Qikiqtarjuaq, the first episode in the new series of Cabin Pressure, is available here for the next seven days.
It wasn't written as the first episode, but unfortunately Benedict Cumberbatch lost his voice for the recording of the one that was meant to be first. And brilliant though Tom Goodman-Hill was in the part, it seemed odd to begin the series without one of the usual cast, so we tinkered with the episode order. It was between this one and Paris for episode one, but I think this is a more typical 'in the plane, taking some people to a place' story, which is a useful way to begin. Also, because Martin and Douglas fall out, their relationship in this episode is more like the prickly one they had in series one, rather than the increasingly friendly one in series two, which again I like as a way of introducing new listeners to what is supposed to be funny about the sit of this com.
Martin's polar bear lecture is one of the very few times a whole piece has just come to me quite naturally and fluently. I usually find writing very difficult indeed - every sentence has to be dragged out of me, and then endlessly rewritten. But this time I was out walking along the canal, trying to think of ideas for the speech to write up when I got home, and instead I ended up practically dictating it into my phone, comedy French accent and all. Even when I hear it now, I can picture where along the canal I was when I said that bit. Here's an extra couple of lines from it that we had to cut in the edit to fit:
DOUGLAS: Remind me, who was it the French were fighting in Alaska?
MARTIN: ... Ah'm afraid zis information is still classified.
Oh, and doing the credits in the accent was entirely Benedict's idea! I love it, especially 'D'veed Tylar'