This is your captain speaking. This week sees the return of the BBC Radio 4 comedy Cabin Pressure
, which follows the trials and triumphs (okay, mostly trials) of MJN Air, a tiny, one-plane, four-person charter airline. It was created and written by John Finnemore
, a comedian and writer with credits including Mitchell and Webb, David Mitchell’s Soapbox, and his own sketch comedy radio show, John Finnemore’s Souvenir Programme
stars, among others, Finnemore as the daft-but-sweet flight attendant Arthur Shappey (his mum, Carolyn, played by Stephanie Cole
, owns the airline!), Benedict Cumberbatch
as the hapless and insecure captain Martin Crieff, and Roger Allam
as first officer Douglas Richardson, king of the languid – and hilarious – put-down.
Each week’s episode features a new destination (“This week…Qikiqtarjuaq!”) and a new set of games the crew play to keep themselves entertained on long flights. How many Alfred Hitchock references can you squeeze into a cabin announcement? (Answer: 13.) What books sound more interesting
if you take the last letter off the title? (How about “The DaVinci Cod?”) What’s the best place to hide the Traveling Lemon
? (Answer: taped to the top of Martin’s hat.) What do you do when you see a yellow car? (Answer: say, "yellow car
In the U.S., the three prior series are available through Audible and Amazon, with entertaining samples on You Tube:
Little Martin meets Big Martin
Get Dressed You Merry Gentlemen
The new series begins January 9th on BBC Radio 4.
And let us not forget the now-obligatory mashup of the BBC's Sherlock (featuring Cabin Pressure's own Benedict Cumberbatch) with the Cabin Pressure episode, "Ottery St Mary": Ottery St Sherlock