Trouble with Lichen
by John Wyndham

John Wyndham - Trouble With Lichen

BBC Home Service

Broadcast: Monday 26th November 1962

'I asked you how long,' she said. 'How long am I going to live?' Francis looked back. Their eyes held for a moment, then his dropped. He studied his hands intently for few seconds, then looked up again. 'I estimate your expectation of life, my dear, at approximately two hundred and twenty years.'

It came from a lichen, a simple rock-loving plant made of fungi and algae. When biochemist Francis Saxover discovered its remarkable properties, the implications terrified him. But Diana Brackley, who also knew what it could do, envisaged a different outcome. She foresaw the coming of a new evolutionary order and with it, a revolution. A revolution with women at its heart, women who previously had not had the time to make the most of their lives and abilities. For the lichen contained the most sought-after substance in the history of humanity; a drug that could extend life, almost halt ageing; a drug that could change the world, or even destroy it ...

Because the trouble with lichen was that there wasn't enough for everyone. And who wouldn't want to defy the march of time?

Adapted by Archie Campbell from John Wyndham's 1960 novel, "Trouble With Lichen".

With Hugh Latimer [Dr. Francis Saxover, Director of Darr House Scientific Developments Ltd.], Janet Burnell [Miss Birkett, his Secretary], Dorit Welles [Zephanie, his Daughter], Edward Brooks [Paul, his Son], Rosalie Crutchley [Diana Brackley, Director of Nefertiti Ltd.], Shirley Cooklin [Miss Tallwyn, her Secretary], Geoffrey Matthews [Gerald Marlin, a Journalist], Howieson Culff [Editor of the "Sunday Prole"], Penelope Lee [Miss Brendon, an Employee at Nefertiti], David Valla [Richard Treverne, engaged to Zephanie], Lewis Stringer [First Voice], Arthur Gomez [Second Voice], Vanessa Thornton [Lady Tewley], Kenneth Hyde [Interrogator], Michael Spice and Jonathan Scott [Young Stockbrokers], Anthony Viccars [BBC Newsreader], Leslie Perrins [Assistant Commissioner of Police], Lee Fox [Inspector], George Curzon [Prime Minister], Michael Deacon [Private Secretary], and Grizelda Hervey [Lady Washington].

Other parts played by Hilda Kriseman, Joyce Carpenter, Frank Partington, George Hagan, and George Merritt. Produced by Archie Campbell. 90 minutes.


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