The Price of Silence

The Price of Silence

A BBC Radio 4 Cold War Sci-Fi Thriller


Stephen Barlay's gripping Cold War drama about the threat of nuclear war

Laid up in a CIA hospital, recovering from a gunshot wound, British agent Maxon is about to have his peaceful convalescence shattered. As the radio DJ introduces In the Mood, the swinging sound of Glenn Miller is cut off by a shrill, insistent alarm - one signalling imminent, universal death. America's brand new Global Early Warning System has detected an approaching nuclear missile from outer space...

But the attack never takes place. The weapon, launched from an unmanned Soviet space vehicle, was destroyed seconds later - so how did the public alert come to be broadcast? As a member of the elite team responsible for safeguarding GLEW, Maxon is assigned to investigate. Meanwhile, he takes on a second, parallel mission - helping his ex-lover, Jacqueline, prove her scientist husband Kowalski has not turned traitor and leaked GLEW secrets to the Russians.

Searching for answers, Maxon travels to Toronto, where he is framed for murder and forced to go on the run. And when he finally uncovers the shocking truth, he finds himself mired in deceit and treason - and caught up in a deadly game of nuclear poker. With the doomsday clock pointing to two minutes to midnight, can Maxon and Jacqueline avert disaster?

Written by acclaimed novelist Stephen Barlay, this tense espionage thriller stars Ian Hendry as Maxon and Toby Robins as Jacqueline.

Production credits
Written by Stephen Barlay
Directed by Peter King
Music composed and played by Ed Welch (piano) with Ron Aspery (saxophone)

Maxon - Ian Hendry
Jacqueline - Toby Robins
Disc Jockey/Announcer/MP/Gloucester/Wennstrom - Nigel Graham
Inspector Wells/President/Doomsday Man - Bob Sherman
Interviewer/Reporter - Madi Hedd
Captain - Stuart Milligan
Guard - Ian Tyler
Nurse/Nadia- Zhivila Roche
Reporter/MP/Announcer/Stewardess - Alex Marshall
Beryov - Peter Gale
Petrushka - Richard Marner
Ellsberg - George Coulouris
The Nachalnik - Paul Hardwick
Locke - Alan Tilvern
Kowalski - Carl Duering
Cabbie - Peter Whitman
Hostess - Gay Baynes
Papa Mike - Errol MacKinnon
Minister/Sandy - Peter Tuddenham
Call Girl/Operator - Carole Boyd
Chuck - Bruce Boa
Inspector - Peter Marinker
Fergus - James Bryce
Aram Sarian - Vladek Sheybal
Saul - Blain Fairman
Girl - Mary Cornford
Winston - Stuart Organ
Tucker - Norman Jones
Sleet/Reporter - Brett Usher

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4, 24 April-19 June 1983

©2022 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd (P)2022 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd

About the author

Stephen Barlay

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