David Hare and David Tennant “Murder in Samarkand” Broadcasts Today 71

This is the big day, and I confess to being much too excited about it for a person of my advanced years.

Murder in Samarkand broadcasts today on BBC Radio 4 at 2.30pm.

It has been adapted as a radio drama by David Hare, and I am played by David Tennant.

Do spread the word, and do leave me some feedback when you have herard it. And do buy the book!

71 thoughts on “David Hare and David Tennant “Murder in Samarkand” Broadcasts Today

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  • Mary Philo

    Dear Mr Murray,

    Remember D. Hare’s plays from the 80s and have found them banal but not this one which had a profound ring of truth. I had a similar response to the attack on Iraq (it never was a war) and held a candle-lit vigil at the end of my road in London. It was unbelievable and I optimistically expect that Mr Blair will be charged with crimes against humanity one day.

    Thank you for your courage.

    Mary Philo (London teacher)

  • MJ

    Great production Craig. I’m glad Hare went with the serious stuff rather than the farcical side. Wonder whether Tennant was a bit miscast; he sounded too young and callow to my ears, I would have preferred more gravitas.

    It might be worth chasing up Amazon and your publishers. Amazon don’t have copies in stock and are offering only a 5 to 9 day dispatch time for the paperback, despite it having a healthy 2208 sales ranking.

  • Jon

    @Freeborn: regarding the “Islamists on the hills”, I seem to remember from the book that Craig has been to the sites where it was claimed terrorist training camps had been set up – and found nothing. The claims, it seems, had been invented by the Uzbek regime to prop up financial support from the US in their ‘war on terror’.

    @Clive – I would think someone will make an MP3 of it in due course – watch this thread for links.

  • Annie Grace

    A fantastic performance by David Tennant.I have been fortunate enough to visit Uzbekistan several times as a performing musician.I’ve been the recipient of Uzbek hospitality, and spent time witnessing and being humbled by Uzbek life and all it’s hardships. You are a brave man Craig, keep on with the fight for truth and justice.

  • ellie

    Well done: this world CAN be horrible and immoral, but at least there are still people like you who cannot just stand by and watch injustice being done.

    So glad the BBC broadcast this. Good luck to you, Craig.

    Respectfully, Ellie

  • anne

    The play was brilliant, extremely well done. Brought tears to my eyes a couple of times. You remain in my top 10 list of heros. Bless you and thank you.

  • Jon

    @Craig – *** the link to the book in your left sidebar is broken – goes to the wrong domain. Can you get your web person to fix? ***

  • peacewisher

    I lostcount of the number of marches and vigils I was part of in te run up to war with Iraq. Today is a good, day – and it wouldn’t have happened without Craig’s determination and a high profile figure like David Tennant prepared to be courageous. I remember hearing Chris Martin at the Brits just before the start of Iraq war – but he pulled back. I often wondered why… there was so much support for what he was saying.

  • Dick the Prick

    Lost my phone, keys & wallet on last raz – s’pose should get that sorted eh?The portrayal of the FCO was very much a viewpoint expressed by a minion (soz) and to that extent, whilst Larry may have been your buddy, it highlighted your lack of clubability.

    At what point did you realize that politicians ran the game? Later rather than sooner by the sounds of it.

    It was educational in the sense of its honesty. Your nieveity was/is brilliant.It’s a bit hard to speak at the moment as the phrase ‘up against the wall motherfucker’ is kinda a motto but give me 10 years and i’ll get you back in the FCO – even if it’s just for a beer.

    Cheers again.

  • Oisin Mulvihill

    I’ve just finished listening to the Saturday play on the BBC. I really enjoyed it and I must track down the book. The story is made all the more riveting by being based on real events.

  • Dr Who Fan

    I listened in because David Tennant was in it, was unaware even if it was a true story (apologies for my ignorance). A great story, and all the more so as I found when I googled Clive Murray and found this site. You are indeed a Hero, sir!

  • rwendland

    An excellent adaption, it worked very well, even stripped down so much from the book. mary, the first story on the following news about Gordon Brown’s speech was indeed so surreal.

  • heather

    i have to confess to never having heard your story before today. if it wasn’t for the fact that i had heard the Mark Lawson interview with David Hare before the play was aired, i would have thought i was listening to something similar to the very best of John le Carre. all praise to the BBC for doing what they do best, to David Hare for making me sit up and take notice and most of all to you, for showing everyone that it is still possible, for a very human human being, to stand up against the big guns.

  • Christine Marie Esteve

    Dear Craig,listened to the David Hare play and thought it was splendid! I remember some of the history of this though the Iraq War tended to dominate things. There are some good people in the LP – but I think it has been rotten at the core for some time now. It is very sad for people like myself who fought for so many decades to get Labour elected. Perhaps it is time to use your talents on other causes 0 such as the chaos in Haiti?

  • John Cunningham

    Craig – thank you for being you. Although I have been following all the subtexts of the ludicrous WarOnTerror for years with ever mounting despair, and having read your books a while ago, the play was powerfully moving – more condensed (obviously) but as such more direct in impact.

    As a fellow Scot of a similar age I admit I lost all hope of any decency or morality in our politics decades ago; however your courage in telling your truths cuts through the wall of cynicism that I need to carry on and I find myself still wiping my eyes 30 minutes after the play.

    You are an inspiration and should be very very proud.

    At least we are still free to discuss these matters; at least for now.

    I wish you and Nadira all possible good fortune and would be proud to buy the beer next time you are in Auld Reekie.


  • sue halket

    Absolutely brilliant. I had read about Craig Murray in the press while has was the ambassador in Uzbek and I thought he sounded interesting then.

  • Rob Lewis

    Awesome. Very glad to see your story handled so well, and also that it continues to get a growing audience. It’s important for justice, and you personally deserve it too.


  • Alex Gray

    What an amazing story. I tuned in quite by chance just after the start of the play, and was some way in before it dawned on me that it must be generally based on real events.

    Well done to the BBC for broadcasting it such a relatively short time after it is set, and involving as it does people still in politics and public life.

    Your book is headed for my birthday wishlist now, for sure!

    Thank you.

  • Anthony Grey

    Riveting play, riveting material, enormous admiration for your activity in Tashkent, Crag Murray. I spent over 2 years as a hostage in Beijing during the Cultural Rev, so familiarity with the FO and troublesome deep Asian postings not a million miles from my experience. Focussed as never before on your story, Craig and I send you my deepest admiration for your idealism and courage, that was certainly not typical FO stuff. Just published my secret shorthand diaries to mark the 40th annivesary of my release. Shall continue to look further into your assigment etc. Top marks too to the two Davids, Hare and Tennant. Heard it start in my car on short journey and could not turn it off, sat for an hour in a car parked transfixed. Well, well done! Warmest good wishes in whatever else dyou do. Anthony

  • Pamela Sylvester

    I listened keenly to the play, because I admire David Hare and have seen most of his plays at the National. I also am a member of Amnesty so it was a subject that interests me. Then I got onto the internet.

    Firstly, I was amazed that so much was true and still managed st last to get through the Victorian censorship laws that rule the ordinary press.

    Secondly, I was delighted that at last there seems to be a way to show up the horrible hypocrisy which exists in our foreign policy. May this continue.

    Thirdly, I wish you well in your endeavour to get torture eliminated from the EU, even if it can’t be from the world…

  • David Rothwell

    Hi Craig,

    I mistakenly posted the following on your ‘Dundee’ blog:-

    I’ve just listened to David Hare’s play ‘Murder in Samarkand’ based on your memoir. An incredibly powerful ‘story’ of which I was previously unaware – I still haven’t fully taken it in.

    Quote 1:

    “If you are winning, they re-write the rules”.

    True of the UK civil legal process too!

    Quote 2:

    “Just because the allegations were not proved does not mean they are not true”.

    In the UK civil divorce process that translates as: ‘Just because truth is denied as a defence does not mean that truth cannot be fabricated as an indictment’.

    Quote 3:

    “I admire people who pay the price for their principles”.

    The UK civil legal process disavows actions based on principle. In so doing, it undermines its pretensions to support morality and justice, and will happily see the impoverishment of the principled litigant.


    What you say of the UK executive is true also of the UK legal system and, therefore, of the UK ‘establishment’ as a whole. Was not British imperial ‘gun-boat diplomacy’ based on the fear of the threat of punitive action rather than the ability to carry it out? That deceit/subterfuge is as true today in the exercise of British power – nationally and internationally – as it was 150 years ago. It politicises even the legal process.

    I’m afraid that UK voters who believe in democracy are guilty of naivety and self-deception.

    Is there something I can do to help you, and people like you (not forgetting David Hare), to allow you to flourish and prosper for all our sakes?

    Best regards

    David Rothwell

  • mary

    Two other thoughts –

    1. was the execrable and revolting Straw listening in?

    2. Was Craig’s wife involved in discussing the production and was she happy about the dramatisation of her part in the story?

  • smbc

    Heard the play. Thought it was excellent. i didn’t know a lot about your story prior to this. If even a miniscule part of it is true then you were treated in a shameful way – but you probably know that already.

    I’ll be buying the book in the hope that it will inspire me to beat a dirty campaign against me.

    I wish you the very best of luck and would love to hear you speak in the future.

  • Anonymous

    How wonderful to see so many new visitors here as a result of the play. Those simple closing lines were particularly effective, I thought. The aim of the government is to normalise the obscenities of aggression and sadism, but the final sentences of the play remind us that normal, healthy people feel enormous revulsion at such things and are shocked when their instinct is questioned. Although I think that nowadays a kind of heroism is required in order to say so.

  • Sonja Le Vay

    Exellent play and David T as you a great choice.

    Surprised that the BBC put it on.

    As a Labour Party activist and a Quaker it saddens me that you went through all this and were dealt with so shabbily by the government.

    The truth must be told. Sonja

  • w

    Heard the first five minutes of the play this afternoon on my way to the shop – ended up going on a long drive instead (1.5 hours actually!) as I couldn’t stop listening. Thank you. And keep going. Am now off to buy your book!

  • C Bruce

    Great play and very relevant to Chilcot enquiry and govt. secrecy. I have followed your story, Craig from the beginning, listening to the early reports of human rights abuses in Uzbekistan and your brave struggle and interviews, and you have come through! Very well done, terrific script by David Hare and your part played with such verve by David Tennant. You must be delighted. Memorable and important.

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