James Follett

Men, Martians and Machines: A BBC Radio Sci-Fi Collection

Men, Martians and Machines: A BBC Radio Sci-Fi Collection

10 Full-Cast Dramas including Earthsearch


A collection of full-cast sci-fi dramas from the late, great James Follett, introduced by Follett himself and featuring his bestselling series Earthsearch

Novelist, playwright and screenwriter James Follett wrote over 25 novels, more than 50 radio dramas and numerous TV scripts, including several episodes of Blake’s 7. He was one of the most borrowed authors in UK libraries, and his works have been translated into over a dozen languages.

This anthology includes his finest radio plays and series – including many that have never previously been available before. Framing the collection is the special BBC7 programme Men, Martians and Machines, in which Follett himself introduces us to several of his most popular pieces, providing fascinating behind-the-scenes back stories and tracing the origins of Earthsearch through the evolution of his radio work.

Described by Follett as ‘probably the quirkiest thing I've ever written’, The Devil to Pay features a driver who crashes his car in the desert, and a camper who pulls him from the wreckage. Norman Rodway and Derek Seaton star in this short playlet with a wicked twist.

In The Man Who Invented Yesterday, starring Alan Rowe, a scientist is delighted when his DNA experiments come to fruition.

In The Destruction Factor, a corporation’s new plant strain mutation escapes the lab and causes havoc. Starring T P McKenna, Paul Copley, Rosalind Adams and Clifford Rose.

Next up are Follett’s acclaimed space dramas Earthsearch and Earthsearch II, charting the adventures of the crew of the starship Challenger. Among the ensemble cast are Sean Arnold, Amanda Murray, Kathryn Hurlbutt and Haydn Wood.

The Bionic Blob and its sequel The Bionic Blob and the Stolen Wavelengths tell the story of a ‘Thing’ from outer space who becomes the unlikely sidekick to a private eye on Earth. Sandra Dickinson and Ed Bishop star.

The Doppelganger Machine, set in 1933 and starring Peter Pratt and Hector Ross, sees a plane flying Christmas mail from France to England landing at an unexpected airport – and decade.

In The Twisted Image, a dead woman is found in the boot of a Rolls-Royce, but the clues don’t add up... Douglas Blackwell and Peter Wickham star in this futuristic whodunit.

In the post-apocalyptic disaster thriller Ice, starring Sean Barrett, Carol Drinkwater and Anthony Hyde, a giant iceberg breaks away from the Antarctic and drifts inexorably towards New York. Can the US military avert disaster?

NB: Due to the age of some of the recordings, the sound quality may vary

© 2024 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd (P) 2024 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd

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