This month’s exciting Jonathan Morris release for you to purchase and enjoy is Doctor Who – The Eternal Summer. I’ve blogged about the recording in the past, but now I’ve actually heard the finished article. It’s rather wonderful, if I say so myself. I don’t think, as a script, it was quite as strong as The Haunting Of Thomas Brewster, but as a production I think it works much, much better. Entirely down to the director, the cast, and the post-production sound guy.
It’s been described as a Sapphire & Steel-ish thing, and I can appreciate why people might say that, though for me there were three main influences. Firstly, Dennis Potter’s Blue Remembered Hills and The Singing Detective, all the scenes set in the Forest of Dean. Secondly, as a reaction against the whole idea of the pastoral ‘village green’ being some sort of quintessential English heaven. And thirdly, Robert Shearman’s stuff. If you’re going to nick stuff, then shoplift from the quality outlets. Oh, and there’s a bit of Brigadoon in there too.
There’s also a slight sense in there of the eerie feeling I get whenever I return to the village where I group up. Not because the village itself is eerie – though it is – but because it has barely changed, and every hedgerow, building and lane is part of my childhood, its odd to revisit them as an adult. Ghosts and nostalgia. That’s what it’s about. Along with a bit of atheist propaganda.
People seem to like it, particularly the first half. My main memory of writing it is that episode two was a real sod; I didn’t have enough plot so I had to think of ways of padding it out. Irony is, those bits of padding are probably the best scenes in the play.
It's been reviewed here. Here are some quotes from some other reviews:
Awesome! More Max please!!!
A breath of fresh air. All the characters were great, as was the performances. Special praise to the wonderful Max, i'm not failiar with the comics, but i feel now like i wanna track them down. The first 2 episodes were as good as anyhing ive heard bf put out, the last two were a bit weaker, but wrappe the whole thing up well. i clicked 8, but in fact maybe a 9. fantastic!!
Well! I can't pretend I know what was going on some of the time, and look forward to listening again to see if the mists clear a little - but what incredible performances from all! Especially the two leads - quite unsettling in places.
Just finished listening to this release, and this was God Damn Bloody Brilliant!
Absolutly and completely brilliant. I loved this one. Very clever and I didn't find it confusing at all. I usually enjoy stories that jump back and forth in time, flashbacks/flashforwards etc, but this one was particually good. Excellent work all round! One of the best this year!
A solid 8 I think. There's an inevitable reset at the end but a very entertaining and well put together play. Maxwell worked really well and it would be nice to hear more stories featuring him in the future.
Great stuff! Loving the linking between the plays in this 'season'. I agree with the others who have said that Mark Williams was fantastic! Hope we get to meet Max again.
Just very much enjoyed the sellotape joke in episode four - fabulous. Why couldn't The Fifth Doctor had material like this when he was on television?
A superb release. Very well written, and Mark Williams is inspired casting.
As for the play - wow, fantastic. Great use of the non linear plot line. Enjoyed everything about this one. Great stuff.
Terrific story, great cast and sound design. I listened to this earlier today in one sitting and loved it. His name escapes me at the moment, but the guy playing Maxwell Edison was brilliant.
Loved this one. After this and The Glorious Revolution, the question is...when will Johnny Morris write for the TV series? I'd love to see what he could do.
My favourite of 2009. A genuinely brilliant story.
I just loved it. I made the mistake of listening to it in the dark when tired and was surprised at how scary and unnerving it was. Great performances and a cracking script with superb sound design and music. Love it. Sorry to gush but it really is just great...
I loved this audio. Very clever and I didn't find it confusing at all. I usually enjoy stories that jump back and forth in time, flashbacks/flashforwards etc, but this one was particually good. Excellent work all round! One of the best this year!
Didn't understand most of it... I think I'd prefer to forget it.