Vent

Dark comedy about a man living a fantasy life while lying in hospital in a coma

Episodes

EpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
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01Wake Me Up Before You Go-go2006071120190507 (BBC7)

Ben doesn't get out much, but he has a loving and attentive family, an active imagination and a comfortable bed, so he can't complain.

Because he's in a coma, Mary and Mum wonder whether some of his favourite music will wake him up, while his own thoughts are occupied with visons of Sue Lawley, Robbie Williams - and an unconventional seduction technique.

Dark sitcom written by Nigel Smith.

Starring Neil Pearson as Ben Smith, Fiona Allen as Mary, Josie Lawrence as Mum and Leslie Ash as Blitzkrieg.

With Mark Perry, Dave Lamb, Jo Martin, Tim Whitnall, Hils Barker and Kim Wall.

Producer: Gareth Edwards

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in July 2006.

Ben is in a coma. While his family wonder how to wake him up, his mind is busy elsewhere.

02Don't Bet On It2006071820190514 (BBC7)

As Ben lies on a ventilator in hospital, Mary and Mum put the racing on to try to bring him out of his coma. It doesn't work, but Ben does somehow seem to have developed a knack for predicting the winners, if only he could think of a way of telling anyone.

Meanwhile John Dee, Queen Elizabeth I's own fortune teller, appears in Ben's brain, with some unhelpful observations about what the future might hold.

Dark sitcom written by Nigel Smith.

Starring Neil Pearson as Ben Smith, Fiona Allen as Mary, Josie Lawrence as Mum and Leslie Ash as Blitzkrieg.

With Mark Perry, Dave Lamb, Jo Martin, Giles New, Hils Barker and David Mitchell.

Producer: Gareth Edwards

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in July 2006.

TV racing can't bring Ben out of his coma, so what use is his predicting the winners?

03Wouldn't You Like To Get Away2006072520190521 (BBC7)

Mary and Mum have a break when Ben's unconscious body gets driven to a medical conference in Birmingham. But they can't quite bring themselves to leave the hospital.

Meanwhile, Ben's mind also takes a trip. Unfortunately, it's a trip back to the hotel in Paris, where he had the most miserable night of his life.

Dark sitcom written by Nigel Smith.

Starring Neil Pearson as Ben Smith, Fiona Allen as Mary, Josie Lawrence as Mum and Leslie Ash as Blitzkrieg.

With Mark Perry, Dave Lamb, Jo Martin, Giles New, Hils Barker, Lucy Montgomery, Scarlett Milburn-Smith and Elizabeth Bell.

Producer: Gareth Edwards

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in July 2006.

Comatose Ben is taken to a medical conference in Birmingham, but his mind travels to Paris

04Switching Off2006080120190528 (BBC7)

Ben's doctors wonder if lying in a coma might be making him depressed and they send in the hospital psychiatrist to see him. This has a surprising effect on Ben, Mary and Mum.

Meanwhile Ben's unconscious mind takes him back to his previous experience of therapy - having a row with Mary about their marriage guidance counsellor.

Dark sitcom written by Nigel Smith.

Starring Neil Pearson as Ben Smith, Fiona Allen as Mary, Josie Lawrence as Mum and Leslie Ash as Blitzkrieg.

With Mark Perry, Dave Lamb, Jo Martin, Lucy Montgomery and Nicola Walker.

Producer: Gareth Edwards

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in August 2006.

Comatose Ben's doctors bring in a psychiatrist, as he recalls his therapy from the past.

Producer: Gareth Edwards

05Gravity Gets You Down2006080820100725 (BBC7)
20100726 (BBC7)
20190604 (BBC7)

Ben's physiotherapy seems to be working miracles when he gets far enough out of his coma to punch his physiotherapist.

And what are a tough-as-nails agent, a giant winged angel and Elvis doing in his unconscious mind?

Dark sitcom written by Nigel Smith.

Starring Neil Pearson as Ben Smith, Fiona Allen as Mary, Josie Lawrence as Mum and Leslie Ash as Blitzkrieg.

With Mark Perry, Dave Lamb, Jo Martin, Lucy Montgomery and Nicola Walker, Tim Whitnall and Sue Vincent.

Producer: Gareth Edwards

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in August 2006.

Comatose Ben punches his physiotherapist, while Elvis drops in on his unconscious mind.

Comatose Ben punches his physiotherapist - while Elvis drops in on his unconscious mind. Stars Neil Pearson. From August 2006.

06 LASTSwitching Off2006081520190611 (BBC7)

As he lies unconscious in intensive care, Ben's mind takes him on the most difficult journey yet. Travelling through the landscape of his own chaotic brain, it looks surprisingly like Mordor.

In the real world, it's time to see if Ben can breathe on his own.

Dark sitcom written by Nigel Smith.

Starring Neil Pearson as Ben Smith, Fiona Allen as Mary, Josie Lawrence as Mum and Leslie Ash as Blitzkrieg.

With Mark Perry, Dave Lamb, Jo Martin, Tim Whitnall and Scarlett Milburn-Smith.

Producer: Gareth Edwards

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in August 2006.

Comatose Ben journeys across his brain's landscape, reminding him of Tolkien's Mordor.

Comatose Ben journeys across his brain's landscape, reminding him of Tolkien's Mordor.

01Mary's Girl Child2007092520190813 (BBC7)

Comatose Ben celebrates Christmas, as the nativity plays out in his unconscious mind.

Dark sitcom following the thoughts of a coma patient written by Nigel Smith.

Starring Neil Pearson as Ben Smith, Fiona Allen as Mary, Josie Lawrence as Mum and Leslie Ash as Blitzkrieg.

With Nicholas Hutchison, Jo Martin, Mark Perry, Scarlett Milburn-Smith and Jeremy Paxman.

Producer: Gareth Edwards

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in September 2007.

Comatose Ben celebrates Christmas, as the nativity plays out in his unconscious mind.

02Things To Do Before You Die2007100220190820 (BBC7)

As Mary and Mum read him a lifestyle magazine, Ben's unconscious mind takes him back to 1973 to find a "life coach" who will motivate him out of his coma.

Unfortunately, this mostly involves pointing a gun at his head...

Dark sitcom following the thoughts of a coma patient written by Nigel Smith.

Starring Neil Pearson as Ben Smith, Fiona Allen as Mary, Josie Lawrence as Mum and Leslie Ash as Blitzkrieg.

With Nicholas Hutchison, Jo Martin, Mark Perry, John Kay Steel, James Lynch and Tim Whitnall.

Producer: Gareth Edwards

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in September 2007.

Comatose Ben travels back to 1973 to find a 'life coach' to motivate him out of his coma.

03I Want You2007100920190827 (BBC7)

Ben's unconscious mind puts him in a compromising situation with a fellow coma patient.

Ben's unconscious mind puts him in a compromising situation with a fellow patient at a familiar Torquay hotel of the 1970s.

He slides in and out of his coma, but every time he wakes, Mary is asleep.

Dark sitcom following the thoughts of a coma patient written by Nigel Smith.

Starring Neil Pearson as Ben Smith, Fiona Allen as Mary, Josie Lawrence as Mum and Leslie Ash as Blitzkrieg.

With Nicholas Hutchison, Jo Martin, Mark Perry, Tim Whitnall, Hils Barker and Clare Grogan.

Producer: Gareth Edwards

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in October 2007.

04Wednesday Morning 3am2007101620190903 (BBC7)

Comatose Ben shares his thoughts with those awake at the darkest hour of the night.

A journey through the thoughts and feelings of every character in turn at the darkest hour of the night.

Dark sitcom following the thoughts of comatose patient Ben written by Nigel Smith.

Starring Neil Pearson as Ben Smith, Fiona Allen as Mary, Josie Lawrence as Mum and Leslie Ash as Blitzkrieg.

With Nicholas Hutchison, Jo Martin and Mark Perry.

Producer: Gareth Edwards

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in October 2007.

05Alternatives2007102320190910 (BBC7)

What would comatose Ben's life be like if it was a Hollywood movie?

Dark sitcom following the thoughts of comatose patient Ben written by Nigel Smith.

Starring Neil Pearson as Ben Smith, Fiona Allen as Mary, Josie Lawrence as Mum and Leslie Ash as Blitzkrieg.

With Nicholas Hutchison, Jo Martin and Mark Perry.

Producer: Gareth Edwards

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in October 2007.

06 LASTArrival2007103020190917 (BBC7)

Comatose Ben takes a final trip around the safe fantasy world of his subconscious.

2009112020111007

Comedy drama by Nigel Smith. Ben has survived a crippling brain lesion but he won't engage with the world around him, preferring to stay safely in his own fantasy world.

Ben....Neil Pearson

Mary....Fiona Allen

Mum....Josie Lawrence

Blitz....Leslie Ash

Naz....Robert Webb

Ellie....Rachel Isaac

Bitch Nurse....Joanna Brookes

Karl/HG Wells....Matthew Kelly

Katy....Laura Doddington

Mr Arcola....Bruce Alexander

Bea....Scarlett Milburn-Smith

Directed by Nigel Smith.

By Nigel Smith. Ben has survived a crippling brain lesion but won't engage with the world.

Ben has survived a crippling brain lesion, but he won't engage with the world around him, preferring to stay safely in his own fantasy world. A funny and moving drama about not being dead.

Cast:

Produced by Gareth Edwards.