
the story's heart is a science fiction tale full of contemporary
resonance's, from the fear of global warming to the distrust
of official information and propaganda, and the ultimate fear
of a challenge to the supremacy of human beings on Earth.
have to admit that I found this a little too similar in content
to Wyndham's earlier work The
Day of the Triffids - which was transformed
into a radio play in 1968. And, on balance, I actually found
that play much more engaging than The Kraken Wakes.
biggest issue I had with this recording was the small cast.
Some of the vocal performances are not overly impressive -
especially were American accents are called for.
CD release also includes a detailed sleeve note recounting
the making of the radio serialisation, written by Andrew Pixley.
Although why Pixley's name is shouted from the rooftops is
anyone's guess (He's mentioned on the back cover and at the
end of the sleeve note). It's not as though Pixley is an expert
on John Wyndham. To be perfectly honest, anyone could have
written these. A quick Google and a look through the BBC's
archives would have provided all the information a work experience
student would have needed to write them.
this is an interesting adaptation of Wyndham's original novel,
it's far from an essential purchase.