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The Raj Quartet: The Jewel in the Crown, The Day of the Scorpion, The Towers of Silence & A Division of the Spoils

A BBC Radio 4 Full-Cast Dramatisation
Written by: Paul Scott
Length: 8 hrs and 32 mins

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Publisher's Summary

An epic full-cast dramatisation of Paul Scott’s classic series of novels charting the last days of the British Raj.

Spanning the years from 1942 to 1947, this landmark saga explores the relationships between an array of soldiers and civilians stationed in India as the sun sets on British colonial rule.

As The Jewel in the Crown opens, World War II is at its height, and Gandhi is calling for the British to leave. When Daphne Manners arrives in Mayapore, she meets two men who will change her life: Hari Kumar and Ronald Merrick. She begins to fall for Hari, but Ronald Merrick - the local police superintendent - becomes infatuated with her and seethes with hatred for Hari.

The Day of the Scorpion finds Merrick worming his way into the Layton family, and his treatment of Hari Kumar is revealed. In The Towers of Silence, it is summer 1945, and as the war ends Mabel Layton’s companion Barbie Batchelor is forced to leave her home in Pankot. In A Division of the Spoils, Sergeant Guy Perron arrives to witness India’s independence while the Laytons plan for their future - but the division of the country will spark tragic consequences for many.

The extensive, star-studded cast includes Anna Maxwell Martin (Bleak House, Motherland), Prasanna Puwanarajah (Doctor Foster), Geraldine James (who also starred in the film of The Jewel in the Crown), Mark Bazeley (Broadchurch), Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock), Kulvinder Ghir (Goodness Gracious Me) and Nina Wadia (EastEnders).

Dramatised by John Harvey (The Jewel in the Crown, The Day of the Scorpion, The Towers of Silence) and Shelley Silas (A Division of the Spoils).

Produced and directed by Sally Avens (The Jewel in the Crown, A Division of the Spoils) and Jeremy Mortimer (The Day of the Scorpion, The Towers of Silence).

Music by Raiomond Mirza.

©2018 BBC Worldwide Ltd (P)2018 BBC Worldwide Ltd

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  • kayakman
  • 02-05-19

Excellent performances

Of course it's impossible to include entire story and all characters in this drama, but at times hard to listen to as it kept all the violence but ittle or none of the humor which made Guy's character so likeable. Also not enough of Hari's thoughts and work as a writer until very last minute. Interesting that Geraldine James plays the cold mother rather than daughter Sarah this time. Jeremy Northam is always a good actor but really too old here for the role of Guy (and sounds it).

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Zachary
  • 12-02-19

The abridged version

Dramatization of novel means it's abridged. And not just one book abridged, but all four novels. The cast was great except when they were talking low or in whispers, the audio needs to be adjusted because you can't hear them.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Jorden Collins
  • 17-04-19

So PC it makes PC enthusiasts gag

This is such a heavy handed, overly produced pile of retread bore of a script. Such a waste of a credit. Every western man is a pig and every local man is a prince.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • xenia watson
  • 24-01-19

cut too short, enjoyed story

too short, enjoyed story but so much was cut. can't complain about any other part

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Highlight
  • 18-05-19

EXCELLENT PRODUCTION

I have the DVD set of the TV series and this production is just as good. Great radio interpretation full of atmosphere as though we are taken back into the time of India in the era of the Raj. Recommend.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Scribbler@10
  • 16-02-19

Excellent audible experience

A superb story. Sound quality and stage direction made this a thoroughly compelling listening experience.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mr. R. Jarmain
  • 30-05-19

Absolutely superb.

This is one of the best audio presentations I have ever heard. The atmospheric production and the faultless performances could not be improved upon. Simply superb.