Sober castaway Prendick relays the miseries of the dystopia run by devilish Dr. Moreau. Fleeing from the censure of his peers in London, Moreau takes to his own island in the Pacific. Here he surgically engineers hybrid man-beasts, sorry creatures that worship their disturbed maker, who believes he is creating a new being that will overcome base animal instinct and choose humanity. Dr. Moreau’s flawed rationale and inhumanity, the condition of his weird progeny, and the atmosphere of this sick environment are enlivened by a trio of narrators in this dramatized version of the gothic novel by H. G. Wells, a writer who braids science fiction and horror seamlessly. The taut dialogue interplay heightens the corrective morality underlying The Island of Dr. Moreau.
"What is the law? Not to eat flesh or fish, that is the law; are we not men? What is the law? Not to chase other men, that is the law; are we not men?"
As castaway Edward Prendick learns, Moreau is a feared, wrathful "god" to his beastmen. And in comparing Moreau to his lumbering, gentle servant M'Ling, it is sometimes difficult to tell which is the man, and which is the beast.
Wells' classic shocker raises the question of what it means to be human. "Pain...is such a little thing".
Herbert George Wells is perhaps best known for his groundbreaking science fiction (The Time Machine) and social commentary (The Shape of Things to Come), but his place in horror fiction is assured by his novella "The Island of Dr. Moreau".
This is a full-cast, soundscaped audio dramatization of a classic story from one of the masters of the genre.
© and (P)1995 Atlanta Radio Theatre Company
This really exceeded my expectations. For something slightly less than an hour listen, the performers did a bang up job of communicating the ethos of the original story. There is a bit of humor sprinkled in and while I am not a squeamish person, nearly squealed like a little girl when they broke the Pumas femurs. I also can't seem to stop chanting "What is the law?" And "Are we not men?" but I'm sure it will pass in a few days. At least that's what I told the family when they packed up and left.
"Wish the book was available"
This short dramatisation is a reasonable glimpse it to what is an amazing story. Quite a brutal look at morality but very thought provoking. Heartily recommend the book, not so much this short play.
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