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Catch an Adaptation of Nigel Kneale’s The Road, Starring Mark Gatiss, This Weekend

Toby Hadoke’s adaptation of the lost Nigel Kneale classic drama, The Road, is being replayed on BBC Radio 4 this weekend – a great listen for Doctor Who fans and not just because Mark Gatiss plays one of the lead roles.

Gatiss of course is best known for writing numerous episode of Doctor Who, including The Unquiet Dead, The Crimson Horror, and Empress of Mars, but he’s also acted in The Lazarus Experiment, The Wedding of River Song, and Twice Upon A Time. He plays Gideon Cobb in The Road and is joined by Adrian Scarborough (A Town Called Mercy), Hattie Morahan (Eighth Doctor audio companion, Helen Sinclair), and Colin McFarlane (Voyage of the Damned; Under the Lake/ Before the Flood).

This version of The Road was recorded and broadcast in 2018, initially as part of Radio 4’s Halloween Fright Night. Nigel Kneale’s widow, Judith Kerr (The Tiger Who Came To Tea) also attended the recording. Kneale (Quatermass; The Stone Tape) made the play, which is now lost, for Australian TV in 1964, and Hadoke (Moths Ate My Doctor Who Scarf) called his adaptation “one of my proudest achievements”.

When asked why he chose to rework The Road into an audio drama, Toby said:

“Because it’s amazing, and because it’s one of the Great Lost Works. I just thought because it’s about sound, it would work on the radio… I kept expecting it not to happen and not to happen, because I thought it was too good to be true, and it’s a project that would mean a lot to people in our sphere [as fans], but not necessarily people further beyond that. I knew its illustrious history wasn’t going to help us because to most Radio 4 listeners that doesn’t matter. But it happened, and because it’s got that brilliant ending and because it’s about sound, I thought it would work well on the radio without too much difficulty.”

The Road will be broadcast again on BBC Radio 4 on Saturday 24th October 2020 at 9pm (BST), and will be available on BBC iPlayer shortly afterwards for a limited time.

Philip Bates

Editor and co-founder of the Doctor Who Companion. When he’s not watching television, reading books ‘n’ Marvel comics, listening to The Killers, and obsessing over script ideas, Philip Bates pretends to be a freelance writer. He enjoys collecting everything. Writer of The Black Archive: The Pandorica Opens/ The Big Bang, The Silver Archive: The Stone Tape, and 100 Objects of Doctor Who.

Catch an Adaptation of Nigel Kneale’s The Road, Starring Mark Gatiss, This Weekend

by Philip Bates time to read: 1 min
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