home | books | film & tv | audio | links | about this site

 

August 2026: There Will Come Soft Rains

Radio drama, BBC 1977, produced by Malcolm Clarke.

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4, May 11, 1977.

This adaptation of the Martian Chronicles classic was masterminded by Malcolm Clarke of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. The Workshop was the BBC's pioneering electronic music department, probably best known for its Dr Who music. A history of the Workshop, including a discussion of Malcolm Clarke's work is here. Clarke joined the Workshop in 1969; he died in 2003.

The production makes extensive use of the then new Vocoder, an electronic device for manipulating the human voice, and musicalising speech. The one unmodified voice in the production is that of the narrator, Garrard Green.

The BBC has a tradition of experimental adaptations of Bradbury and other science fiction. An earlier classic in this vein was Leviathan 99 (1968).

The composer Mark Ayres has described Clarke's award-winning production as "a beat-perfect lesson in pure radio"; it is one of the most effective Bradbury adaptations of all time.

To hear the start of the play, click here.

Information sources:
http://www.mb21.co.uk/ether.net/radiophonics/history.shtml
http://www.bbc.co.uk/cult/news/drwho/2003/12/12/8492.shtml

home books film&tv audio links about this site

(c) Phil Nichols 2019

Page updated 8 March, 2019