BBC Radio 4, 7 January 2011
Set in the present day, Bad Memories concerns the efforts of police
officer Rachel Weir (Nicola Walker), and Jim Marquez (Rupert Graves) to investigate the mysterious disappearance of the Blake
family several years previously. What complicates their investigation, however, is the awareness that the house itself was
witness to another murder happening in 1926: the victims of that murder continue to haunt the property during the present
day (2011) and when the Blake family were still alive seven years previously.
Julian Simpson's haunted house drama therefore unfolded on two levels - as an investigation
of a recent disappearance (of the Blake family), and how the murder taking place eighty-five years previously had affected
that disappearance. Nothing seems especially clear: the only evidence Weir and Marquez have to work with is a series
of digital voice recordings made by Phillip Gibson (Steven Mackintosh), a ghostbuster posing as a journalist, who spent several
hours with the Blake family recording conversations, as well as his own impressions of what he saw.
Needless to say the tale undergoes several twists and turns, with several genuinely
spooky moments - the sound design by David Chilton contributed greatly to the effect. The tale might be a familiar one, but
Julian Simpson's production offered an intriguing twist with the inclusion of new technology and the way it can both help
and hinder police investigations. Well worth a listen if a repeat ever occurs.