About a third of my iPod is filled with BBC Radio dramas and comedies. I've been a fan of BBC productions for a long, long time. Last year, I found a show that I absolutely love called Cabin Pressure, written by John Finnemore. The sitcom features the fantastic voice work of Stephanie Cole, Roger Allam, John Finnemore, and Benedict Cumberbatch. Yes, that is the Benedict Cumberbatch from Sherlock, Star Trek Into Darkness, and the Imitation Game.
Cabin Pressure follows the exploits of the screwball crew of a charter airline called MJN Air. Or, as Carolyn, the charter firm's owner, points out in the first episode, "I don’t have an airline. I have one jet. You cannot put one jet in a line. If MJN is anything, it is an airdot." MJN Air consist of four crew: Carolyn Knapp-Shappey, who often pulls double duty as CEO and cabin attendant, Captain Martin Crieff, who barely qualified for his commercial pilot's license - on his seventh attempt, First officer Douglas Richardson, quite competent pilot who worked for Air England - until he was fired for smuggling, and Carolyn's son Arthur Shappey who is an eager and cheery 29 year old dimwit. The show originally aired on the BBC between July 2, 2008 and December 24, 2014, with a total of 27 episodes.
Finnemore, who writes the series as well as plays Arthur, has a magnificent ability to create an incredibly witty, and often hilarious set of circumstances in each episode for our intrepid quartet to navigate through. The writing, as well as the acting in the series is tremendously well done.
I think what I love most about this show is the well-developed characters who you come to love after listening to just a few episodes. You reach a point where you can't wait to hear how badly Martin will screw things up, what witty comments Douglas or Carolyn will make, or what ridiculously stupid thing Arthur will say next. It's a show that you can help but laugh at over and over again, even if you have heard it before.
So, you may now be asking yourself why I'm mentioning a program that is no longer on the air. Well, I was surprised to find that ever episode is available in iTunes. Just search for Cabin Pressure. It will be really worth the listen.
Here are a "best of" compilation for your listening enjoyment.