University Radio York, 2012
This first installment of a new serial told the story of Philip Hardcastle (Freddy Elletson), a self-employed technician who transplants himself lock, stock and barrel from Leigh-on-Sea to a remote Scottish village. There he encounters a lifestyle quite different from what he has been accustomed to; while there is plenty of work for him to do, the locals react suspiciously to his presence in their midst.
He encounters Daniel (Louis Lunts), a wannabee actor looking for a job, who tags along with him as a casual labourer. Daniel is a strange cove, revelling in his impersonations - which he claims are loved by his mother - and eventually inviting Philip to have a drink with him at the local hostelry. Needless to say Philip treats the idea suspiciously, especially when he discovers even more unfriendly locals propping up the bar. Philip also manages to get off on the wrong emotional foot with Elspeth (Emma Gallagher), one of the few attractive young women to remain in the village.
The plot has distinct echoes of other dramas in which an outsider is pitchforked into a remote Scottish community - for example, the films Whisky Galore! (aka Tight Little Island) (1949) and Local Hero (1983). Nonetheless author Bugg has a sharp ear for dialogue and a sure hand with characterization. It would be nice if this little playlet could be listened to by wider audiences. Further episodes available on the University Radio York website http://ury.york.ac.uk/podcasts/752-going-solar-episode-2