Isaac Asimov’s Classic iRobot Gets the Audio Drama Treatment on Radio 4

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So we all know that despite the Three laws of Robotics that Isaac Asimov’s came up with it’s only a matter of time before robots become self aware, circumvent the laws and go kill crazy (Amazon Alexa I’m looking at you). So while we are waiting for the extermination of humankind how about a nice relaxing audio drama to pass the time?

B7 Media in conjunction with Radio 4 are releasing audio dramatisation of I, Robot with Hermione Norris taking on the title role of Stevie Byerley. I particularly loved her performance as the hard core MI5 operative Roz in Spooks so looking forward to seeing or rather hearing her in this story.

I’ve never read the original book and I’m a massive fan of audio dramas so this is a win win for me. The reason for excitement is that the team behind recently put out one of my fave audio dramas for of 2016 –The Dan Dare Audio Adventures. In light of that I asked director Andrew Mark Sewell what we can expect from the drama and this was what he had to say.

“We’ve always been fans of I, Robot, Asimov’s classic of speculative fiction. It’s a timeless commentary on the relationship between humans and technology. It’s an allegory of how we treat others who are not like us. But it’s also a cracking story, with a unique perspective. Perhaps what’s most striking about I, Robot is that given that the original stories were written some 60 years ago it’s a tribute to Asimov’s vision that they remain so pertinent and perhaps even more prescient than ever. Our march towards a society ever more reliant on robots and in particular AI technology makes Asimov’s morality tale between humans and robots seem ever closer. In fact you could say that the world that he imagined is now upon us…” – Andrew Mark Sewell, Producer/Director, I, Robot

The first of the six episode story is released on Radio 4 on Monday 6 February at 10:45am and runs throughout the week with an omnibus on Saturday 11th February. 

Episode One: ROBBIE

As a child, Stevie Byerley is raised by Robbie, a robotic childminder, because her parents are too busy working. The powerful bond she forms with the robot is unbreakable. Their relationship will change the course of Stevie’s life.

The rise of robotics in the 21st century, told through the poignant and mysterious story of enigmatic lawyer, Stevie Byerley.

As a girl, her strongest emotional bond is formed with a robotic childminder rather than her parents. As a young woman, she is involved in a catastrophic car accident, and is only saved by the use of state of the art, and secret technology.

On recovery, Stevie becomes a Legal Psychologist and devotes her life to robotics. She defends robots which have developed dangerous religious delusions; she helps those that have become unstable because their fundamental programming has been tampered with; she sympathises with those who have developed freakish and supernatural powers.

Through all this, Stevie becomes acutely aware of the delicate balance between humans and the artificial intelligences they have created.

Only in the final episode do we learn the truth about Stevie’s agenda, and the way in which she has changed human civilization forever.

Originally written over 60 years ago, Isaac Asimov’s stories are becoming truer with every day that passes. The world that he imagined is now upon us…

Dramatised for radio by Richard Kurti.


EPISODE 1 / Robbie

Stevie Byerley……………………. Hermione Norris
George Byerley…………………… Derek Riddell
Grace Byerley……………………. Dianne Weller
ROBBIE…………………………. Kelly Burke
Tour Guide………………………. Rob Blackwood
Young Stevie…………………….. Mia Burgess

Other roles were played by members of the cast.

And remember if anyone knock on your door, looks like a dodgy biker and asks if you’re Sarah Connor…you say no!

Source: Radio 4
GS Blogger: Nuge

One comment

  1. Bhav /

    Unfortunately their adaptation of Reason today, trashed the 3 laws – little bit pointless if you’re not going to follow the basic premise of the story! In the original story the behaviour of the robot “cutie” is finally realised to be completely consistent with the 3 laws. This is the great things about many of the robot stories by Asimov, where sometimes there is apparently counter-intuitive behaviour of the robots, given a cursory reading of the 3 laws of robotics, but when you completely follow the laws logically, given some circumstance – as the robots must – you see the paradox dissolve before your eyes!

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