by ben moor
'Ours is an elastic planet.
Things bounce. Things cohere. And things snap.'
The series was produced by JON NAISMITH
and narrated by OLIVER POSTGATE, and was first broadcast by BBC
Radio 4 in 1995.
UPDATE APRIL 2004- the show is currently
being re-run on digital station BBC7 at 23.45 on Thursday nights.
If you miss the episodes you can
use the LISTEN
AGAIN function on the website. Good luck!
Six episodes were made and overall the
show went down very well. This was mainly thanks to the wonderful
narration by Oliver who made the utter nonsense I had written
comprehensible and entertaining. Being a child at the time of
Bagpuss, Ivor the Engine and Noggin the Nog, his is a voice I
instantly trust. I could listen to him read bus timetables all
day. Not that he would, I'm sure, but if he did, I would listen
Elastic Planet is a very gentle show,
nothing too challenging and fairly meandering in its style. Anyway,
here's a basic guide to the stories, cast and guest stars of
Episode 1 - THE BABIES
Two babies are born simultaneously in
Northampton General Hospital on 8th July 1955 - Pamela Chetney
a cheese sculptor and Genghis Trevelayan, a politician of Mongolian/Cornish
descent - and we follow their intertwining lives through the
following forty years.
The story involves dust factories, bad
spelling rings, verb designing, knitting reform, and renumbering
With Miriam Margolyes, Gary Waldhorn,
Michael Simkins, Dan Strauss, Kerry Shale, Alan Dedicoat, Hugh
Scully and James Naughtie.
BBC Radio 4 17th May 1995
Episode 2 - THE TRAIN
You and five other passengers are sitting
in a carriage on a train to Whittleble in 1947 - a child genius,
a government minister, a man with the head of a fish, an opera
singer and a chef. All their stories interrelate but none of
them quite realise this before they leave the train.
Cursed Swedish operas, the elite Mime
Squad from the Second World War, Methodist pirates and primitve
restaurants all come into the tale.
With Miriam Margolyes, Dan Strauss,
Michael Troughton, Neil Mullarkey, Ben Moor, Patrick Moore, Richard
Baker and Sir Robert Stephens.
BBC Radio 4 24th May 1995
Episode 3 - THE SHAPE
Johnny Ball on 'Think of a Number' draws
an odd shape with four and a half equal sides on a blackboard.
The show is 'lost' by the BBC and reporter Eric Poems follows
the conspiracy that has suppressed the truth about the 'Ballagon'
Spanning the sinking of the Titanic
using artificial icebergs, Practical Home Voodoo magazine , drugged
electricity, in-utero advertising and rearrangement engineering,
the truth is a shocking one. . .
With Michael Troughton, Dan Strauss,
Neil Mullarkey, Kerry Shale, Siriol Jenkins, Jamie Owen, Ben
Moor, Johnny Ball and Henry Cooper.
BBC Radio 4 31st May 1995
Epsiode 4 - THE LIFE
Following the story of Hamilton Pramden,
who was born literally with a silver spoon in his mouth, a whole
range of facts about the natural world emerge. He translated
the rude songs of birds into English in the Nineteenth century
and we meet people developing sharper grass, hurdling cattle
trainers and proponents of ant prisons. Along the way the beauty
of nature is everywhere, from gong beetles to the carpenter elephants
of Africa who toil in the elephants' lumberyard.
With Dan Strauss, Kerry Shale, Geoff
McGivern, Fiona Allen, Ben Moor, Brian Hayes and Julian Pettifer.
BBC Radio 4 7th June 1995
Episode 5 - THE OBJECTS
A chest washes ashore on an island in
the Indian Ocean. What connects the objects within and what is
the history of the man who owned them? And how does a piece of
flamenco guitar music fit in?
Siren writers, spoon designers, the
tactical paint deposit, and the invention of washing up liquid
all contribute to the strange tale. And the flamenco guitar music.
With Rebecca Front, Geoff McGivern,
Dan Strauss, Kerry Shale, Ben Moor, Caren Keating and Raymond
BBC Radio 4 14th June 1995
Episode 6 - THE TRAVEL
The World Unfurled, a travel radio series
presented by Warren Spurgeon is previewed in this story. We follow
Spurgeon as he travels around this elastic planet and wonder
just why he's doing it.
He visits the doubting monks of St Thomas
the Disciple, the original location of the White Cliffs of Dover
before they were brought to Britain as spoils of empire and Pennsylvania
where too much gravity has been dug up along with the coal.
With Dan Strauss, Michael Troughton,
Doon MacKichan, Kerry Shale, Alexander Armstrong and Ben Moor.
BBC Radio 4 21st June 1995
BACK TO THE
BACK TO INDEX