Tomorrow, Today!

Tomorrow, Today! was a radio sitcom originally broadcast on BBC Radio 4 between 2006 and 2008. It is itself a spoof of radio science fiction dramas of the late 1950s and early 1960s. The writer is Christopher William Hill.

Tomorrow, Today!
GenreComedy
Running time30 minutes
Country of originUnited Kingdom United Kingdom
Language(s)English
Home stationBBC Radio 4
StarringPeter Bowles
Cheryl Campbell
John Fortune
Jon Glover
Joseph Kloska
Written byChristopher William Hill
Original release2006 – 2008
No. of series2
No. of episodes10 (4, 6)
Audio formatStereophonic sound
Websitehttp://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/tomorrowtoday

The action takes place in a BBC studio in 1961, where a motley crew of "bright young things" and aging actors produce a futuristic drama set in the year 2006, which of course is a world of space flight, ray guns, and contact with aliens. The show is called "Tomorrow, Today!" and is basically a soap opera. The lead roles are played by Nigel Lavery (Peter Bowles) and Sylvia Hann (Cheryl Campbell) who hate their jobs only slightly more than they hate each other. Their off-mike conversations are laced with carping comments and innuendo about each other's long-lost youth and popularity. Sylvia was once the voice of "Listen with Mother". The "comic relief" for the radio production is provided by a stereotypical Welshman, "Taffy" Jones, played by the very non-Welsh Douglas Bennings (Jon Glover).

The show is about to be terminated, much to the relief of the leads who are contractually committed to it. However the BBC decides that, thanks to the Soviet Union's apparent lead in space travel, national morale requires it to continue with a new pro-British, anti-Soviet slant. Writer and producer Hugo Kellerman (Joseph Kloska) introduces new aliens with a Communist philosophy and has them do battle with his heroes. BBC executive Godfrey Winnard (John Fortune) watches over the new production and keeps adding new elements to the mix, such as a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company (Leslie Phillips) brought in to play an android.

The series also spoofs the origins of shows such as Doctor Who. In the second series, set in 1962, Hugo is commissioned to devise a science fiction series for children's television and, thanks to a series of mishaps on the way to Television Centre, has the idea for "Professor Fabula and the Diloks", featuring a scientist who travels through time and space in a police call box, accompanied by a robotic dog. Unfortunately the idea is squelched due to salacious interpretations of the Professor's status as a single man wandering in time and space with a dog.

In the final episode of the second series, the entire production relocates to Wales as the Cuban Missile Crisis threatens to bring down a holocaust. There they discover that "Taffy" Jones, killed off and replaced by an equally stereotypical Scot (also voiced by Douglas) was immensely popular among the locals. Faced with mobs of angry Welsh fans calling him "Taffy killer", Hugo writes in a resurrection for the character, but Douglas's "more authentic" reading of the part causes the disgusted locals to cut power to the studio, which the team interprets as the arrival of Armageddon.

Both series are regularly rebroadcast on Radio 4 Extra.

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