13 episodes

A young boy’s time-travelling fight against ancient evil. When the Dark comes rising, who will hold it back? This dramatisation of Susan Cooper’s cult novel is a magical journey into the supernatural.

The Dark Is Rising BBC World Service

    • Fiction
    • 4.6 • 198 Ratings

A young boy’s time-travelling fight against ancient evil. When the Dark comes rising, who will hold it back? This dramatisation of Susan Cooper’s cult novel is a magical journey into the supernatural.

    Introducing The Dark Is Rising

    Introducing The Dark Is Rising

    Fighting against evil in a time-travelling midwinter family drama. A gripping journey through a frozen landscape... and an unending epic battle against the forces of “the Dark”. On midwinter’s eve, 11-year-old Will Stanton discovers he is an ancient being and guardian of “the Light”. This eerie drama is best experienced on headphones for a unique, immersive ‘binaural’ experience. The 12-part adaptation of Susan Cooper’s cult novel has its world premiere on 19 December 2022 and drops daily from 21 December. When the dark comes rising, who will hold it back? #TheDarkIsRising

    • 6 min
    5. The Book of Gramarye

    5. The Book of Gramarye

    It is Christmas Eve and Will has been transported to a different time, 1875. Hawkin risks his life to break a spell and free a tome of ancient knowledge. The book speaks of hidden things - of real magic, of rocks and trees and stars. Listen on headphones for 3D immersive sound. #TheDarkIsRising
    Will Stanton: Noah Alexander
    John Smith/Paul Stanton/Mr Beaumont: Thomas Arnold
    Bus Conductor/Jamaican Old One/James Stanton: Danny Bailey
    Stephen Stanton: Simon Bubb
    Mrs Stanton/Mrs Pettigrew/Dr Armstrong: Amanda Hadingue
    The Walker/Hawkin: Toby Jones
    Narrator: Simon McBurney
    The Rider/Mr Mithothin/Mr Stanton/Farmer Dawson: Tim McMullan
    Merriman: Paul Rhys
    Maggie Barnes/Mary Stanton: Natasha Stone
    The Lady/Miss Greythorne: Harriet Walter
    Herne: Miles Yekinni
    The chorister: Vinay Singh
    Radio announcer: Samuel West

    Soundscape design: Gareth Fry
    Music: Josh Sneesby
    Original songs by Johnny Flynn, Luisa Gerstein and Héloïse Tunstall-Behrens

    Adapted for audio by Robert Macfarlane and Simon McBurney
    Dramaturg: James Yeatman

    Director: Simon McBurney
    Producers: Catherine Bailey and Tim Bell

    A Complicité and Catherine Bailey Production for BBC World Service
    Commissioned by Simon Pitts

    • 17 min
    11. The Hunt Rides

    11. The Hunt Rides

    Will is pursued by the tornado of the Dark and prepares for the final battle. He flies with Merriman on the great white horse to where Herne the ancient hunter is waiting. Herne summons his hounds – a pack of huge white animals ghostly in the half-light. Listen on headphones for 3D immersive sound. #TheDarkIsRising
    Will Stanton: Noah Alexander
    John Smith/Paul Stanton/Mr Beaumont: Thomas Arnold
    Bus Conductor/Jamaican Old One/James Stanton: Danny Bailey
    Stephen Stanton: Simon Bubb
    Mrs Stanton/Mrs Pettigrew/Dr Armstrong: Amanda Hadingue
    The Walker/Hawkin: Toby Jones
    Narrator: Simon McBurney
    The Rider/Mr Mithothin/Mr Stanton/Farmer Dawson: Tim McMullan
    Merriman: Paul Rhys
    Maggie Barnes/Mary Stanton: Natasha Stone
    The Lady/Miss Greythorne: Harriet Walter
    Herne: Miles Yekinni
    The chorister: Vinay Singh
    Radio announcer: Samuel West

    Soundscape design: Gareth Fry
    Music: Josh Sneesby
    Original songs by Johnny Flynn, Luisa Gerstein and Héloïse Tunstall-Behrens

    Adapted for audio by Robert Macfarlane and Simon McBurney
    Dramaturg: James Yeatman

    Director: Simon McBurney
    Producers: Catherine Bailey and Tim Bell

    A Complicité and Catherine Bailey Production for BBC World Service
    Commissioned by Simon Pitts

    • 17 min
    1. Midwinter Eve

    1. Midwinter Eve

    This night will be bad. Tomorrow will be beyond all imagining. December 20, the day before Will’s 11th birthday, and all he wants is snow. But something is not right. On his way to Dawson’s Farm, a hunched old man scuttles into trees, the animals are disturbed. And then Will receives a present. It is a Sign. Listen on headphones for 3D immersive sound. #TheDarkIsRising
    Will Stanton: Noah Alexander
    John Smith/Paul Stanton/Mr Beaumont: Thomas Arnold
    Bus Conductor/Jamaican Old One/James Stanton: Danny Bailey
    Stephen Stanton: Simon Bubb
    Mrs Stanton/Mrs Pettigrew/Dr Armstrong: Amanda Hadingue
    The Walker/Hawkin: Toby Jones
    Narrator: Simon McBurney
    The Rider/Mr Mithothin/Mr Stanton/Farmer Dawson: Tim McMullan
    Merriman: Paul Rhys
    Maggie Barnes/Mary Stanton: Natasha Stone
    The Lady/Miss Greythorne: Harriet Walter
    Herne: Miles Yekinni
    The chorister: Vinay Singh
    Radio announcer: Samuel West

    Soundscape design: Gareth Fry
    Music: Josh Sneesby
    Original songs by Johnny Flynn, Luisa Gerstein and Héloïse Tunstall-Behrens

    Adapted for audio by Robert Macfarlane and Simon McBurney
    Dramaturg: James Yeatman

    Director: Simon McBurney
    Producers: Catherine Bailey and Tim Bell

    A Complicité and Catherine Bailey Production for BBC World Service
    Commissioned by Simon Pitts

    • 18 min
    2. Midwinter Day

    2. Midwinter Day

    Will awakes in a different time, centuries before his own. Where a familiar farm stood there is a huge forest, blanketed in snow. The Rider, a terrifying agent of the Dark, tries to kidnap him but Will is rescued by a white horse and taken to a pair of carved oak doors set on a hillside. Listen on headphones for 3D immersive sound. #TheDarkIsRising
    Will Stanton: Noah Alexander
    John Smith/Paul Stanton/Mr Beaumont: Thomas Arnold
    Bus Conductor/Jamaican Old One/James Stanton: Danny Bailey
    Stephen Stanton: Simon Bubb
    Mrs Stanton/Mrs Pettigrew/Dr Armstrong: Amanda Hadingue
    The Walker/Hawkin: Toby Jones
    Narrator: Simon McBurney
    The Rider/Mr Mithothin/Mr Stanton/Farmer Dawson: Tim McMullan
    Merriman: Paul Rhys
    Maggie Barnes/Mary Stanton: Natasha Stone
    The Lady/Miss Greythorne: Harriet Walter
    Herne: Miles Yekinni
    The chorister: Vinay Singh
    Radio announcer: Samuel West

    Soundscape design: Gareth Fry
    Music: Josh Sneesby
    Original songs by Johnny Flynn, Luisa Gerstein and Héloïse Tunstall-Behrens

    Adapted for audio by Robert Macfarlane and Simon McBurney
    Dramaturg: James Yeatman

    Director: Simon McBurney
    Producers: Catherine Bailey and Tim Bell

    A Complicité and Catherine Bailey Production for BBC World Service
    Commissioned by Simon Pitts

    • 18 min
    3. The Sign-Seeker

    3. The Sign-Seeker

    Will learns of his task: To find the six Signs of the Light before the Dark destroys them. He discovers an unexpected power and learns he is an Old One, whose duty is to fight the rising strength of the Dark across the centuries. Listen on headphones for 3D immersive sound. #TheDarkIsRising
    Will Stanton: Noah Alexander
    John Smith/Paul Stanton/Mr Beaumont: Thomas Arnold
    Bus Conductor/Jamaican Old One/James Stanton: Danny Bailey
    Stephen Stanton: Simon Bubb
    Mrs Stanton/Mrs Pettigrew/Dr Armstrong: Amanda Hadingue
    The Walker/Hawkin: Toby Jones
    Narrator: Simon McBurney
    The Rider/Mr Mithothin/Mr Stanton/Farmer Dawson: Tim McMullan
    Merriman: Paul Rhys
    Maggie Barnes/Mary Stanton: Natasha Stone
    The Lady/Miss Greythorne: Harriet Walter
    Herne: Miles Yekinni
    The chorister: Vinay Singh
    Radio announcer: Samuel West

    Soundscape design: Gareth Fry
    Music: Josh Sneesby
    Original songs by Johnny Flynn, Luisa Gerstein and Héloïse Tunstall-Behrens

    Adapted for audio by Robert Macfarlane and Simon McBurney
    Dramaturg: James Yeatman

    Director: Simon McBurney
    Producers: Catherine Bailey and Tim Bell

    A Complicité and Catherine Bailey Production for BBC World Service
    Commissioned by Simon Pitts

    • 18 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
198 Ratings

198 Ratings

leilairishdance ,

Amazing

This is one of the best books I’ve ever listened to

AftonSG ,

The Dark is Rising - excellent!

A wonderful story to accompany me through a day’s gardening.

tsujim ,

Feels cramped and quick

I haven’t read the source material but this audio adaption, despite great production, sound and overall ‘packaging’ is very much lacking in any kind of real story or characterisation. The main character goes from zero to hero in a matter of minutes as we’re quickly pulled through a series of barely introduced events, rituals, set pieces and other exposition which happen with very little context. Nice sound though!

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