The Cave

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Episodes

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01The Cave Horse20120625

A drawing of a horse scratched onto a cave wall is vividly brought to life in this dramatic story where dreams become reality.

Creswell Crags is a ravine riddled with caves on the Nottinghamshire-Derbyshire border. Here in a cave called Church Hole, the earliest example of cave art in Britain was discovered in 2003. This artwork which includes a horse scratched onto the wall is the inspiration for the first of five illustrated essays by different writers on the theme of 'The Cave'. Writer, naturalist and broadcaster Paul Evans considers the significance and symbolism of the cave horse. He reflects on whether it is more than a pictorial representation of an animal. Creswell Crags were also the inspiration for the painter George Stubbs. He studied horse anatomy and paintings such as Horse Frightened by a Lion and Horse Devoured by a Lion, are visual dramas set against a backdrop inspired by Creswell caves. Paul discusses not only on the work of George Stubbs, but also Henry David Thoreau, Byron and Ted Hughes all of whom have been inspired by wild nature but who have also been aware Man's attempts to tame, capture and enslave wild nature. What would happen if the cave horse could break free?

Writer : Paul Evans

Narrators: Paul Evans and Adjoa Andoh

Wildlife sound recordist: Chris Watson

Producer: Sarah Blunt.

02Limestone, Water, Fire And Ice20120626

A Cave spirit, volcanic fumes, melting ice walls, hissing noxious gases, groaning ice and the slow drip of time all feature in this powerful immersion underground as wildlife sound recordist Chris Watson recalls his experiences in two very different cave systems; the limestone caves of Waitomo, New Zealand, and the Kverkfjöll ice caves in Iceland, in the second of five illustrated talks by different writers on the theme of THE CAVE

The Waitomo Caves are a large cave system on the North island of New Zealand. The word 'Waitomo' is a Maori word, 'wai' means water and 'tomo' means hole or shaft. Geological and volcanic activity have created around 300 limestone caves in this region over the last 30 million years. Illustrated with recordings he made on location, Chris describes first his encounter with the voice of the spirit of the cave; an invisible force which he could neither see nor locate. Elsewhere, Chris records the intimate sounds of different cave spaces; the Cathedral, the Flowstone and the Dome. All around him, there's the slow drip of water as it percolates through the limestone creating stalactites and stalagmites; the slow dripping of water marking the passage of time. In contrast to the slow formation of these limestone caves, on the far side of the equator in Iceland, Chris visits the Kverkfjöll ice caves, which are in state of constant flux. They are formed by hot water from a volcanic spring below the Vatnajökull glacier. This is truly unpredictable, hostile environment; the deep roar of the volcano and the hissing of noxious gases fills the air inside the cave, along with the terrifying creaks and groans of ice as walls melt and shift in these caves of perpetual transition.

Presenter and wildlife sound recordist: Chris Watson

Producer: Sarah Blunt.

03Plato's Cave20120627

In the third of five illustrated talks by different writers exploring THE CAVE as a theme, Alan Read, Professor of Theatre at Kings College London, presents a fascinating philosophical reflection in this essay about Plato's Cave. Alan first considers the room in which he imagines a listener is sitting, and then the listener's relationship to the space in which they are sitting; the floor and the four walls. He then suggests the listener imagines what the room would be like if a wall is removed. The room is then transformed into a stage; a theatrical space. From here, Alan discusses ideas about the spectator and the performance, and the relationship between the spectator and their surroundings. These reflections lead to consideration of Plato's Cave; the story, setting, symbolism, meaning and relevance today. The programme considers reality and theatre, and ideas about theatricality, performers and spectators. The essay concludes with a story set in a cave; but it's a surprising end; a new take on an old story.

Writer and narrator : Alan Read

Additional sound recordings by : Chris Watson

Producer: Sarah Blunt.

04Cave Of Faith20120628

In the fourth of five illustrated essays by different writers on the theme of THE CAVE, Martin Palmer, Secretary General of The Alliance of Religions and Conservation reflects on the role of caves in religious stories and traditions. Drawing on examples he explores how in religious stories and traditions caves have three main roles. They are doorways to the underworld; they are scenes of revelation and they are places where two worlds meet. As he says "the cave is a metaphor for the inner world, the world of our emotions and our psyche - in contrast to our outer world of everyday life. Caves give us permission to go into places where we otherwise might not have the courage to venture - both physically and spiritually."

Written and narrated by Martin Palmer, with a reading by Adjoa Andoh

Additional sound recordings by Chris Watson

Producer Sarah Blunt.

05 LASTBeyond The Vermilion Border20120629

In a dramatic finale to a series about caves, we join dental student Joe, as he embarks on a virtual journey beyond the Vermilion Border (which is the line which separates the lips from the face) and inside the human cave; the mouth. Guided by his virtual Tutors, the ORACLE and the ORACLE LADY, Joe embarks on a rollercoaster journey through the senses of the oral cavity, discovering how touch, taste, sight, smell and sound all play a role inside the mouth. The senses can provide information about health and disease in the mouth, which can lead to a greater understanding of the body's overall health.

Written by Patricia Reynolds, specialist in oral surgery and Director of Flexible Learning at Kings College London, this dramatic virtual journey offers a unique insight into the human cave.

Joe is played by Harry Livingstone

The Oracle is played by Gerard McDermott

The Oracle Lady is played by Adjoa Andoh

The reader is Christine Hall

Additional sound recordings by Chris Watson

Producer: Sarah Blunt.