Invasion by Philip Palmer

Contact Us

Dangerous Visions on BBC Radio 4

BBC Radio 4, 18 June 2013
This two-hander, part of Radio 4's Dangerous Visions series, had astronaut Kadian (Edward Hogg) waking up in a quarantine cell, after having been in a coma.  He had been on an expedition to Mars; but had been incarcerated on his return.  Now he has just one person to talk to - Jenna (Amita Dhiri) - who seems particularly reluctant to answer any of his questions.  It seems that Earth has been transformed into a quasi-dictatorship, repressing any emotions and/or personal feelings, in the time that Kadian has been asleep.
Invasion began in familiar fashion, as Kadian gradually came to understand that the world he once knew was not today's world.  Apparently things had taken a turn for the worse.  As the drama unfolded, however, so we came to understand that Kadian himself was partly to blame for causing the dystopia; his trip to Mars had turned out to be a disaster, leading to the spread of disease among the earthly inhabitants.  Human beings like to colonize new areas, but the outcome of such colonial acts might prove destructive rather than beneficial.
In a final twist of this drama, however, we were shown that the world Kadian encountered, as personified by Jenna, was not quite what he had anticipated.  
With its roots in the past as much as the future (the play's structure had a strong moral scheme), Invasion was an enthralling piece - a claustrophobic work in which the two protagonists learned something about themselves as well as the world they inhabited.  The director was James Robinson.