radio comedy Nebulous is back on the airwaves every Wednesday
night from 11-11.30pm from 5th April through 10th May. Six weeks of
bizarre goings on in KENT, an eco-trouble shooter organisation led by
Professor Nebulous (Mark Gatiss), set in the year 2099.
Each episode is
available for one week after broadcast on the BBC listen again service.
Click here to tune in.
The first series aired
on BBC Radio 4 in 2005 to great acclaim, and is due out on CD this
August. Graham Duff (who also appears as man of action Rory Lawson
(think a pseudo-Mike Gambit from The New Avengers), wrote the
series with much input from star Mark Gatiss. A weird kind of
Quatermass spoof, with Nebulous in the role of chief scientist -
albeit one in charge of a research department so poor that they have to
take in laundry. Each week the team (which includes Little Britain's
Paul Putner as Davros-like permanently depressed, and sometime traitor
Harry, and Rosie Cavalero as the overly-enthusiastic and obsessed with
her boss, Paula) find themselves pitted against the most perilous
Following up from the
brilliant guest-stars of series 1 (including David Warner and Graham
Crowden), this time round we are blessed with support from Peter
Davison, Steve Coogan and the lovely Kate O'Mara. We'll be talking to
Graham Duff during the run, but in the meantime you can read our
interviews from 2005 with
Graham Duff and Mark
PREVIEW EPISODE 1:
THE DEPTFORD WIVES
guest star: Peter Davison
Wednesday 5th April,
11pm, BBC Radio 4.
England. 2099. The team at KENT are still recovering from their
recent double-crossing by electronically-voiced, and wheelchair
bound Harry. Only something seems amiss - Harry isn't his usual
self, he's extraordinarily happy. But then, that's because he's
bought himself a Debtford Wife. They don't complain - rather they
are there to gratify man's every whim.
As if that
wasn't odd enough, a number of scientists have recently died
mysteriously - the only connection being that each had recently
become intimately acquainted with a Debtford bride. Could there be
some connection? Will Nebulous find it? And will Harry ever sigh
I've been itching to
hear more Nebulous since the last episode of series 6 went off the air.
The funniest thing I'd heard on the radio since Hitchhiker's Guide to
the Galaxy, and in many ways superior. Its been a long wait, but it
looks as if we won't be disappointed. Debtford Wives continues
that strange blend of humour that is uniquely Nebulous. If anyone
was put off by Duff's tv series Dr Terrible or Gatiss
participation in Quatermass Experiment on BBC4 last year, then
all is rectified here. Duff has continued to excel at an often subtle,
and clever brand of humour. He knows his films, and part of the
satifaction is in spotting the references to obscure films and
television. On tv he has gained a formidable reputation with comedy
series Ideal, but it is in radio that he is his own.
also features a guest appearance from former Doctor Who Peter
Davison - who brings a special flavour as the Doctor who has crafted
these whim serving robot wives - let loose in Wifeassic Park. Having
been deeply disappointed by Frank Oz' attempt to bring humour to and
update the Stepford Wives, Graham shows us all where it should
have gone, fusing the terror of Godzilla, Jurassic Park
and The Stepford Wives. Brilliant stuff.
PREVIEW EPISODE 2:
guest star: Steve Coogan
April, 11pm, BBC Radio 4.
A series of
deaths amongst ministry officials... A scientist breeding a new race
of giant bee/wasp hybrids... Another plot to take over mankind, and
only KENT to thwart them.
Preview copies of
episode 2 weren't available at time of broadcast, and we only got these
in the last few days. The second episode in the series sees British
comedian Steve Coogan adopt a fairly serious persona in amongst the
mayhem. Its not the first time Coogan has worked with writer Graham
Duff. Duff created the Coogan tv vehicle Dr Terrible's House of
Horrible, and its Coogan's production company BabyCow who are behind
The episode takes its
leaping off point from the old Amicus picture The Deadly Bees and
plays on the fears of deadly insects. I laughed more than I probably
should at Rory's bewilderment at the insect research facilities lack of
spiders. "Its an arachnid!" And poor old Paula goes undercover this week
too... though how long before she too worships at the hive....
PREVIEW EPISODE 3:
guest star: David Warner
Wednesday 19th April,
11pm, BBC Radio 4.
2099. And the
Transgalactic Peace Conference has been entrusted into the hands of
Nebulous - the man who disintegrated the Isle of Wight. Things take
a turn for the worse when Nebulous runs into arch-nemesis Dr Klench
(David Warner), and their minds are swapped. Klench, being an evil
Dr, has plans for the conference which will probably involve lots of
Book-ending the first
series were guest appearances from the excellent David Warner as the
evil Dr Klench - a foe on a par with Moriarty or Doctor Who's
Master. Its therefore a delight to see him return (as we all knew he
would) in complete megalomaniac form, ready not just to enact his
revenge on Nebulous but on the world.
This week's show does a
nice bit of that mad-scientist film staple, the old mind-switcharoo
(co-incidentally also tried out in last Saturday's episode of Doctor
Who - New Earth). Nebulous falls straight into Klench's arms
and the usual tricks are played out. What will the Klench version say to
Paula's amorous advances and offer of a full-body massage, will Harry
notice his boss is in worse mood than ever, will Klench succeed in
blowing up the Peace conference, and will anyone have time to de-fluff
NEXT EPISODE: 4
Wednesday 26th April,
11pm, BBC Radio 4.
© Robert J.E.
Thanks to Liz Hyder at BBC Radio 4 and Graham Duff.