Doctor Who? Craig Murray

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by Joshua Foust on 2/2/2010 · 1 comment

(via Siberian Light) David Tennant, the British actor most famous for playing the revitalized Dr. Who (which is pretty enjoyably campy, truth be told), has apparently recorded a radio drama about Craig Murray.

Recording finished last week on the Hare adaptation of Murray’s book, Murder in Samarkand, for Radio 4. The script had originally been meant for the big screen, to be directed by Michael ­Winterbottom and starring Steve Coogan, but the project floundered and Hare offered to adapt it for radio.

Jeremy Howe, Radio 4’s commissioning editor for drama, said it was “extremely proud” to have the play, and praised Hare’s skill in converting his screenplay. “It is a great story about a flawed hero in which you admire and despair of Craig ­Murray in equal measures, and that’s what gives the piece its energy.” He ­conceded the play was a little trickier than most of Radio 4’s ­Saturday afternoon plays, and that it had “an angle”.

Murray has yet to hear the play and joked: “I’m a bit surprised they couldn’t find a better looking actor.” He added: “Obviously I’m delighted David ­Tennant was me, it’s a tremendous honour in many ways. I’ve been a big Doctor Who fan all my life.” Hare had put a “huge amount of work” into the play, he added. “It is slightly different from the book because he went to Uzbekistan and interviewed people who were present for key events. To go to Tashkent is extraordinary dedication when you think about it. I think the play is ­positive towards me, but he’s reached that conclusion himself rather than taking my word for it.”

Well. I have to express disappointment that Michael Winterbottom—whose previous films, especially Welcome to Sarajevo and A Mighty Heart, have been excellent—decided to stop production on the film adaptaion of Murder in Samarkand, better known in the U.S. by the worst book name ever. It would have at least been enjoyable to discuss.

As it is, I’ve bookmarked the Radio4 show, and I’m going to pray to the Lords of Kobol that I can listen to it in the U.S. We here at have been pretty critical of Murray’s story, but we’ve also found it appalling that some of his targets have abused the British libel system to try to silence him. While we believe strongly in consuming his story with liberal doses of salt, that doesn’t mean his story is unimportant or worth discarding.

Anyway, Doctor Who is Craig Murray. I need some more coffee.

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This post was written by...

– author of 1848 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Joshua Foust is a Fellow at the American Security Project and the author of Afghanistan Journal: Selections from His research focuses primarily on Central and South Asia. Joshua is a correspondent for The Atlantic and a columnist for PBS Need to Know. Joshua appears regularly on the BBC World News, Aljazeera, and international public radio. Joshua's writing has appeared in the Columbia Journalism Review, Foreign Policy’s AfPak Channel, the New York Times, Reuters, and the Christian Science Monitor. Follow him on twitter: @joshuafoust

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{ 1 comment }

Chris Merriman February 3, 2010 at 2:17 am

“and I’m going to pray to the Lords of Kobol that I can listen to it in the U.S.”

Just to reassure you, I’ve not had any problems at all listening to Radio 4 broadcasts via the BBC’s iPlayer (TV broadcasts on iPlayer aren’t normally available outside the UK as the rights aren’t in place). Failing that, someone will record it and make a torrent, I’m sure.

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