BBC Radio 4, 25 April 2012
One afternoon in a smart London club, Bradley Shoreham (Tim Woodward)
has been invited to discuss war game scenarios involving potential attacks on London with Brigadier Fraser (Bill Paterson).
As the brandy flows, so the ideas become more and more extreme, involving the destruction of familiar landmarks, the paralyzing
of the tube, and the annihilation of most of the hapless inhabitants.
Sasha Yevtushenko's production contained distinct echoes of other Radio 4 productions
- notably John Dryden's Pandemic, the three-parter broadcast recently about a virus being let loose on the world
causing similar mayhem. There were also overtones of the George Smiley books, with two military types meeting in an anonymous
London location to plan the future of the world. If there had been references to someone's "control" (a familiar term in Smiley's
world), then the parallel would have been complete.
Red and Blue was more of a polemic than a drama focusing on the interplay
between characters. It tried to explain the peculiar logic that drove people to commit what might be thought of as extreme
acts of violence - for example, Timothy McVay in the Oklahoma bombings of 1995. There were passing references to other terrorist
groups such as Muslim extremists (one small note, the word 'Muslim' is not customarily pronounced 'Mooslum').
While appreciating author Palmer's desire to penetrate the minds of supposedly 'extreme'
people, I did feel that Red and Blue could have benefited with a stronger plot, rather than focusing on two
drunken sots indulging in Big Brother-like fantasies of power.