Monday, 30 January 2017

Pain, Nitrogen, and the shops.

From Ascension Island. Do you think their stamps only feature things that ascend? 

Hello, Earth! You have seven days left to hear the glorious, hilarious, moving, peculiar joy that is Time Spanner, by Simon Kane. Plan those days wisely, because you'll want to hear it at least twice. Simon has done many marvellous things, but readers of this blog may know him best from Double Acts (playing Luke in The Goliath Window) and Souvenir Programme (playing The Train Manager, Mr Hyde, Quasimodo, Thomas The Tank Engine, Prof. Daniel Fahrenheit, First Tentacled Creature, Lt-Gen Sir Hugo Hushhh, Rob, Sam, Ed, Ben, Sam, Joe, Rob, Rob, Sam, The Black And White Stripy Jumper I've Had Since School, and the Sun. Among others.)

Anyway, this is the first episode of - paws crossed - the first series of Time Spanner; and it is beautiful and wonderful and bonkers... except it's not bonkers, not really, that's just something people say about things like this, when what they (I) mean is that the author has an imagination, and isn't afraid to use it. I'm in it, playing a dead dog like normal, as are David Mitchell, London Hughes, Belinda Stewart-Wilson and Jeremy Limb.

Simon's been working on it, in one form or another, for at least ten years; and it's been such a pleasure and an education to watch him refine it from a dazzling explosion of ideas and jokes and characters and umbrella-headed monks to this intricate, beautifully plotted half hour with a love story at its heart - without losing any of the wild creativity, great jokes, and frequent poetry that made it so exciting from the start. Truly, a watch made of swans.


Lothiriel said...

Seconding every word of this. I really hope it gets commissioned for a full series, it's the very least it (he) deserves.

John Hudgens said...

When will we know if it's been picked up for a series? I did enjoy the pilot....

slepkane said...

God this is nice. Thank you, man.

Jon said...

What they said. I really want to hear where Time Spanner goes next. And while I'm here, was it Simon playing Eeyore as Alan Rickman?

Angie Fiedler Sutton said...

I loved it. It was, in a word, brilliant.

Tealin said...

This is a far more appropriate and beautiful description of the show than any of the hamfisted stuff I've managed ... almost like it was written by someone with a particular gift for writing, or something. Odd, that.

I can heartily recommend multiple re-listenings! In my own experience, go-round No. 4 was the best, though No. 5 was done while tidying my room, which may have impacted the enjoyment.

Is there anything we, the listening public, can do to make sure a full series gets commissioned?

Anonymous said...

Fourth listen was my favourite. First what "huh", second I understood characters and focussed on plot. Third I got most of the jokes. Fourth was an aural delight.

Eclectic Man said...

HOW did you do that, Mr Finnemore? The very day I discover that Peter Capaldi will cease playing the Doctor, John Finnemore's Souvenir Program has a sketch where Carrie Quinlan asks to be Dr. Who.

Just after I've heard an allegedly fictional program about a 'Time Spanner'.

I am awestruck (and more than a little scared).

Laven Pillay said...

I'm currently on my 3rd listening - and its still solid :)
For some reason, despite all the hilarious moments throughout, just for the sound of it, my favourite line is currently : "Fresh from mah boody !"
Gets me every time !!
Please send Simon our heartfelt congratulations on a job VERY well done.
One might almost be tempted to call it... Brilliant.

Baraclough said...

Please tell Simon that Time Spanner is beautifully written and performed. There seemed to be no way to send a message to him, so I looked up this blog.

When I heard it, I had the same feeling as when I listened to - well, that other ground-breaking radio series, you know the one: that this is something special. That was originally broadcast at some weird time on R4 too (Sunday morning as I remember) but in those days if you missed it, it was gone.

Please ensure it gets made into a full series. Echoing Tealin, anything we can do as listeners? I sent a comment via the BBC website but you get the feeling that...

Laven Pillay said...

Agreed ! As per Tealin's question :
Is there anything we can do to help ?
1. Vote for it on any BBC site ?
2. Post on a Social Media account to support it going to full series ?
3. Start/Sign a "petition" for full series on a 3rd party site ?

PS : Absolutely LOVING series 6 of JFSP !!!!!

Alex C said...

That was great :-) Can it be there's a new Douglas Adams in our midst?
Thanks for letting us know about it. Is there anything we can do to help it get a full series?

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slepkane said...

Thanks y'all. I'm chuffed to boogery. Here's a bit more about it.

Anonymous said...

Sorry -
Gabbie Hayes? Did no-one else get that old cinema reference? I'm also sure I heard Myrna Loy mentioned. :)
To repeat what was said by some others - great fun and I hope there's more adventures with Martin Gay (that name's not weird).


The Real Emily said...

As someone who doesn't really enjoy musicals, I was surprised to find myself enjoying your musical sketch at the end of episode 6 as both entertaining and beautiful! Tahnks for sharing your talent with us!

Tony M. said...

Good post.

slepkane said...

Jackie, you are my people.

Anonymous said...

Well, a cold damp Tuesday in Dublin has just brightened up considerably. Thanks Simon!


Deborah Latham said...

Well, since you ask me for a response to 'Time Spanner' in the style of Carmen Miranda, I will freely admit that I have had the following words spring to my lips...

Laika Laika Laika this so very much
Laika Laika everything you do
Laika Laika Simon's great comedic touch
Laika Laika hear much more from you!

Mary T. said...

Currently not available on radio 4 :(

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for drawing my attention to this! I had a great time listening. Well not "a" as in one. Rather like "a" as in I totally lost count of how many times I listened to it but since it happened all in a single day, it probably counts as one long obsessive session. It was that great.

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Mr Finnemore, your blog page seems to have been occupied by an annoying advertisement for Imageshack. Thought you ought to know.

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Congrats, John! I haven't seen anything up on your blog yet, but I did see on Audible that you will be having a second season of Double Acts coming out later this year.

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Claire said...

I have also been enjoying episodes 1 and 2 of the 18th series of The Unbelievable Truth -- congrats on winning both episodes, John!

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