Real-life concerns of scientists inspire Val McDermid drama on deadly outbreak…

Val McDermkd took part in a workshop with scientists & medical experts before writing the Radio 4 thriller “Resistance.”

by BRIAN FERGUSON

Leading Scottish crime writer Val McDermid has written a new BBC drama about an apocalyptic epidemic – based on the real-life concerns of scientists.

Their concerns about the rise of antiobiotic resistance across the planet will be replayed out in the Radio serial about a mystery illness which engulfs a music festival.

McDermid took part in a two-day workshop attended by scientists, academics, writers and radio producers which she says left her “profoundly shocked.” Sally Davies, the chief medical officer for England, was among those to give a presentation,

Fife-born author McDermid, who is best known for her series of books on the criminal psychologist Tony Hill, pitched the idea of an “uncontrollable epidemic.”

Gina McKee, star of Our Friends in the North and Notting Hill, plays a journalist caught up in the outbreak when she attends the music festival in the north-east of England.
The three-part serial, Resistance, will be broadcast on 3, 10 and 17 March on Radio 4.

Read the complete article on The Scotsman website…

Antibiotic abuse: the nightmare scenario…

A new radio drama by Val McDermid highlights the worrying prospect of antibiotic resistance becoming a global epidemic.

Imagine a world in which even the slightest scratch could be lethal. Cancer treatments, including chemotherapy, and organ transplants are no longer possible. Even simple surgery is too risky to contemplate, while epidemics triggered by deadly bacteria have left our health services helpless.

It is science fiction, of course – but only just. According to many doctors and scientists, the rise of antibiotic resistance across the planet could soon make this grim scenario a reality. And if it does, humans will have to face up to challenges that would once have seemed unthinkable. The question is: when – and how – might this horrific medical ordeal unfold for the human race?

We face returning to a time when every form of surgery was life-threatening

It is a question that crime writer Val McDermid will attempt to answer next month in an unusual way – in a three-part radio drama, Resistance, which is to be aired on Radio 4. In it she will put dramatic flesh on scientific warnings of the hazards we now face because of our past misuse of antibiotics.

“We are looking down a barrel, into a world that was like the one we had when there were no antibiotics,” says McDermid. “We face returning to a time when every form of surgery was life-threatening, because every form of surgery carries with it the danger of infections. Even going to the dentist to have a tooth out will have risks involved.”

Read the full article on the Guardian website…

The Kraken Wakes…

Nicola Sturgeon spreads calm after alien attack in BBC Radio 4 adaptation…

Scottish first minister and SNP leader will play herself in crime writer Val McDermid’s take on John Wyndham’s science fiction novel The Kraken Wakes.

Val McDermid, the Scottish independence-supporting author, has put Scotland in charge of the remains of the UK in a new adaptation for the BBC which gives first minister Nicola Sturgeon a role playing herself.

It’s a wee bit of fun, but it’s rooted in the reality of the situation

Val McDermid

Crime writer McDermid moved the action of John Wyndham’s classic 1953 science fiction novel The Kraken Wakes from North Yorkshire to Scotland and gave Sturgeon a part calmly broadcasting instructions to the survivors of an alien invasion in her adaptation for Radio 4.
The BBC insisted that the dramatisation of The Kraken Wakes was delayed until after the Scottish parliamentary elections on 5 May as it feared accusations of bias.

Read more…

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