Newest Review: ... war. Apparently this educational side was dropped in the 1970s but the programme still has an agricultural advisor and there is much usef... more
A very interesting story of 'country folk'.
The Archers (R4)
Member Name: rolandrat
The Archers (R4)
Advantages: Rural soap opera that covers life's issues
'The Archers - 'an everyday story of country folk'
---What Is/Are The Archers?---
The Archers is the name of a family who live in the fictional village of Ambridge. This radio programme is a long standing soap which goes out on weekdays and has an omnibus on Sundays.
The Archers are basicaly a farmng family and the programme covers a lot of the extended family plus other villagers.
---Where Do They Live?---
The Archers is set in the village of Ambridge in the fictional county of Borsetshire. Borsetshire is hyperthetically situated between Worcestershire and Warwickshire.
---Important Properties in Ambridge---
Ambridge is a small village situated on the river Am with the following being some of the main properties:
*Village Pub - The Bull
*Hotel - Grey Gables
*Gentry Property - Lower Loxley Hall
*The River Am, from which Ambridge gets its name
*Church - St Stephens
*Shop - Village Shop
*Archer's Family Home - Brookfield Farm - family home of Archer family but many more are livng around the village but some are even as far as South Africa.
Many more houses and farms are mentioned in the show and there is a map online which details all the properties and their residents.
---How Long have They Been Going?---
The Archers was frst broadcast in 1950 It was intended as a programme that farmers would listen to and which would help with information on growing crops etc as food was still rationed after the war.
Apparently this educational side was dropped in the 1970s but the programme still has an agricultural advisor and there is much useful rural and farming information dotted through the show - how else would I know that Bees suffered from Varroa?
---When Are The On?---
*On Radio 4:
Six episodes from Sunday to Friday, at around 19.02 (after the News).
All except the Friday evening episode are repeated the following day at 14.02.
Omnibus show - Sunday morning at 10am to 11.15.
*On the Internet:
The Archers is broadcast simultaneously online, and you can listen to any episode from the last seven days via iPlayer.
The programme can be sent to your computer. You can then keep it for ever and listen to it when you like, either directly from your computer or by downloading it.
The Editor is Vanessa Whitburn. The prgrammes are recorded at the BBC's studio in Birmingham.
Episodes are recorded weeks in advance but if something current and relevant occurs it can be written into the story and re-recorded.
It's a 'maypole dance' called Barwick Green written in 1924 by Arthur Wood. Apparently it is also the correct rhythm for doing chest compressions for CPR.
I started listenig to The Archers way back in the 1960s. Beng in school then I used to listen to the omnibus on a Sunday morning and made my mum make sure she woke me up in time.
Moving forward through life with work and children I tended not to follow any rado or TV programme religiously, but now that the boys are grown I have once again resumed listening to my Sunday omnibus - making breakfast and then going back to bed to listen from 10am.
Although once centred around the farming community this has now developed into a village soap which follows most of the inhabitants at various times, so you do not have to have an active interest in farming to listen in. It reflects the way village life has changed over the years.
The central characters are members of the Archer family but there is also a lot of other villagers who add to the drama.
Not everyone now farms and many aspects of life are convered - from gay marriage to donor sperm babies and the usual round of adultary and intrigue.
Throughout the year various fesivals are covered - the flower show and fete, and the up and coming Jubilee - plus bonfire night and Christmas. They were even visited by Gardener's Question Time.
Although when you first listen you might not know the characters you will soon figure out who is who - their voices are mostly quick distinct from one another and if you go online you will find family trees and biographies that will help you work out the family connections.
One work of warning - after listening you build up your own image in your head of what each character looks like - and seeing their picture online will shatter your illusion! I just checked out a website and found that Kenton Archer, who has a smooth sexy cultured voice, is actually bald, but he will always stay the same in my imagination. However the BBC site has a facility where you can read about the characters and their families but keep their image hidden - so as not to shatter your illusions.
I find it more enjoyable to listen to this soap than follow the TV ones fo Emmerdale, Coronation Street or Eastenders.
All ages are in the soap, from the newest residents, children Brad and Chelsea, to Jack Whooley who is n an Old Peoples Home with dementia.
There is talk of a new large scale dairy enterprise, the village has a green burial site and you get t hear what happens in the village shop.
Hard to explain but once you have listened a few times you will find you are interested in their goings on.
---Would I Recmmend?---
Yes definitely. Not just for country yokels - it covers all the dramas of everyday life.
Lots of books and Archer related items such as mugs and aprons on the Archers Addict website.
---Official Fan Club---
Also on Twitter and Facebook.
Summary: Great radio soap.