Monday, 7 December 2015


If, like all right thinking people, you enjoy audio drama you should check out Tumanbay, a new epic fantasy from Radio 4.  Apparently it's hiatorically inspired, the name Tumanbay itself being taken from a sultan, Tuman Bay, who ruled Egypt and Syria.  However, as my knowledge of middle eastern history stops with Cleopatra and starts again post WW1 I can't judge it's accuracy.  Still it's nice to find a new bit of history to potentially learn about. 

I've listened to one episode of the show and it's got off to a strong start.  It's intriguey and satisfyingly brutal, with slavery, torture and fracticide depicted as matter of fact parts of life.  The obvious comparison is with Game of Thrones, especially the politics of Kings Landing and the slave trade of Slavers' Bay.  There's some fairness to that comparison, but the characters are sufficiently different and the historical flavour gives Tumanbay enough of it's own identity to grab my attention.  

Tumanbay has a large cast, especially for radio.  I was worried this might be a problem but there are elements of first person narration that keep the plot easy enough to follow and give an insight into one on the main character's thoughts.  No-one's stolen the show but nobody's spoilt it either (and Alexander Siddig's in it, always nice to see a DS9 alumnus getting work).

I'm on-board, but it's a gritty fantasy audio drama produced by Radio 4 and staring Julien Bashir, I was always going to give it a few episodes.  The beeb have made it available as a podcast with episodes staying up for 30 days so you can listen to it while commuting or while having a walk (like I did).  You can find out more about the show and listen to it here.

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