Veteran actor and voiceover artist Aubrey Judd returns to an old radio studio to record the latest edition of an ongoing horror series, which he’s been narrating for decades.
However, this time there’s something strange going on: the old studio appears to be haunted by echoes of Aubrey’s troubled past.
The official synopsis is below:
Set and filmed at the iconic Maida Vale studios, The Dead Room tells the story of a long-running radio horror series and its veteran presenter and national treasure Aubrey Judd.
But times are changing. Tastes are shifting. There’s a new young producer. Whatever happened to the classic ghost stories? The good old days?
Aubrey soon discovers that all is not quiet in the eerie radio studio and that elements of his own past are not as dead and buried as he perhaps hoped…
Who’s in the cast?
Veteran actor Simon Callow stars as Aubrey Judd, with Bodyguard and The Sarah Jane Adventures’ Anjli Mohindra playing his producer Tara. The Dead Room also stars Susan Penhaligon and Joshua Oakes-Rogers.
Notably, Callow and Gatiss have collaborated before on ghostly goings-on, with the former playing Charles Dickens in Gatiss’ spectral Doctor Who episode The Unquiet Dead.
Where is The Dead Room filmed?
The drama is both set and filmed at BBC Maida Vale studios, a complex of sound studios that is most often used to record BBC bands and orchestras (including the BBC Symphony Orchestra), various radio dramas and other BBC audio programmes including Radio 1’s Live Lounge.
The studios were originally built in 1909, and began to be used by the BBC in the 1930s.
In the past the studios were also known for hosting John Peel’s famous Radio 1 sessions, and over the years generations of iconic artists have recorded there including The Beatles, Bing Crosby, Radiohead, David Bowie, The Fall and Adele among many, many others.
In June 2018 the BBC announced the closure of the studio, and RadioTimes.com understands that this real-life closure may play into The Dead Room’s storyline in some way.
Much of the radio content produced at Maida Vale is now planned to be made at a new facility in Stratford, East London.
What is a ‘Dead Room’?
Essentially, a ‘Dead Room’ is one that’s been completely soundproofed, protecting it from ambient noise. Such rooms are usually used for recording music, sound effects or other radio elements.
However, ‘The Dead Room’ also happens to be the title of the show within a show that Simon Callow is recording at the studio.
In this radio-themed ghost story, it’s unsurprising that the title will have something of a double meaning…
Interestingly, some of Gatiss’ 2013 Doctor Who biopic An Adventure in Space and Time was shot at BBC Maida Vale Studios, as it still had some of the 1960s-era equipment and design.
This is also not the first time Gatiss has created a ghost story for the BBC’s festive period: previous dramas include 2013’s The Tractate Middoth starring Sacha Dhawan and the 2008 series Crooked House.
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