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Tuesday, January 05, 2016

The difference between "War and Peace" on the telly and "The Archers" on the radio

 War and Peace debuted on BBC TV the other night in a standard Andrew Davies adaptation. All the characters had to be introduced right at the beginning. All the bases had to be covered. All the budget had to be on the screen. There was even the standard tacked-on, not in the book sex scene that looked like it had wandered in from a pre-Christmas ad for a men's fragrance. The one actor who remained still enough to register his character was Stephen Rea (above) as the sinister, manipulative Kuragin. 

Meanwhile, in the land of radio soaps, Timothy Watson (left) just shifted up a gear as the sinister, manipulative Rob Titchener in The Archers.

They're obviously both good actors, doing different jobs in different productions.

What's interesting is the differing reactions. The performance of the TV actor is met with detached admiration. The performance of the radio actor, on the other hand, is met with demands that the BBC move him and his plotline out of the series because, frankly, it's just too damned disturbing.

TV always provides you with an escape clause. Radio gets inside your head.