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Fry's Planet Word

Premier :: 2011-09-25

Airs :: Sunday 21:00 on BBC Two

Genre :: Documentary
9/10


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Summary

Fry's Planet Word sees Stephen Fry finding out more about linguistic achievements and how our skills for the spoken word have changed. He dissects language in many of it's guises.

Latest Episode

Series 1 - Episode 5 - The Power and the Glory
Aired - 23 October 2011

Episode summary:

In this programme, Stephen Fry celebrates storytelling. It has been with us as long as language itself and as a species, we love to tell our stories. This desire to both entertain and explain has resulted in the flowering of language to describe every aspect of the human condition. Stephen asks just what makes a good story and why some writers just do it better. He reveals what stories make him shiver with joy or, conversely, shudder with horror. From Homer's epic to Joyce's modern-day reinvention with Ulysses, from taking in Shakespeare, PG Wodehouse, Tolkien, Orwell, Auden, Bob Dylan and the even the mangled web of words that became known as Birtspeak, Stephen uncovers why certain words can make us laugh, cry or tear our hair out. Talking to storytelling gurus like screenwriter William Goldman and modern-day interpreters of classics like Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson, he looks at how character and plot are interwoven and how any schema to create the perfect story are doomed. Shakespearean actors Simon Russell Beale, David Tennant, Brian Blessed and Mark Rylance give their take on Hamlet and laud the bard as the blue planet's supreme writer. Sir Christopher Ricks argues that Bob Dylan should be considered as great a poet as anyone, whilst Richard Curtis explains why Auden can move us to tears but why in the modern world, Coldplay are just as important.

Watch Episodes Online - Episode Guide

+ Series 1

+ Episode - 4 Spreading the Word Aired - 16 October 2011
+ Episode - 3 Uses and Abuses Aired - 09 October 2011
+ Episode - 2 Identity Aired - 02 October 2011
+ Episode - 1 Babel Aired - 25 September 2011

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