Beau Geste

Dramatisation by Graeme Fife of P C Wren's classic story of honour, love and adventure.

Episodes

EpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
RepeatedComments
0120091004
0120091010
01The Disappearance Of The Blue Water2009100420091010

The Geste brothers run away from England, home and romance to join the French Foreign Legion, following the mysterious disappearance of a valuable family heirloom.

"Dramatisation by Graeme Fife of PC Wren's classic story of honour, love and adventure.

The Geste brothers run away from England, home and romance to join the French Foreign Legion, following the mysterious disappearance of a valuable family heirloom.

0220091011

"

02 LAST20091011
02 LAST20091017
02 LASTThe Desert2009101120091017

The Geste brothers become the focus of suspicion and hostility from an assortment of international ne'er do wells thrown together as a platoon of the French Foreign Legion.

A sudden attack on a remote desert fort by Toureg raiders brings matters to a head and provides the explanation for the disappearance of the Blue Water sapphire.

ETbdrd
20091017 (R4)

2/2. The brothers become the focus of suspicion and hostility from an assortment of international ne'er-do-wells thrown together as a platoon of the Foreign Legion. A sudden attack on a remote desert fort by Tuareg raiders brings matters to a head and provides the explanation for the disappearance of the Blue Water sapphire. By PC Wren, dramatised by Graeme Fife.

Repeated from Sunday

Contributors

Dramatised By:

Graeme

Fife.

Beau:

Chris

New

John:

Rob

Hastie

Lawrence:

Michael

Culkin

Major Jolivet:

Timothy

Ackroyd

Aunt Patricia:

Tessa

Worsley

Isobel:

Candida

Benson

Gussie:

Anthony

Schuster

Burdon:

Scott

Richards

Lejeune:

Nick

Fletcher

Boldini:

Laurence

Possa

Hank:

Greg

Wohead

Buddy:

Don

Mousseau

Sergeant:

Alasdair

MacEwan

Recruiting officer:

Max

Bennet

Schwartz:

Simon

Scardifleld

Recruiting offBenny Goodman - King Of Swing

05

20091116

20120920

Curtis Stigers remembers the clarinettist and bandleader Benny Goodman. Episode five picks up the story at the turn of the 40s, when great musicians like trumpeter Cootie Williams are playing in Benny Goodman's band.

The personnel changes continue and it isn't just musicians, but also vocalists who come and go. Helen Forrest is a particularly good singer but, despite making some great recordings with the band she doesn't enjoy her stay and, when she eventually quits the band, a young blonde by the name of Peggy Lee is given a try. She makes a very tentative start, but Benny, who was turning into a serial hirer-and-firer, for some reason shows a little patience.

By 1942 the World War reaches America. On 2nd March guitarist Charlie Christian, who's been ailing for some time, dies of tuberculosis at the age of only 25. The war leaves its mark on the Goodman family, with the death of Benny's younger brother Jerome. In the middle of all this, Benny himself (being still only 32), is called up for military service but he's disqualified by his chronic back condition. His wartime audiences remain huge and are further boosted when Peggy Lee comes good with the big hit, Why Don't You Do Right?

Benny and his band accompany Frank Sinatra in New York and Benny notices the signs that singers will take over and the big bands fade away. Benny is also by now a fairly well-established concert artist in the classical idiom and he confirms this by commissioning a trio called Contrasts from composer Bela Bartok.

His fans tolerate the classical excursions, but what they don't expect is for Benny to abandon swing music altogether. In the spring of 1944, with his band back at the top of all the major polls, he dissolves it; pleading a desire to be ""a family man"" (his daughter Rachel had been born the year before).

When he reforms the band, Benny finds both the public and the critics turning against him and, with all the usual comings and goings of players, it's amazing that the post-war Benny Goodman Orchestra retains any sort of continuity. As modern jazz and singers overtake swing, it isn't easy to see where Benny will go next.

"""