In March 2006, Brunel 2206 – A Radio Adventure took to the airwaves as a unique broadcasting venture between BBC Radio Bristol and Bristol writers Peter Hunter and David Johnson, of Paralalia.
Paralalia was formed out of the co-operative actions of Peter and David in conceiving, promoting and hosting an impressive list of poetry events and appearances in and around the Bristol area.
They are both performance poets, since 2000 and 1999 respectively: Peter has promoted and hosted numerous poetry events and workshops. David mixes his stand-up humour with his own verse, and is a multi slam poetry winner. They have produced numerous poetry publications collaboratively and individually.
Paralalia co-wrote Brunel 2206, a 10 part sci-fi adventure radio serial about the nerve-jangling adventures of young Izzy Noble, the great, great, great, great, great, great granddaughter of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, and her race against time to stop the evil Scallico Corporation flattening Bristol and all of Brunel’s achievements, and turning it into a Mega Space Port…
With help from her friends Chris Claxton and Daniel Gooch at the lunar heritage museum, and by employing fantastic futuristic inventions, Izzy overcomes physical dangers and solves puzzles to re-discover Brunel’s great works and find clues that hint at an even greater work that he didn’t have time to complete.
This radio adventure was aimed at both young and old alike and was broadcast on BBC Radio Bristol’s Keith Warmington Drive-time Show. This is the first time that Radio Bristol had broadcast such a serial.
The radio show was accessible to all listeners of BBC Radio Bristol’s show, which is regularly listened to by 20,000 people. In addition, the BBC Radio Bristol website offered the serial as a playback after the initial broadcast.
David Johnson, who wrote the serial, said in reflection,
“In writing and bringing to the Radio Bristol listeners Brunel 2206, we had an interesting challenge. The 5 minute length episodes were constraining because we had to ensure that each had a cliff-hanging ending, as well as painting an impression of Bristol 200 years in the future, developing the main characters, and most importantly imparting information about Isambard Kingdom Brunel. We found reading a number of biographies and other books about IKB’s engineering projects expanded our knowledge of the great man and the environment that he had to work within.”
Keith Warmington, BBC Radio Presenter, said “This has been great fun to produce. I even appear as a computerised version of myself…”
You can download the final script here (Word document).
Photography: Mark Simmons.