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miranda

Whistle and I'll Come to You.

Just noticed that this MR James adaptation is on BBC 4 tonight at 23:30.  It's the one with Michael Horden.  Supposed to be very scary.
TheRejectAmidHair

Yes - it's the old Jonathan Miller adaptation, isn't it? It's a very eccentric adaptation, and not too well paced, from what i remember. However, that shot on the beach is haunting (you'll knpw the one I mean), and the climactic sequence is very well done.
miranda

I saw a clip of it in the programme Ghost in the Machine when it was first on.  

BTW, I didn't mean to put this thread where it is.  If a mod wants to move it to a subforum, that's fine by me.
Evie

This story is the first in a series of MR James ghost stories on BBC Radio 7 this coming week - here is a link to the info:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00pfmfr/episodes/upcoming

Looks as though they are dramatised rather than read - I initially thought Derek Jacobi was going to read them, but it looks as though he is just introducing them.
TheRejectAmidHair

Thanks for that - this sure beats anything on the telly over Christmas!
Chibiabos83

Not sure about that - tomorrow night BBC4 has back-to-back documentaries about Oliver Postgate and Clement Freud.
TheRejectAmidHair

But tomorrow night falls outside the Twelve Days of Christmas. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I rest my case.
Chibiabos83

I wondered if you'd use that defence... Well, touché.
Evie

There is also a lovely programme tonight about Allegri's Miserere, also on BBC4 - presented by the wondrous Simon Russell Beale, who made that fabulous series about church music.  BBC4 and BBC7 are the crown of BBC output, in my opinion!

Gareth, I meant to say - thanks so much for highlighting Alan Bennett's Our Winnie, with Elizabeth Spriggs - it was wonderful, and I might well have missed it in the schedules.
Chibiabos83

So glad to hear you liked it Smile

There must be at least a handful of good programmes on over Christmas, if one only knows where to look. I will investigate.
MikeAlx

Quite looking forward to David Tennant in Hamlet (Boxing Day, I think).

Evie, The Third Man is definitely on - saw it in the paper yesterday. Not sure of the date though.
Evie

Good news!

I will probably watch Hamlet, though I can't stand David Tennant.
Mikeharvey

Talking of the radio MR James,  I am not a fan of 'Lost Hearts' which I don't find scary, and the TV adaptation absurd.  But the TV and radio are obsesssed with James - he's marvellous but, as Himadri remarked recently, there are many many many fine ghost stories which might be adapted.  Stories by E. F. Benson, Oliver Onions, Henry James (other than TTOTScrew), Walter de la Mare (only the delicacy of his stories might defeat dramatisation), Algernon Blackwood, W.W. Jacobs, L.P. Hartley (brilliant), Robert Aikman, Edith Wharton, H.G. Wells, Hugh Walpole, Ambrose Bierce, Maupassant, ETA Hoffman (of the Tales of), Saki, Arthur Machen.  And many others. Have a look at Tartarus Press website.
And speaking of Tennant's 'Hamlet', readers might remember that I saw this at Stratford and thought it was a splendid production.  I wonder how it will transfer to the small screen. I believe there is to be a DVD later.  Patrick Stewart is an excellent Claudius. I hear rumours that PS is to be knighted in the New Years Honours List.
Evie

Have discovered that The Third Man is on on Boxing Day evening, followed by the last in the series of the utterly, utterly fabulous Wallander - the last episode looks to be a corker, though no doubt devastating - best drama by far on TV at the moment.

Anyway - my family should all have gone away by then, and I can curl up on the sofa in front of some mesmerising films with the leftover turkey and the remains of my bottle of Talisker and revel in having my life back!
Sandraseahorse

I understand from the BBC Points of View message board that the BBC is planning a modern adaptation of "Whistle and I'll come to You"  this Christmas.

I don't understand why it has to be modernised.  Surely the period flavour of M.R. James is part of his appeal?

I wasn't over-impressed with the "Turn of the Screw" adaptation last year but I'll try to keep an open mind on this one.
TheRejectAmidHair

Despite some good sequences, I wasn’t overly impressed with Jonathan Miller’s old adaptation of this story, and think there is potential to do it better. However, after last year’s abysmal adaptation of The Turn of the Screw, I have little confidence in the BBC to do this kind of thing properly. I suppose it depends on whom they get as scriptwriter and as director.
Mikeharvey

I wonder why TV programme planners seem unable to think of any ghost-story writers other than M.R James for adaptation.  There are dozens and dozens of possibilities.  The whole of Tartarus list, for example, who specialise in reprinting the ghost and uncanny stories of writers like Oliver Onions, L.P.Hartley, Walter de la Mare, Henry James, Edith Wharton, H.G. Wells, Lafcadio Hearn, Ambrose Bierce, Robert Aickman.  And I can think of other ghost-story writers like E.Nesbit, E.F Benson, Elizabeth Bowen, Wilkie Collins, A.S. Byatt, Algernon Blackwood etc, all of whom might dramatise well. And Wordsworth Books publish, very cheaply, a large array of ghost story collections by a variety of writers which offer a lot of possibilities. I have an uneasy feeling that the programme-planners at the BBC and elsewhere aren't widely read and just don't know the possibilities.
TheRejectAmidHair

Mikeharvey wrote:
I wonder why TV programme planners seem unable to think of any ghost-story writers other than M.R James for adaptation.  .... I have an uneasy feeling that the programme-planners at the BBC and elsewhere aren't widely read and just don't know the possibilities.


I think you're spot on there.
Evie

Interesting interview with Stephen Fry I read earlier today, possibly via the BBC website, though it could have been elsewhere - accusing the BBC of simply being too afraid to do anything different or imaginative, and sticking to the same old formulae.

I cannot recommend Radio 7 highly enough - all sorts of adaptations and readings there, old and new, as well as some great comedy.  BBC radio is still very good, on the whole (there are always exceptions!), but TV really is in the depths.
Sandraseahorse

Mike Harvey:
Quote:
I wonder why TV programme planners seem unable to think of any ghost-story writers other than M.R James for adaptation.  There are dozens and dozens of possibilities.  The whole of Tartarus list, for example, who specialise in reprinting the ghost and uncanny stories of writers like Oliver Onions, L.P.Hartley, Walter de la Mare, Henry James, Edith Wharton, H.G. Wells, Lafcadio Hearn, Ambrose Bierce, Robert Aickman.  And I can think of other ghost-story writers like E.Nesbit, E.F Benson, Elizabeth Bowen, Wilkie Collins, A.S. Byatt, Algernon Blackwood etc, all of whom might dramatise well. And Wordsworth Books publish, very cheaply, a large array of ghost story collections by a variety of writers which offer a lot of possibilities. I have an uneasy feeling that the programme-planners at the BBC and elsewhere aren't widely read and just don't know the possibilities.


Thank you for your suggestions, Mike. One of my indulgences at Christmas is to sit by a real log fire at my mother's house in the Dorset countryside, sip a glass of really good red wine and read a ghost story anthology.

I was thinking of posting in the chat section suggestions for an anthology for this Christmas.  Last year I read Wilkie Collins "The Haunted Hotel and other stories" which I found a tad disappointing.  The previous year I read a M & S "Great Tales of the Supernatural" which had some wonderful classics.

After looking at the Wordsworth website, I'm torn between Oliver Onions (who I've never heard of but sounds interesting) and Marjorie Bowen - I've read her story "Kecksies" and I see that she was born on Hayling Island, which is fairly near me.

Anyone any thoughts?

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