This is an intelligently (but severely) abridged performance of the translation by the poet Cecil Day Lewis (father, as it happens, of the actor Daniel). The production features a top-notch cast: Ralph Fiennes, Derek Jacoby, Eleanor Bron, Bill Wallis, Anna Massey, Andrew Sachs, Christian Rodska, Philip Madoc among them. This is audio theater done right, in the best BBC manner, with music and sound effects throughout. Some of the recurring musical themes are a capella and have a wonderfully archaic sound.
What remains is roughly - judging by the length of other audio versions - one-sixth of the total. Dido is here, but not her sister; the war with Latinus and Turnus is here, but not the sad story of Nisus and Euryalus. It left me yearning for an unabridged treatment of the same translation (which, by the way, is somewhat hard to come by in print). The full translation is a careful line by line version that was, according to its introduction, originally prepared for a BBC broadcast. (Among the missing elements are Virgil's sometimes horrifyingly graphic descriptions of carnage.)
I'm very familiar with the story, in both printed and audio format, and it's hard to recapture the experience of hearing it for the first time. But to the extent that I can do this, I think this would be an excellent introduction to the story of Aeneas.
This dramatization, in eight half-hour episodes, apparently dates from 1993. Rene Basilico's adaptation of the novel is skillful, though perhaps inevitably some important elements of the story (particularly to do with Pym's childhood) are omitted or only mentioned briefly. The production is good, and James Fox is excellent in the lead role. My only complaint is that some of the acting is at times a little cartoonish. It's as if the program came at a time of transition between an older, "stagey" style of voice acting and a modern, more naturalistic approach. Fortunately the problem is mostly confined to minor characters. Although this program is not quite up to the standard of the BBC's recent (superb) cycle of le Carre's Smiley novels, it is still effective and enjoyable overall. Here's hoping the BBC will release more le Carre dramatizations!