Bad Memories

Here is the description of the programme taken from the BBC Radio 4 website :

In 2004, a successful architect and his family mysteriously disappear from their home. Six years later five bodies are found in the cellar of their house. They are identified as Jonathan and Imogen Blake and their son, Matthew; Philip Gibson, who was on the missing person’s register and a woman, identity unknown. Forensics determine that not only were they murdered, but the time of death was 1926. Can audio files found with the bodies solve the mystery?


Rachel Weir ….. Nicola Walker
Jim Marquez ….. Rupert Graves
Phillip Gibson ….. Steven Mackintosh
Jonathan Blake ….. Anthony Calf
Imogen Blake ….. Jana Carpenter
Matthew Blake ….. Oscar Richardson
Mary Marston ….. Imogen McCurdy
Boy 1 …… Rohan Nijhawan
Boy 2 …… Ted Powell

Written and directed by Julian Simpson. Broadcast date : 7 January 2011

Please also read our Post on this programme, and availability of this programme to non-UK fans through the BBC iPlayer.

Update : 10 January 2011

On the BBC Radio 4 Drama message board, which you can access HERE, Julian Simpson had this to say about Nicola :

Nicola Walker is indeed a genius and she and I both hope we haven’t heard the last of Gruber, although I suspect she may draw the line at singing.

“Gruber” is a reference to Dr. Gruber, the role played by Nicola in The Listener (2008), with a German accent. The reference to singing was in response to another message in which it was suggested that Dr. Gruber should sing ‘Das Wandern ist des Müllers Lust’ live on R4!

Update : 11 January 2011

This radio programme is very similar to Fragments/Pleasant Green (2007), another Julian Simpson radio play which also had Nicola as a cast member (though in a less prominent role). That story also involved detectives trying to reconstruct past events using fragments of an audio tape whilst investigating a murder. So, following allegations made by others on the BBC Radio 4 Drama message board that Bad Memories was nothing more than a rip-off of the Japanese horror movie, The Ring, one of our contributors left the following message on 10 January 2011

If anything, I thought that Mr. Simpson was copying himself, in that Bad Memories is very similar to another one of his radio plays, Fragments/Pleasant Green (broadcast in 2007, in which Nicola Walker also had a role). Both stories featured detectives trying to solve a murder by using fragments of an audio tape to reconstruction past events. Though I think this “template” was done to better effect in “Bad Memories”.

Kudos to all the cast members of “Bad Memories”, well done folks!

Julian Simpson then logged the following response on 11 January 2011:

I do think I’m much more guilty of ripping myself off! I don’t think Bad Memories would have existed without Fragments and I think, if Bad Memories works, it’s because of the lessons I learned first time out.

Update : 29 January 2012

This programme won the Best Use of Sound in an Audio Drama award in the first annual BBC Audio Drama Awards. For a list of categories and winners, go HERE.

Update : 20 April 2012

BBC Radio 4 will be repeating this programme on Friday, 27 April 2012, at 21:00 GMT. You can listen to this programme via the BBC Radio iPlayer, which does not have any geographical limits. If you cannot tune in at that time, the programme will remain available on the BBC Radio iPlayer website for seven days thereafter. Don’t miss this opportunity to listen (either for the first time, or again) to this brilliant programme.

Six degrees

Julian Simpson, the writer and director of this radio play, also directed Nicola in Episodes 409 and 410 of Spooks and Episode 2 of Series 9 of New Tricks. Nicola has also appeared in other radio plays by Julian Simpson, Fragments/Pleasant Green (2007) and The Listener (2008).

Rupert Graves appeared in Episode 403 of Spooks and played the racist politician, William Sampson. He did not have any scenes with Nicola in that episode.

Steven Mackintosh is a regular cast member of Luther [TV]. Nicola appeared in Episode 104 of Luther. They did not have any scenes together. Steven also appeared in Inside Men [TV] where he played the husband of Nicola’s character.

Anthony Calf appeared in Gethesame [Stage], with Nicola (November 2008 to March 2009), though they did not share any scenes together.

If any one ever hears of a re-broadcast of this show on BBC Radio, please Contact Us so that a Post will be logged on the Home Page to let other fans know.

Availability on Audible

The show is not currently available to buy from Audible.