This 2003 radio production of John Wyndham’s The Midwich Cuckoos
stars Bill Nighy as Richard (whose character also serves as the
narrator) and Sarah Parish.
Set in the remote village of Midwich the story tells of a series of
unexpected pregnancies and subsequent births which all occur on the
same day. Each child the ability to communicate telepathically, a power
which gets stronger as the children grow older.
The story is split into two episodes, the first deals with the
discovery of the pregnancies with the second picking up the story a few
years later when the children are grown and the villagers are beginning
to feel threatened.
Of the two the second episode best conveys the fear and paranoia of
the Midwich residents at the knowledge that their village is now home
to a generation of immacuately conceived children.
Despite the recentness of the production it retains a lot of the
feeling of classic 1950’s sci-fi. Stylishly directed the dramatisation
is especially noteworthy for Nighy’s understated performance which is a
world away from his often cartoonish TV and movie turns.