Murder in Samarkand 45

If you missed the broadcast of David Tennant in David Hare’s adaptation of Murder in Samarkand, or if you just want to hear it again, it is available for the next seven days here:

You can buy the book, and my second book, via the links in the top left hand corner. I should frankly be grateful if you would!

Thank you so many kind comments. I thought the production was brilliant and the performances extremely moving. I found the emotional callouses hadn’t stemmed the tears, and so did Nadira. Mind you I confess I was dead chuffed when the very first person to phone congratulations as the credits were being read was Bianca Jagger.

I have to lead the rest of my life meeting people who will be disappointed because of their mental picture of me as David Tennant. 🙂

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45 thoughts on “Murder in Samarkand

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  • Lee Roberts

    Dear Craig,

    I just had to write to tell you how much I enjoyed David Hare’s adaptation of your book on Radio 4 today and that your struggle to tell the truth about this governments lies on the use of torture is a cause worth fighting for.

    When we sink to the level of those who use these methods we degrade ourselves and are no better than them.

    I’m off now to read the book.


    Lee Roberts

  • K Ethridge

    Craig –

    I live in the U.S. and tuned in to Radio 4 via the Web today solely because David Tennant was in the production. As a result, I and my 14-year-old daughter learned something we otherwise never would have. We both have a deep respect for your fight and thank you for sharing it.

  • Bugger (the Panda)

    It is a small (non Panda) bugger that we cannot get the BBC iPlayer repeats outside the UK, unless some cunning bugger posts it on YouTube.

    Anybody please?

  • Bugger (the Panda)

    Ooops silly Panda,

    I thought it was a TV presentation and thus unavailable out side the UK.

    As a Radio 4 transmission I can listen.

    Your reference to David Tennant’s looks fooled to expect a TV production.

  • denis swaine

    I listened with interest wondering if it was factual. I was in a car going to IKEA and did not know what I was listening to. It was very powerful and disturbing. A society that allows its preservation to be based on ‘torture’ is not fit for purpose. I feel that these issues need to be aired openly and often and thank you for doing so.

  • Bugger (the Panda)

    Thanks Frog 2 but when I go through the proxy it tells me that I need to have Javascript enabled but it already is and I cannot get past this warning. This is only for TV because the radio progs work OK with Real Player.

    Thanks again Frog2


  • tony_opmoc

    Apologies Again.

    I have recorded it, but I haven’t yet listened to it.

    So what are you supposed to do if there is a car on the wrong side of the road heading towards you at 90 mph?

    You slam your brakes on.

    So I said to him, why didn’t you go into reverse as well?

    The armed police unit, obviously had nowhere else important to go to – or they woudn’t have stopped.

    They stopped, and said don’t worry, Lad, you can probably claim for the damages from the Police insurance here are the details.

    So he came home, and he said…


    There has been a little incident…

    I said

    “Good job you were not riding a motorcycle, or you would have killed yourself 3 times over by now.”

    So yet again, I have got a twisted heap of metal in my drive.

    Maybe I will teach him flying instead


  • Bugger (the Panda)

    Thanks geomannie. I downloaded the Radio Downloader but it does not do what it says on the tin. It does not download.

    According to the FAQs section it could be because I have a Firewall in operation or my server does. I use a proxy server in Switzerland and a VPN so this could be the problem

    Double Bugger!

  • phylmer

    I too only listened because of David Tennant. So glad I did. I think Craig Murray should be awarded a medal, not relieved of his post. Oh if only we had more like him in Government.

  • Christian Thompson

    I was getting sick of the ubiquitous David Tennant – but he has redeemed himself by playing his most heroic role yet.

    Craig Murray has Brain, Heart & Balls in abundance. The play was great and could only have been improved by an additional scene of him headbutting Jack Straw.

  • KingofWelshNoir

    I was amazed that the Guardian write-up in the TV & Radio guide today made no mention of the rather crucial fact that this is a true story. ‘David Tennant as an ambassador in Tashkent…’ If you didn’t know better you would assume it was just a piece of fiction about some suitably out-of-the-way place. Did the reviewer not know, or is it deliberate? It beggars belief you can write about this play without mentioning the name Craig Murray and saying who he is.

  • xebgoc

    Bugger- iPlayer for radio works in the US (it’s only the tv ones that are blocked). I just tested it and I could get it without problem. So, if it’s not working for you then it’s something on your computer, not the BBC’s end of things.

    I did get to listen to it ‘in real time’ and it was remarkable. I remember hearing bits and pieces of info about this because I tend to read UK news sources and more progressive US ones, but I’ll very likely buy the book to get more details because I clearly don’t know as much as I thought I did.

  • joe90 kane

    “I have to lead the rest of my life meeting people who will be disappointed because of their mental picture of me as David Tennant. :-)”

    – And David Tennant is going to have to bear the burden for the rest of his life that he has an uncommon quick and incisive intelligence, just like Rabbie Burns, irrigated by whisky, the joy of the lassies and the life of ordinary folks (of Scotland and Uzbekistan).

    The broadcast was a bit appropriate CM as the fascists got stuffed again today in the Scottish capital!

    all the best

  • Jon

    Further to my comment on your post this morning, the link to Murder In Samarkand from the homepage is OK. ** It is broken if you click on it from a blog post – Craig please confirm and ask your web person to fix. **

  • David Allen

    Good play. I think David Hare had two separate themes. One was a simple and very powerful theme about good and evil. The other was a more complex and difficult theme – about how Craig tackled evil, and whether he had the right personality, tactics and intelligence to succeed.

    Craig tackled evil head on, bull by the horns, Don Quixote style, with tremendous energy and courage. A more level-headed person would never have achieved so much, so quickly. A more level-headed person might, on the other hand, have survived within the system to fight another day.

    We need special people like Craig. We also need more “reasonable” people – like Hare for example – who can think longer term and think about how political change can be made effective.

  • Strategist

    “People say I’m a hero. Why am I a hero? What sort of a world are we creating, where to be against torture makes you a hero?”

    Great stuff.

    Hare has done a great job distilling the essence of the story. But may I encourage everyone who may have come to this story through the radio play to read the book also. It’s a great read and you get so much more than is possible to squeeze even into a generous 90 mins radio play.

    For example, I think the scene about the old lady & the orchard got across the essence of the thuggery of the regime discovered by the forays out of Tashkent by Range Rover, but there is so much more in the book – both the disturbing and the exciting.

    Similarly “Sir Egbert Dill” (great naming!) and the poisonous line managers were well conveyed in essence but cannot begin to compare with the book’s portrayal of what people will do to defend their place in the system.

    Finally. I know it’s difficult to get everything in into 90 mins, but I would have liked to have had a scene portraying Craig’s investigation of the bomb at the market in Tashkent, showing how the regime placed & exploded the bomb itself in order to justify a fresh wave of false arrests and persecution.

  • Richard Robinson

    I’ll second Strategist – read the book. Apart from all the political implications, it’s a lot of fun & a great read.

    And David Allen’s “A more level-headed person would never have achieved so much, so quickly. A more level-headed person might, on the other hand, have survived within the system to fight another day.”

    Like Tony Blair thinking he could mitigate Bush, and then Short thinking she could mitigate Blair … and … and … little fleas have smaller fleas, and so ad infinitum ?

  • Gulliver

    Mr. Murray I don’t get it.

    You say that ‘Ally’ intelligence gets ‘clogged up’ with this garbage. Isn’t this a very generous view of what we institutionally call ‘intelligence’?

    Surely this kind of crap is for black propaganda. People boiled for a Murdoch headline.

    I’ve heard about the Office of Special Plans in the US, within the Pentagon. The message is clear enough – if it was propaganda before, it will be a damn sight moreso from now on.

    Do you think the coalition military on the ground are similarly thrown by this garbage while enacting it?

    But I forgot to say – I discovered your website only recently and have found your coverage of Chilcot quite brilliant.

    ‘Unhappy the land that needs heroes’.

    Cheers friend

  • Richard L. Fricker

    Radio was great. Hats off to all. Would love to interview at some point. Any plans for a U.S. visit? I am an American journalist, google any time for visit blog.

    best, and thanks 4, Harre and Tennant

  • tony_opmoc

    She said life is to precious – you shouldn’t do that.

    I said I am just going outside for a smoke.

    I gave her complete control of the music.

    She said life is to precious – you shouldn’t do that.

    I said look I have only smoked half a cigarette

    She said life is to precious – you shouldn’t do that.

    And then she told me about her Son who had died at the age of 10.


  • "For the restless, not the true believers, this one's for you.."

    Congratulations Craig, an excellent production of your work and appears to have helped raise your profile within the US judging by some of the comments here.

    I spent sometime Tweeting about it’s schedule prior to broadcast, to the point where I was being reported for spam LOL, though when I tried to record it when it was broadcast, my partner accidentally turned the mpg recorder off partway through!!!

    So I recorded it again late last night. Just need to clean it up abit and I will upload it and place a link to it here if that’s OK?

    Again, congratulations to you, your family, and to the production team and cast.

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