BBC4 sticks with sci-fi for Wyndham one-off

Liz Thomas
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BBC4 is building on the success of its recent drama adaptations of science fiction classics The Quatermass Experiment and A for Andromeda, with a new piece based on a John Wyndham short story.

Random Quest will star Sam West, Kate Ashfield and Sean Park in the lead roles and follows the story of Colin Trafford, a research physicist who, knocked unconscious in an experiment finds himself drawn in to a parallel world. Penned by Wyndham in the early sixties the drama was turned into a film in 1969.

BBC executive producer Richard Fell, who adapted the piece for BBC4, said: ” This is the third in our science fiction series and if this works well then I hope there will be more. There is more to science fiction than the simply the high adrenaline, monsters, robots and space travel and while this tackles parallel worlds – this is essentially a love story. These intelligent, brilliantly cast one-offs work well for our audience.”

Wyndham is set for something of a revival in the year ahead, as The Stage exclusively revealed earlier this year Channel 4 is developing a revamped version of Day of the Triffids.

Meanwhile BBC4 is building on its single drama slate with two new productions looking at women who changed the face of cookery. In January The Stage exclusively told that the Corporation was making The Secret Life of Mrs Beeton featuring Anna Chancellor, which follows the life of Isabella Beeton and offers an insight into her popular tome Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management. Nighty Night star Julia Davis plays sixties chef Fanny Cradock in Fear of Fanny.

There will also be a special single production for Halloween, with The Haunted Airman, an adaptation of Dennis Wheatley’s horror story about the experiences of a combat veteran who has come home from the war and suffers severe paranoia and hallucinations. The drama features Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire actor Robert Pattinson and Julian Sands.

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