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Paradise Lost In Space
Radio 4
1995 (six episodes)

Colin Swash, producer of the BBC2 panel game Have I Got News For You, penned this series, which began as a gentle parable and gradually darkened to a bleak and faintly chilling conclusion.  Basically a fantasy masquerading as science fiction, it told the story of two humans, an idealistic revolutionary (Tony Robinson) and a comfortable bourgeois (David Haig), transported by means of an explosion in a space-shuttle toilet compartment to a far-distant and unknown planet inhabited by the Oblivions, a race of sublimely innocent humanoids (among them Louise Lombard and Michael Troughton) who have learned English via the chance discovery of a book of Noël Coward’s plays.  The predictably destructive consequences of the well-intentioned Earthlings’ arrival are obviously meant to raise questions about the innate corruption of humanity.  Swash has since written another Radio 4 series, Paradise Lost in Cyberspace, which — despite its name — had an entirely separate plot and characters.

© JB Sumner 1998