John Taylor Radio Plays

John Taylor is a writer and former BBC radio producer now running The Fiction Factory, a production company and an established supplier of programmes to the BBC.

The Fiction Factory website is at

I have an extremely long list of radio plays which John has written or produced. Here are details of some of them, in reverse chronological order:

R4, 22 Mar 13. By Mike Walker. Science fiction play, where the story centres around some old wax cylinders. A person who specialises in audio recovery attempts to restore the recordings which they hold, but as she works, a frightening message emerges. Clare McCarron, Jonjo O'Neill, Harry Hadden-Paton, Stephen Critchlow, Laura Hyde. Fiction Factory production, produced by John Taylor.

By Alison Joseph. 2 Aug 12. I do not describe many radio plays as 'fascinating' but this one definitely is. Mitchener is an air accident investigator, haunted by memories of a previous fatal air crash in which he was involved, and in which his best friend died. Having settled into a quiet life as a mechanic in a cycle shop, he has so far resisted all attempts to draw him back into investigative work, but when a Boeing 767 crashes mysteriously in the English Channel, the wife of one its victims approaches Mitchener personally in an effort to obtain his professional services. It threatens his peace of mind and his marriage.

The story is fictional, as are the characters, but the investigation is based on a real life air disaster and the science is authentic. The programme was made with the generous assistance of the Air Accident Investigation Board, an organisation with a formidable track record for painstaking work in uncovering the causes of air disasters.

Play directed by John Taylor; a Fiction Factory production for radio 4.

by Kate O'Reilly (rpt, R4, 2102, 26 Jan 07) was an extraordinary piece about acute memory damage. Katrin has lost 20 years of memories, and she cannot remember what happened yesterday; when she looks in the mirror, she screams in fright every morning as she sees her reflection twenty years older than it should be. Joe, a married man, has lost his recent memories but the process is slowly removing other memories too. His wife is dreading the day memories of their marriage disappear. Catherine McCormack and Ronan Vibert were Kartin and Kate; John Taylor and Roland Jaquarello produced and directed.

Beware of the Trains....2006
VL Whitechurch & M McD Bodkin, Saturday Play, 21 Jan 06. Haydn Gwynne/Anton Lesser/Robert Daws/Desmond Barrit/John McGlynn/Howard Ward.

Well-known play by R.L.Stevenson; stars Jack Klaff/Abigail Hollick/Anton Rodgers/Mark Straker/Anthony Jackson. 1 Feb 06.

6 x 60m; classic serial, Proust. 6.2.05 onwards. Epic production with an excellent cast. Directed by John Taylor. More details when I have time to write them - or when someone sends me a review.

24 Apr 04. A World War 1 casualty wakes up in the ward with a severe disfigurement. What will happen to him? Dramatised by Mike Walker from the novel by Marc Dugain. With Geoffrey Streatfeild, Megan Dodds, Alan Cox, Nicholas Rowe, Maxine Peake, Poppy Miller, Jonathan Keeble, Don Mccorkindale; directed by John Taylor.

Dram. Marcy Kahan. Dir. John Taylor.

Promises to Keep....2001
R4, 1415, 14 Jun 01, by Vivienne Allen, was a psychological mystery; a serial killer haunts the parklands of Norwich, and an attractive young lady exhibits bizarre behaviour; are the two connected? Lucy Scott was Angela and Christopher James the teacher; John Taylor directed.

Crime and Punishment....2000
Classic Serial. 3 x 60m. Fyodor Dostoevsky's romantic thriller about guilt and redemption, dramatised by Mike Walker.

The Teahouse Detective ....2000
`The Dublin Mystery'. Based on the stories of Baroness Orczy, dramatised by Michael Butt. A dying Dublin businessman appears to have settled his will, but revenge wreaks havoc in the family. With Suzanne Burden and Bernard Hepton. Director: John Taylor. Broadcast 31 May 00.

Plum's War....1999
7.7.99. By Michael Butt. Soon after his internment in wartime France, P G Wodehouse begins, inexplicably, to broadcast on German radio - a phenomenon which provokes his contemporary, George Orwell, into a complete intellectual upheaval. With Benjamin Whitrow, Nicholas Farrell and Henry Goodman. Director John Taylor.

Petrella ....1999
Broadcast during August. Four stories by Michael Gilbert starring Philip Jackson as the lugubrious Detective Petrella, an Oxbridge-educated South London sleuth. Dramatised by Michael Butt. 3: `Vengeance Foreseen'. Petrella pursues a violent killer. With Nicky Henson, Mamta Kash and Michael Cochrane. Director John Taylor.

Danny the Champion of the World ....1999
By Roald Dahl, dramatised in two parts by Brian Sibley. Starring Nick Robinson as Danny and Jack Dee as William. 1: `A Deep, Dark Secret'. Danny thinks William Champion is the best father a boy ever had, but William is about to make some shocking disclosures. With Hywel Bennett, Bill Treacher, Andrew Sachs and Crawford Logan. Director: John Taylor. 23 Dec 99 -

The Teahouse Detective....1998
By Baroness Orczy. The Body in the Barge. 24 Nov 98. With Bernard Hepton.

11.03.98 Death in the Parish: cholera in Victorian Soho*
18.03.98 The Epping Jaundice
25.03.98 The Last Infirmity - yellow fever in Cuba in 1898

These are dramatisations of true stories of early work in pathology. All three were directed by John Taylor, with a varied cast.

12 11 1997 1: `The Metropolitan Line Murder'. By Michael Butt: based on a story by Baroness Orczy. Only the strange man at the corner table in the ABC can solve the mystery of the terrible events that befell Polly's friend on the Metropolitan Line train one afternoon in 1907. With Suzanne Burden: Bernard Hepton and Jessica Turner. Director John Taylor.

19 11 1997 2: `The Phantom Billboard'. By Michael Butt: based on a story by Michael Gilbert. Detective Inspector Petrella lives in a twilight world of criminality and existential angst: and the mystery of a lost traveller on the Underground does nothing to improve his view of the universe. With Philip Jackson: Stephen Boxer and Mamtah Kaash. Director John Taylor.

26 11 1997 3: `Death on the District Line'. By Michael Butt: based on a story by John Oxenham. It is 1894: and each Tuesday evening on consecutive weeks: the District Line is the location for a brilliant and outrageous murder. Journalist Charles Lester must turn detective or risk becoming the next victim. With Sylvestra Le Touzel: Michael Maloney and Clive Francis. Director John Taylor.

Children's BBC Radio 4: Tom's Midnight Garden....1997
By Philippa Pearce, dramatised in four parts by Judy Allen. first part: Tom Long's stay with Aunt Gwen and Uncle Alan turns from tedium to adventure when the clock in the hall strikes thirteen. With Peter England, Una Stubbs and Crawford Logan. Director John Taylor. Tx 31 Aug 97.

BBCR5 1993, 6 x 30min, written by John Taylor, starring Simon Callow / Nicky Henson.
The Devil's Tunnel, The horror in Hanging Wood, The Paddington Witch, The Phantom Organ, The wandering corpse.

compiled by Nigel Deacon / Diversity website

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