Murder In Samarkand Loses 9

Murder in Samaraknd came second in the Best Drama category at the Sony Radio Awards. The judges said it was:

An ambitious and bold project, which was the radio equivalent of a cinematic blockbuster. It was an incredibly important drama not only for the story it told but also for the craft of radio drama

Congratulations to the winner Christopher Reason. But I will not pretend that I am not bitterly disappointed, because the BBC have buried Murder in Samarkand with the apparent intention it will never be heard again. They have not made it available in any of their sale or distribution formats, and there is currently no legal way anyone can listen to it. If you want to listen illegally here, you can click on my link to the right of this.

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9 thoughts on “Murder In Samarkand Loses

  • Tom Welsh

    Legally, I wonder what rason the BBC could adduce for preventing people from listening to “Murder in Samarkand”. You wrote it, and how can they lose any money when they haven’t put anything up for sale?

  • ingo

    If the BBC does not want to make any money with it, holds the copyrights and refuses to make the play openly available, as a public broadcaster, then, after some time, tell me if I’m wrong, you can pirate copies and sell them at book signings in CD form, could you not?
    Would be a good idea to allow for a nominal amount to be paid into the BBC’s Pudsy’s charity.

    It would make booksignings a more round affair, what could the BBC possibly say about it.
    Another point, should the film ever be made, ensure that the BBC is excluded from all rights.
    If they want to be politically active, they should not use public funds for their incidious sucking up to parties and the status quo, but be impartial and report factually, all this cloak and dagger stuff should be outed.
    Like for instance, the machinations of the privvy council the perks of the establishment, their tatty image and secrecy, who is going to write that book?
    BTW. coming second in the world is not loosing, get a grip its well done for a first attempt, it had me stuck to the chair and i read the book.

  • nextus

    There may be complications with performance rights, not to mention Hare’s copyright on the script. While they aren’t necessarily prohibitive, they would have to be outweighed by potential benefits to make an official release worthwhile.

    It’s conceivable that Auntie is instinctively wary of irking the establishment with a critical memoir, but I think the political wind has changed recently.

    The Silver award is still a significant achievement and could add enough momentum for release on the web if not as an audio book (for which I think there would be a good market). I’m not sure that Craig’s prompting would be enough on its own, though: we might have to lobby to signal public interest. Does anybody know the appropriate contact at the Beeb?

  • mark_golding

    I feel it necessary to write to the BBC ‘trustees’ asking why I am unable to listen to ‘Murder in Samarkand’ on iPlayer.
    I have written to the former board of ‘governors’ many times and received a favourable response, complaints to the current trustees ushers a ‘standard’ response:

    ‘The BBC Trust is the third and final stage of the BBC’s editorial complaints process and will consider complaints on appeal only after they have been answered by senior BBC management ( as set out on the main BBC Complaints website )

    Following this route means we can deal with complaints in a logical progression from the BBC management to the Trust and those most closely involved with the complaint have a reasonable opportunity to respond first.

    I also note you have contacted programme makers, but I will also forward your email to BBC Audience services for a reply on behalf of the management.’

  • Clark

    Congratulations on the high placing, Craig.
    I haven’t listened to Every Child Matters, so I can’t comment on the relative quality of the two plays. My only criticism of Murder in Samarkand was that it was too short, leading to it feeling rushed, for me. When you first announced it I assumed it would be serialised in several parts. More time would have permitted more detail, and done better justice to the subject matter.
    The BBC’s decision not to make the play available is very similar to the tactics used by the government invoking crown copyright on some of the source documents in its attempt to stifle the book.
    It is interesting to note that the winning entry, Every Child Matters, “portray[s] the reality of the contradictions, conflicts and complexities facing the professional staff working in child protection.” This is currently a matter of bitter conflict, with decisions made in secret courts. Many people believe that forced adoptions are being encouraged by the financial incentives to councils introduced by Blair. Note the discrepancy between the title, where the child’s concerns are presented as paramount, vs. the description, which suggests that this play is about the problems of the staff. I repeat, however, that I have not listened to this play.

  • deep gren puddock

    well for what it is worth I have punted it a bit over part of the cognoscenti and literati of Cincinnati-a marginal demographic in the mid-west, I will confess.

  • deep green puddock

    well for what it is worth I have punted it a bit over part of the cognoscenti and literati of Cincinnati-a marginal demographic in the mid-west, I will confess.
    (oops sorry for previous misprint in name)

  • Vronsky

    Congratulations on the placing, and commiserations MIS wasn’t first. Have you thought about a movie? This isn’t silly – a friend of mine, Ian Hamilton QC, had his book on the repatriation of the Stone of Destiny on Christmas Day, 1950, made into film – it’s a matter of getting to the right people, in this case Charles Martin Smith – check here.
    Although the subject matter of MIS is a good deal more grave, in some ways it’s the same sort of tale – serious, but with a note of the picaresque.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Well done, Craig!! Congratulations! Yes, Vronsky’s correct, a film would be good, in the vein of ‘The Last King of Scotland’, say.

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