The Dark Ages

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Part of DD082814
In an enlargement of the bottom left photo of DD135343... looks like Hodgson and Delia are listening in

Delia is credited with special effects for The Dark Ages, a radio play by Bernard Kops produced for the BBC by Michael Bakewell, first broadcast on the 1st May 1965.[1]

This play completes the trilogy of which the earlier parts were Home Sweet Honeycomb and The Lemmings[2]

An "incomplete typescript" of the play is mentioned in an inventory of Bernard Kops' papers at the University of Texas, dated 1965.

Delia may have reused this in her assembly for the Brighton Festival.[3]


"Joshua Westland lies in his mother's womb awaiting the moment of his birth. He dreams of the future that his father is contriving for the human race."[4]

"A nightmare vision of the future in the mind of a baby waiting to be born." [2]

"Nearly every scene had to have a special electronic background."[2]

"The crowd singing the Westland National Anthem ... A howling mob, bent on destruction"[2]

"James Thomason and Miriam Margolyes [are] porpoises. The final fishy treatment will be carried out at the radiophonic workshop"[5]


Writer: Bernard Kops

Producer: Michael Bakewell

Players: Michael Bryant, Hilda Schroder, Walter Fitxgerald, Douglas Storm, Patricial Leventon, Shiela Brennan Nicolette Bernard, James Thomason, Miriam Margolyes

Other players: Anthony Hall, Elizabeth Proud, Gerald Moon

Special effects: BBC Radiophonic Workshop


For a transcript of the two-page magazine article see The Dark Ages: A study in pictures of a radio production.

The originals of these papers are at the John Rylands library with reference number GB 133 DDA/1/5/19.


The Performing Right Society's list of works by Delia Ann Derbyshire has:

Title: Dark Ages
Writer(s): Derbyshire Delia
Publisher: BBC Worldwide Music
Work number: 1471906V 
Type: 10./00 [?]
Work status flags: Film/TV / 1st Lic Referral
Creation date: 11 August 1999


  • Broadcast on BBC radio Third Programme on 1st May 1965 at 8.00pm[1] and repeated on 17th May.[4]
  • In the BBC Sound Archive on tape TRW 6061 with excerpts on TRW 7059.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 The Tape Library List's entry for TRW 6061.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 DD135326: The first page of a magazine article about The Dark Ages, dated 1st May.
  3. DD082814: List of pieces to use for the Brighton Festival.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 DD135239: Radio Times clipping for the first broadcast of The Dark Ages.
  5. DD135343: The second page of a magazine article about The Dark Ages.