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Falling through gaps
March 27, 2013 9:51 AM   Subscribe

BBC Radio 4's audio adaptation of Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere is now up in it's entirety on the 4Extra site for streaming.

The production has had rave reviews and boasts a very starry cast.

Includes singing Benedict Cumberbatch
posted by brilliantmistake (26 comments total) 43 users marked this as a favorite

 
Awesome, I've been wanting to listen to this production for awhile. Although I dread the cost as last time I read the book, I ended up booking a trip to London. Time has passed and doing the same for a family of three is so much pricier!

Not so sure about Gaiman adding in Angela at the end, though.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:55 AM on March 27, 2013


Good news, playable from the US! Thanks Britain for being less dorky than the US in this regard.
posted by DigDoug at 9:56 AM on March 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


I dunno - Hywell Bennet was just about perfect as Croup in the TV series. He brought to life that whimsical air of dread menace all of the good Gaiman villains have.
posted by Slap*Happy at 10:03 AM on March 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


Very cool. You can also subscribe to the Drama of the Week podcast, which currently features the first episode, or directly download ep 1.
posted by prinado at 10:08 AM on March 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


Is the Drama of the Week podcast going to eventually feature all the episodes? I love listening to it as I'm falling asleep, but it's not really convenient to have my computer next to my bed.
posted by Lucinda at 10:27 AM on March 27, 2013


I find it amusing that the 4Extra site's volume control goes up to 11.
posted by Lucinda at 10:29 AM on March 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


What's the deal with having the 6th episode only up for the next two days?
posted by gauche at 10:31 AM on March 27, 2013


The Beeb's used this production to try and boost digital radio sales. The first episode went out on Radio 4, which is available both digitally and on FM. All the other episodes went out on Radio 4 Extra, a digital-only station normally devoted to very old Radio 4 repeats. The UK's Digital refusniks (of whom there are many) are quite irritated by this.

Radio 4's normal "Listen Again" policy is to keep each programme available on-line for seven days after broadcast, but I've no idea how this is going to work with a cross-channel serial like this.
posted by Paul Slade at 10:56 AM on March 27, 2013


I downloaded the first one throught the link IO9 gave and hopefully will snare the rest. Then I'll listen to each episode on single nights, in the dark, with a couple drams of single malt. I think a single malt fan like Gaiman would agree on that plan.
posted by Ber at 11:12 AM on March 27, 2013


Is the Drama of the Week podcast going to eventually feature all the episodes?

Probably not. The '...of the Week' podcasts are usually random picks from the relevant category each week; it's more a promotional tool than a proper podcast.

The UK's Digital refusniks (of whom there are many) are quite irritated by this.

Quite, quite irritated. I almost wrote a strongly-worded letter.
posted by jack_mo at 11:26 AM on March 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


BBC radio fans may like to investigate Radio Downloader, which I'm sure I've mentioned before.

It has the world's Worst. UI. Evah. But it faithfully snarfs any programming available on iPlayer radio, and has a lot of much older programmes that are for some reason exempt from the 7 day rule. Those are (I presume) ones where there are no rights issues outwith the BBC's own copyright, and can be spotted on iPlayer because they have a 2099 expiry date on the Available Until listing.

The best thing about Radio Downloader is that it lets you subscribe to a series, and it then just quietly gets on with the business of grabbing the programmes as they become available. Everytihng arrives as a standard MP3, suitable for all uses MP3 files traditionally enjoy.

As for the legality - these are all publicly available files, which you could otherwise obtain through a digital radio with SD card record and an EPG, so you decide on the degree of illicitness involved and your willingness to engage with it.

To my knowledge, there is no geographical limitation in general on any BBC audio.
posted by Devonian at 11:30 AM on March 27, 2013 [9 favorites]


I expect that once the 'two days' runs out for the latest ep it'll change to 'over a year' like the other ones. It's a pretty big deal for 4/4Extra and they want as many people as possible to hear it.
posted by brilliantmistake at 11:47 AM on March 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Is there an OS X counterpart to Radio Downloader which actually works?
posted by wenestvedt at 12:23 PM on March 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


wenestvedt and anyone else that is interested regarding OS X, bdz recommends Get iPlayer Automator. I just tried it and it is only showing 3 of the episodes though.

Also from that post, jmccw recommends downloading the WMA and converting it. VLC can be set up to save those streams as well. Again, only 3 show up on the Radio 4 Extra page, but you can convert the PID's to get the other pieces:

Part 1: b01r527b
Part 2: b01rb2c1
Part 3: b01rbsc4
posted by hankscorpio83 at 1:45 PM on March 27, 2013


Drat, too bad this isn't on shortwave. Always enjoy the added effects of atmospheric flanging (by DJ Gaia).
posted by Twang at 3:01 PM on March 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Hywell Bennet was just about perfect as Croup in the TV series

The general - and pleasing - untidiness of the the rest of the cast and sets made him stand out like the nuts on a Doberman, but I remember thinking what a great choice the casting people made in him.
posted by sneebler at 6:11 PM on March 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, the whole thing was more than a little punk-rock, a serious DIY ethic that deepened rather than cheapened the series. It reminded me of the old Dr. Who at its best - shoestring budget, but a sharp script and earnest acting.
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:28 PM on March 27, 2013


I installed Get iPlayer Automater, but it's finding zero episodes searching for Neverwhere. I've got the Drama of the Week podcast of ep 1 downloaded, hopefully I will get one of the methods mentioned above to work tonight.
posted by oh yeah! at 5:32 AM on March 28, 2013


oh yeah!, I had the same problem with Get iPlayer Automator, but if you have a Windows install available via VMware Fusion/Parallels/Boot Camp, then Radio Downloader, recommended by Devonian above, does the trick just fine.
posted by McCoy Pauley at 6:13 AM on March 28, 2013


McCoy Pauley, I have none of those things, and that sounds terrifyingly complicated for a Mac-only noob like myself. For love of Neverwhere, I will try to understand it when I get home from work tonight. (or, since my work computer is a Windows machine, maybe I will have an easier time downloading it here this morning/afternoon.)
posted by oh yeah! at 8:05 AM on March 28, 2013


> Again, only 3 show up on the Radio 4 Extra page, but you can convert the PID's to
> get the other pieces:
>
> Part 1: b01r527b

On http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01r522y/episodes/player I see streaming links
for six parts right now:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01r527b
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01rcwkv
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01rcky1
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01rbwlv
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01rbsc4
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01rb2c1

But IO9's direct download link looks like

http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/radio4/radioplay/ptw_20130322-1317a.mp3

(That's the same link the Beeb's RSS feed is offering right now, and no others.) Is there a way to guess the URLs of the other .mp3 files?

I'm especially worried about episode 6, the one that says "one day left to listen." I really don't want to miss any pieces. Neverwhere is my favorite Gaiman novel and one of my uber-favorite pieces of fantasy ever. I'll go ahead and stream the last episode right now and capture the audio in audacity or something if I must, but is there a better way to do it?


(PS I did get and install radiodownloader but it's not clear how to run it. I assume I'm looking for podcasts, not programs? Where it says "Enter the URL of a podcast RSS feed" I gave it the full downloads.bbc.co.uk link to the .mp3. The program seems to freeze at this point (hourglass, can't change tabs or do anything else). But it's doing something all right, it's using plenty of CPU and in my firewall "view network activity" panel the Bytes In counter for Radio Downloader.exe is going up. The file size of the mp3 I got via IO9's link is 52.5 MB. When the Bytes In counter for Radio Downloader.exe has counted up to a hair over 54 MB the program comes back from neverland and says "The data returned from the specified URL was malformed." Blobble foo.)
posted by jfuller at 9:25 AM on March 28, 2013


Radio Downloader worked! I had trouble finding it in the 'Find Programmer' tab at first, but eventually by clicking on the 'N' in the A-Z section below the list of blank bullet points, 'Neil Gaiman - Neverwhere' was visible. So now I guess I'll just email each file to myself, and spend some time this weekend trying to convert them to podcast or audiobook format. Yay!
posted by oh yeah! at 10:40 AM on March 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


> eventually by clicking on the 'N' in the A-Z section below the list of blank bullet points, 'Neil
> Gaiman - Neverwhere' was visible.

Lo and behold! And thank you very much! I would never have found it.
posted by jfuller at 11:19 AM on March 28, 2013


The BBC, in their infinite wisdom, do seem to have taken down part 6. If anyone needs it then MeMail me.
posted by brilliantmistake at 1:22 AM on March 30, 2013


And now they've all been taken down.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 10:31 AM on March 30, 2013


Dang it! I only got four of them!!!!
posted by wenestvedt at 1:09 PM on March 30, 2013


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