9th-11th October 2013 – BBC Radio 4

A three-part thriller for the BBC set around a devastating worldwide viral outbreak.

“Radio drama at its galvanising best.”¬† Susan Jeffrey, The Daily Mail

“An extraordinarily taut piece of writing by John Dryden and the pace is faster than the deadly Red Eye virus. It should be made into a movie.”¬† Jane Anderson, Radio Times

“…absolutely gripping…” Elisabeth Mahoney, The Guardian

“An almost unbearably suspenseful affair…”¬†Gillian Reynolds, The Telegraph

Winner of the Writers Guild Award for Best Radio Drama Script


Episode breakdown, cast & credits




  1. Fingers says:

    This sort of thing usually starts out with too much ambition, and especially on radio, becomes messy, unconvincing and disengaging. This though is a startling triumph, it’s beautifully paced – avoids frantic melodrama while achieving tension and suspense by clever production. Utmost clarity is achieved by allowing plenty of space around dialogue and events, and this allows the actors to deliver the drama with very satisfying results. Marvellous!

  2. Zahra says:

    Absolutely gripping. I was impressed at how a completely aural play could be so vivid and suspenseful. It made me appreciate this medium, hats off to the creative minds involved in the play.

  3. admin says:

    The End of the World by Skeeter Davis

  4. Matt Jones says:

    What was the name if the song that was used at the end.

  5. 8sml says:

    Loved it, and your other work too.

  6. Paul kestenbaum says:

    Radio drama at it’s best – cinematic in it’s production, these three plays are the finest and most gripping I have heard for some time. A combination of the best of Robet Harris , Michael Crichton, and Philip Kerr mixed in with very topical and chilling observation.

    Truly masterful, thank you very much.

  7. jferguson says:

    All three are worth the 45 minutes of John Dryden’s work but episode 3 is dynamite!

  8. sam says:

    Absolutely brilliant. I listened to it broadcast on radio 4 and all over again on bbc iplayer at least three times.

  9. Jane Akshar says:

    Excellent triology……never trust the government :)

  10. Peter Brookman says:

    I have listened to this three times now. I found it very chilling but one of my favourite plays ever. Well done

  11. IggyPoop says:

    Pandemic – was great radio. Wouldn’t be too surprised to see an attempt at a TV version

  12. ShaunDWilson says:

    John Dryden really does put together some of the most exciting radio drama around. ‘Severed Threads’, and ‘Five Days in May’ being recent examples.

  13. EC Bond says:

    Loved it and so did everyone else I recommended it to in my office. Is available for purchase?

  14. Diana Winsor says:

    Listened while driving on Monday – surprised I didn’t crash, I was oblvious of everything around me! Wonderful clever production, spare but perfect dialogue and marvellous sound editing – have heard the last two on iplayer and wasn’t disappointed, so clever and vivid. Almost too real…

  15. Nick Ashton-Jones says:

    Pure genius. How can I listen again?

  16. Stephen says:

    This was simply brilliant. Great writing and production. The twist at the end was very clever.

  17. Edward Huggins says:

    What super sound staging! Listened on a true Stereo FM Hi-Fi System (not DAB!!!) and the sound was almost immersive. Never heard radio sound this good!! Dramatic, edgy, gripping. Hope this get an award. Edward Huggins

  18. Llinos Jones says:

    gripping, stylish, skillful editing, ingenious and subtle use of music – absolutely brilliant. Thank you!

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