Newfangle. Image credit: Above The Title Productions.


Radio sitcom set hundreds of thousands of years ago. The comedy follows inventor Newfangle as he tries to alter his social position

2009  (BBC Radio 4)
6 (1 series)
Russell Tovey, Maureen Lipman, Gabriel Vick, Hugh Bonneville, Pippa Evans, Amy Shindler, Steven Kynman
Adam Rosenthal, Viv Ambrose
Above The Title Productions

Set hundreds of thousands of years ago among proto-humans, who are half-human, half-ape, Newfangle is a low status member of the tribe. He tries to alter his position through inventions such as language then, in later episodes, fire, money, warfare, religion and music. But the tribe remains selfish, foolish and venal and Alf, the alpha male, steals Newfangle's ideas to stay in power.

Coco, Newfangle's mother, despairs of her weedy son ever doing anything useful like ripping someone's face off, and places all her hopes in Crag, his half-brother.

Crag may not the brightest hominid in the swamp but at least he's loyal to Newfangle. Newfangle also remains hopeful that his love interest, Snaggle, may be impressed by one of his new creations.

Our Review: Newfangle is a satirical comedy that deals with human evolution, language, technology and the perils of being too clever for your own good.

Although a little lazily paced at time, Newfangle made a positive impression on us with some excellent word play and clever satire (episode three used mud huts to parody the banking system). However, it should be noted not everyone was a fan - for example, there were a fair few negative comments on the Radio 4 message board.