Radio Review: Planet B
By Ian Dunn
Monday 09 Mar 2009 10:29:00
Browse all Drama articles
 

This new sci-fi series on BBC Radio 7 has been is quite a gamble – it is the channel’s biggest original drama commission.

 

Created by Matthew Brighton, Sam Hoyle, Jessica Dromgoole and James Robinson, Planet B (Weekdays, 6pm and repeated midnight) is set in a virtual world “Where you can B whatever you want to B.” Think Second Life, but your whole body is downloaded on the site and your avatar is life size.

 

The story concerns Lioba (Donnla Hughes), one of the women behind the Planet B (Adjoa Andoh) who kills herself by throwing herself off a cliff. Her boyfriend, John (Gunnar Cauthery), goes into mourning and logs on to Planet B so that he can relive his greatest memories of Lioba.

 

The problem comes when he is forced to constantly replay Lioba’s funeral. He comes into contact with Medley (Lizzy Watts), his guide to Planet B, who tells him his problems are circulating around Lioba. So John and Medley travel through Planet B in order to find her, while constantly being chased by a vicious antivirus programme called Cerberus (Chris Pavlo).

 

As the series has progressed, it is discovered that Lioba is alive and she and Cerberus go hunting for the viruses. Sadly for John, Medley happens to be a super evolved virus or a “Rouge avatar” who plans to make her fellow rouges more human.

 

The series has been amazingly gripping. The situation of the show allows it to be set just about anywhere, much like Doctor Who. The plot is enticing and you really care about the characters.

 

One intriguing thing about the series so far is that some of the scenarios have been rather adult for a show broadcast at 6pm. One episode, set in a Roman world featured a scene in a sex dungeon. Another featured Cerberus doing what all dogs do (no matter how many heads they have) and urinate on a motorbike – well, half man-half motorbike.

 

Still, if you don’t mind this sort of thing, I would thoroughly recommend listening to Planet B. The series is currently available as a podcast from the BBC website, but the first few episodes will be removed by Monday night.



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