What’s it called?


What’s it about?

The word itself means a continual dripping though it’s also used to refer to a method of catching rainwater, and both definitions have a bearing on this unusual BBC podcast by the Welsh author Cynan Jones. Set in the UK in the near future it posits a world in which climate change brings excessive rain to the countryside and drought to the ever-expanding city, meaning water is scarce where it’s needed most. As the 12-part series opens we meet John Branagh, one of the men guarding the railway line which brings 10 million tonnes of water into the city on a heavily-armoured train that travels at 200 miles per hour. Later we meet other characters, such as an immigrant worker on a project to clear a wide swathe through the city so that a massive iceberg can be towed in and left to melt.

Who’s in it?

Each episode is read as a single story, with the narrator voicing other characters where need be. Among the readers are Anne-Marie Duff (currently to be seen playing Ma Costa in Sunday tea-time blockbuster His Dark Materials), Richard Goulding, Hattie Morahan, Richard Campbell Moore and Sudha Bhuchar.

What’s so good about it?

Unlike some fiction podcasts it doesn’t spoon feed its audience. In a nod to the title it creates a mood and tells a story through the slow accretion of facts and details, gradually creating a picture of a troubled future world and the people trying to live in it.

For fans of ...

The post-apocalyptic, the poetic and the dystopian – think The Drowned World (JG Ballard) meets The Wasteland (TS Eliot) meets Waterworld (Kevin Costner). Or try to, anyway.