David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

BBC Radio 4
"William Shatner on Mars"
3 mins 31s
10 March 2017
UK Radio Stations

Aardman Animation's Dan Capozzi has created this hugely entertaining film for BBC Radio 4's season of programmes about Mars. The film is jam-packed with facts about the red planet, and is even narrated by the original Kirk - William Shatner.

The lo-fi graphic animation here takes its cues from B-movies and 50s pulp novels, lending the whole thing an undeniable air of cool as we're taken on a scientific journey through the stars. A mixture of vintage cartoons and live action gives this retro extravaganza a comic edge, including eye-popping sequences of inadvisable Martian sunbathing.

While Shatner's spoken word career might never have reached the stratosphere, the man can certainly provide a voiceover. His sci-fi cred gives the film a layer of irony, along with tongue-in-cheek nods to his best-known role. It all comes together to create a piece of work which manages to be both educational and utterly irreverent - set phasers to stunning.

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"Human Made"

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BBC Radio 4
"William Shatner on Mars"
3 mins 31s
10 Mar 2017
Aardman Animation's Dan Capozzi has created this entertaining work for BBC Radio 4's season of programmes about Mars. The film is jam-packed with facts about the red planet, and is even narrated by the original Kirk - William Shatner. The lo-fi animation takes its cues from B-movies and 50s pulp novels, lending the whole thing an undeniable air of cool.

BBC Radio 4
"Refugee"
30s
2 Nov 2016
Another understated trail for BBC Radio 4 gives a voice to a Syrian refugee. As the clear night sky looms overhead, we hear a man explain how the sight of the stars provided solace during his swim across the Aegean Sea. His story reminds us that beauty can be found even in the most dire of circumstances.

BBC Radio 4
"Solitary Confinement"
30s
21 Oct 2016
This atmospheric Radio 4 ad depicts a man shackled in a barren cell. The narrator describes 'reading' Anna Karenina to a fellow prisoner through a concrete wall. Even in such repressive circumstances, creativity finds a way. By turning letters into rhythmic taps, the narrator manages to provide an escape of sorts. An effective reminder of the station's wide-ranging scope.

BBC Radio 4
"The Digital Human"
30s
26 Apr 2016
What does it mean to be human in the digital world? Psychologist Aleks Krotoski invites us to explore this idea in a spot for Radio 4, which looks at the impact of technology on our biological selves. From being able to hear a loved one's sleeping heart beating on the other side of the world to the prospect of having our lives extended through tiny implants, there are all kinds of things we take for granted today - but what are the implications?

BBC Radio 4
"A Curious Bunch"
30s
25 Jan 2016
The speech of 'a curious bunch' of Radio 4's staple performers has been rather skilfully woven into proper sentences with clauses, rhetorical questions and non sequiturs - even though the talk shifts from topic to topic like sand dunes in a desert. Stephen Fry, Sue Perkins, Kirsty Young, Brian Cox et al offer up their individual snippets of conversation to help demonstrate what makes the station such fascinating listening.

BBC Radio 4
"Stories"
30s
20 Oct 2015
Clean and appealing animation illustrates how the BBC iPlayer Radio app allows Radio 4 fans to access the station's eclectic output on the go. An explorer vividly recounts his journey into the unknown as if the land itself was a snake, while a Mitchell & Webb sketch is brought to life via Easter Island statues sporting some rather winsome headbands.

BBC Radio 4
"Bloomsday"
30s
21 Jun 2012
Mark Lawson reminds us that we can download the BBC's commemoration of James Joyce's most famous work if we missed the broadcast in this film which uses a map of Dublin and some quotations from Ulysses to advertise the literary celebration. Less confusing than the book itself... but only just.

BBC Radio 4
"Sasha & Paddy"
30s
2 Apr 2012
Another imaginative way to demonstrate the power of words. A recorded conversation between Sasha and Paddy reveals immediate intimacy and brings home the idea that you don't need to see people's faces to understand their lives... in fact, quite the opposite.

BBC Radio 4
"Film Season"
40s
11 Jan 2011
Glimpses of iconic movie motifs are used to illustrate a trail advertising a series of programmes on Radio 4 devoted to our changing relationship with film. It's an attention grabbing piece but does leave one wondering if radio is the best medium for the series.

BBC Radio 4
"Material World"
30s
15 Jun 2010
The BBC is very good at finding way to use television to illustrate the power of the spoken word. You'd think the imagery would prove counter-productive... reminding us how much visual can enhance audio but that's not the case at all.

BBC Radio 4
"Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy"
40s
23 Nov 2009
This excellent trail for the continuing series of John le Carré adaptations on Radio 4 zooms in an old-fashioned reel-to-reel tape recorder. The way the camera moves with the reel once it's within its orbit creates a quite dizzying effect.

BBC Radio 4
"John Le Carré"
70s
28 May 2009


BBC Radio 4
"Frank Skinner"
40s
8 May 2009
To advertise a season of programmes related to an appreciation of poetry, this neat clip has comedian Frank Skinner using florid language when asked for directions by a mini-cab driver. It's a neat device to suggest we should pay more attention to poetry.

BBC Radio 4
"Alone?"
30s
22 Feb 2009


BBC Radio 4
"Comedy"
30s
1 Feb 2007
Paul Merton voices a trail promoting comedy on Radio 4 which incorporates various clips including a particularly funny one from Ross Noble. Bizarrely, the trail's visuals are provided by animated footage of flowers opening.

BBC Radio 4
"The Memory Experience"
30s
4 Dec 2006
To illustrate how some people feel that remembering a traumatic experience can be more harmful than thinking about it, we see a man attending a psychiatry session where nothing is said at all. Both doctor and patient feel they are making excellent progress.

BBC Radio 4
"Uncovering Iran"
30s
1 Dec 2006
Clever film from Steve Reeves of Another Film Company plays on our prejudices as we see a Middle Eastern woman in traditional clothes loading a gun. Only the most open-minded of viewers will imagine her to be a member of her country's Olympic shooting team.

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David Reviews - Lovely Lenzie Ltd, Woodbourne House, Seven Sisters, Lenzie, G66 3AW. Telephone: +44 141 776 7766. Editor: Jason Stone.