Full-cast BBC reading of The Testaments (sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale)
October 6, 2019 1:08 PM   Subscribe

Available for a limited time, BBC Radio 4 has a full-cast abridged reading of Margaret Atwood’s new novel, The Testaments. This sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale picks up 15 years after the events in the previous book (very mildly revealing review of The Testaments by Anne Enright). All 14-minute episodes have now been released: The first episode is available until Oct. 15, 2019; the fifteenth and final episode is available until Oct. 30. (The Testaments previously on MetaFilter; The Handmaid’s Tale previously on MetaFilter.)

For those in other time zones, a reminder that the BBC site will be on British Summer Time (BST) until 2:00 am Oct. 27, when it will switch to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).
posted by hurdy gurdy girl (19 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
 
This is available on the web site or via the BBC Sounds app, but the get_iplayer package also works and produces DRM-free audio files that are properly tagged. (It also works for TV shows, although I don't know if it respects the BBC's region locking.)

I hadn't used get_iplayer for a long time, but when the BBC recently ditched the Iplayer Radio app in favour of Sounds - which has a complete donkey's poo-hole of an interface - I reacquainted myself with the software and was pleasantly surprised that it still works, and works very well.
posted by Devonian at 1:21 PM on October 6 [3 favorites]


Shouldn't this be in Fanfare?
posted by The corpse in the library at 1:52 PM on October 6


Do you mean that these episodes are available for over a year from now, or did you mean to type 2019 instead of 2020?
posted by hippybear at 1:58 PM on October 6


Oh crap, I meant 2019!! Yikes. I'll ask a mod to fix that. And to think I actually proofread this.

Corpse in the library, I hadn't thought of putting it in FanFare; I was thinking of previous limited-availability BBC Radio 4 plays like this one from August (In Search of Lost Time) that had been posted to the Blue before.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 2:01 PM on October 6 [1 favorite]


Is there any way to download these to listen later (after the 10 days are up)? I am not sure I'll have time to binge these. I don't understand how GitHub works if that's the only option.
posted by Mchelly at 2:08 PM on October 6 [1 favorite]


I would like someone to just tell me what happens.
posted by bleep at 2:13 PM on October 6 [2 favorites]


I would like someone to just tell me what happens.

Men are still terrible.
posted by Fizz at 2:39 PM on October 6 [20 favorites]


[Fixed the date ]
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 2:48 PM on October 6 [2 favorites]


oh, my.
posted by clavdivs at 5:44 PM on October 6


Bookmarked for my new bedtime listening! I saw Atwood talking about the new book on the late show the other day and have been very excited, but my eyes are just not up to a whole novel.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 6:19 PM on October 6


What exactly does "full-cast" mean here? I was curious who was performing, but as far as I can tell via the site, it's just 2 people doing the reading.
posted by thecjm at 8:22 PM on October 6


The novel has three first-person narrators: Aunt Lydia, Agnes (a girl who has grown up in Gilead) and Daisy (a teenaged girl who has grown up in Toronto). The production has three readers, one for each character (you can see who the readers are for each episode by clicking on “show more”). Some of the episodes only feature two characters, but if you look through all of them you can see there are three readers credited.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 11:16 PM on October 6 [1 favorite]


I found the omnibus version which collects five of the shorter episodes per omnibus episode. The first episode seems to be available for 15 days, the final one for 29 days.
posted by 73pctGeek at 11:18 PM on October 6


The novel has three first-person narrators

How reliable are they? I've been burned before.
posted by thelonius at 11:27 PM on October 6 [5 favorites]


Mchelly: Is there any way to download these to listen later (after the 10 days are up)? I am not sure I'll have time to binge these. I don't understand how GitHub works if that's the only option.

You don’t need to compile anything: Installation instructions for get_iplayer are on the get_iplayer wiki where you’ll find complete self-contained installers for windows, osx and Linux. You may have to get a little up close & personal with the command line though.
posted by pharm at 4:02 AM on October 7


Also, you have 1 day left to snarfle the Omnibus editions of the BBC’s adaptation of the original Handmaid’s Tale.
posted by pharm at 4:09 AM on October 7 [1 favorite]


get_iplayer looks like a great tool. I just installed and started using it in ubuntu (16.04, I really should upgrade).

This page has some good info.

Install steps:
sudo snap install get-iplayer
get app to handle tags:
sudo apt-get install atomicparsley

I had some tag issues before I installed atomicparsley but afterwords it seems okay. The program is /snap/bin/get_iplayer; you may want to add /snap/bin to your path.

To get The Handmaid's Tale:
/snap/bin/get_iplayer --pid=b008f8jf
/snap/bin/get_iplayer --pid=b008f8jd

To get The Testaments:
/snap/bin/get_iplayer --pid=m0008pq5
/snap/bin/get_iplayer --pid=m0008x11
/snap/bin/get_iplayer --pid=m0009463
posted by jclarkin at 8:24 AM on October 7 [1 favorite]


For what it's worth, you can use the main PID for the program(me) without having to specify the individual episodes, ex. m0008jzy and m0008jyk. "get_iplayer --type=radio --pid=[insertPIDhere] --radiomode=best --pid-recursive" usually works pretty well for most.
posted by detachd at 10:12 AM on October 7


How reliable are they? I've been burned before.
They are internally consistent with themselves and with each other, but it's always possible they're forgeries.
posted by one for the books at 11:06 PM on October 7


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