BBC Radio 4 Extra, 1 March 2013
Making its debut on Radio 4 Extra, Martin Williamson's World
Service Drama production could best be described as a Priestleyesque take on Pope's Dunciad. A well-to-do northerner
(Tony Britton) visits his psychiatrist (Jack May) complaining of apparitions so palpable that they threaten his
future life. He believes that he is being attacked by a tribe of Grey Ones - a group of faceless individuals dedicated
to ambition and self-advancement while removing all traces of personality. The psychiatrist offers a sympathetic
ear, but as the drama unfolds, we see his position gradually altering. The denouement is at once predictable yet
frightening; a nightmare vision of what can happen to humanity if they lose their capacity to think.
Written in 1952, "The Grey Ones" calls for readers to remain vigilant and sustain
their capacity to think; otherwise they could fall victim to totalitarian regimes. The radio adaptation proved enthralling;
it was nice to hear Tony Britton once more, even though I've not heard his northern accent before.