Book of Strange New Things
Michel Faber

Book cover image

Narrated By: Dougray Scott, , Hayley Atwell, Joe Armstrong

Duration: 2 hours and 13 minutes

What to expect

A BBC Radio adaptation of Michel Faber’s science fiction masterpiece, starring Dougray Scott, Joe Armstrong and Hayley Atwell

Peter is a devoted husband and man of faith who is called to the mission of a lifetime – one that takes him galaxies away from his wife, Beatrice. Hired as a preacher by an enigmatic corporation called USIC, he must leave behind everything he loves to travel to the far distant planet of Oasis, where the company has its base.

The native inhabitants – a gentle, peaceable community – welcome Peter to their settlement, and are eager to hear the teachings of the Bible, which they call ‘The Book of Strange New Things’. As he becomes acquainted with his new flock, he tells them about where he has come from, and shows them photos of life on Earth.

But in his absence, climate change has wreaked devastation on Peter’s home planet. Letters from his wife tell of food shortages, natural disasters and societal breakdown – and as survival on Earth becomes more and more difficult, the distance between Peter and Beatrice grows ever vaster. As their relationship is put under increasing strain, can they find a way to reconnect with each other?

Winner of the Saltire Book of the Year Award 2015, The Book of Strange New Things is an extraordinary, unforgettable tale of love, faith and what happens when both are tested to breaking point. This mesmerising dramatisation stars Dougray Scott as the Narrator, Joe Armstrong as Peter and Hayley Atwell as Beatrice.

Cast and credits
Narrator – Dougray Scott
Peter – Joe Armstrong
Beatrice – Hayley Atwell
Grainger – Kelly Burke
Oasan/Tuska – Mark Edel-Hunt
Jesus Lover Number One/Severin – Michael Bertenshaw
Jesus Lover Number Five/BG – Damian Lynch
Jesus Lover Number Four – David Acton
USIC Psychologist – Jane Slavin
USIC Doctor – Elaine Claxton
Other parts played by members of the company

Written by Michel Faber
Adapted by Miranda Emmerson
Directed by Emma Harding
First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 6-17 October 2014

Genre

Science fiction

Listen to a sample