The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham

It’s sixty-five years since John Wyndham published The Midwich Cuckoos, the fourth in his hugely successful series of science fiction novels that began in 1951 with The Day of the Triffids. Many people’s first introduction to The Midwich Cuckoos is through the classic film from 1960, which was renamed The Village of the Damned and starred George Sanders. We’re joined for this episode by the writer and director David Farr, who has just produced the most recent adaptation of the novel: a seven-episode series for Sky. As well as assessing the merits of the book – sometimes obscured by its popular success – we discuss the process of adapting a classic novel for a modern audience. This episode also features Andy sharing his holiday read – The Feast by Margaret Kennedy (author of The Constant Nymph which we featured last year). The novel is set in Cornwall, which was exactly where Andy found himself when he read it. John also introduces a new independent publisher, Hazel Press, whose exquisite small, environmentally friendly books include The Wren by Julia Blackburn, a haunting sequence of short journal entries and prose poems.

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Timings:

11:09 – The Feast by Margaret Kennedy
18:00 – The Wren by Julia Blackburn
22:44 – The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham

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