BBC Radio 4 Gives us ‘Stardust’ for Christmas

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{All photos courtesy BBC Radio 4}

Note: this was also published on SciFi4Me.com.

Looking for something fantastic to listen to over your winter holiday break? BBC Radio 4, in its continuing mission to do excellent audio adaptations of books and movies, is now playing an adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s fantasy book Stardust.

Published in 1999, Gaiman’s story is set in the fictitious English town of Wall, which is connected in a way to the world of Faerie. We follow young Tristan, the son of a mysterious woman who had been imprisoned by a witch, as he seeks out a fallen star in order to gain the hand of the woman he loves. As with all fairy stories, no one is exactly who they seem, and true love does win – but as you may have come to expect with Gaiman, not quite in the way you may expect.

The book was adapted into a movie back in 2007, starring Claire Danes as Yvaine, the living embodiment of the star, among several others, including some great small bits (including a truly hilarious turn by Robert De Niro). For me, it’s one of those rare adaptations that works just as well as a book as a movie, as the things they do change for the movie makes sense.

Cast photo.

Back in September, it was announced that BBC Radio 4 would be doing an audio production just in time for Christmas. Split into two parts, it was adapted by director Dirk Maggs, who also was the one that did prior Gaiman adaptations of Neverwhere and Good Omens (which, of course, was co-written by Terry Pratchett). BBC Radio 4 also had a contest for artwork to accompany the audio drama, and the gallery of chosen images is on the BBC Radio 4 website.

Starring Matthew Beard as Tristain and Sophie Rundle as Yvaine, there’s also a small cameo by Gaiman, as well as Tori Amos. The audio production premiered December 17 on BBC Radio 4, and is now available to stream on their website (without being geolocked, which means you can listen regardless of whether you are a citizen of the UK). But just a reminder: audio on BBC Radio 4 is only up for a limited time, and this will be only available for the next 22 days.

So sit back, and listen to the tale of stars, royalty, and love. For more information, and to listen to the production, visit the BBC Radio 4 website.