BBC Radio 4’s Dangerous Visions is a season of dramas exploring contemporary takes on future dystopias, inspired by the literary distinctiveness and imaginative world view of JG Ballard.
Even though the master creator of dystopian futures died four years ago, his vision of what our future might become feels as relevant, satirical and as scary as ever.
Dramatisations of JG Ballard’s seminal works, Drowned World and Concrete Island straddle the season along with work by five leading writers: Nick Perry, Ed Harris, Michael Symmons Roberts, Michael Butt and Philip Palmer were asked to imagine what life might be like in the near future and their Dangerous Visions form the bedrock of the series.
Clever, imaginative and disturbing, the subjects covered in the season include what might happen if sleep is outlawed, if cloning becomes a matter of course, if North London declares war on South London and if human sacrifice becomes a part of society.
“Radio provides the ideal medium for these alternative worlds, playing out in 3-D, entirely in the listener’s mind,” says Alison Hindell, Head of Radio Drama.
The season also includes a five-part serialisation of Jane Roger’s award-winning, terrifying novel, The Testament Of Jessie Lamb, dramatised by the author.
Complementing the drama on Radio 4, Radio 4 Extra features a new production of William Golding’s nightmare fable of mankind’s capacity for good and evil, Lord Of The Flies, dramatised in four episodes by Judith Adams.
Dangerous Visions offers a disturbing insight from some of our most talented writers into a vision of an uneasy future.
Mon 15-21 June
15 Min Drama
The Testament Of Jessie Lamb (SR)
Jane Rogers dramatises her award-winning novel set in a future where an act of biological terrorism has spread a deadly virus across the world. Jane’s eighth novel offers a variation on one of the most chilling apocalyptic scenarios. In the near future, every woman in the world has been infected by some kind of airborne contaminant which causes maternal death syndrome (MDS). Anyone who becomes pregnant will automatically develop a form of CJD, which ultimately kills them. One girl, Jessie decides she can turn the tide and be a “Joan of Arc” figure, and make the ultimate sacrifice for mankind, but will her parents allow it?
Starring Holiday Grainger as Jessie. Directed by Nadia Molinari.