Main content
Sorry, this episode is not currently available

Episode 1

In a snow-changed city in the middle of an ice age on an alien world, one young man prepares for the biggest mission of his life.

Adapted by Judith Adams

Science fiction with incredible humanity from a brilliant feminist writer. This is the first dramatisation of Ursula Le Guin's 1969 novel which is as groundbreaking in its approach to gender as when it was first published over 45 years ago.

In a snow-changed city in the middle of an Ice Age on an alien world, one young man prepares for the biggest mission of his life. Alone and unarmed, Genly Ai has been sent from Earth to persuade the world of Gethen to join The Ekumen, a union of planets. But it's a task fraught with danger. Genly is shocking to the natives. This is a world in which humans are ambigendered - everyone can be a mother, and everyone can be a father.

First Minister Estraven is the only person who champions Genly's cause, but their relationship is deeply incomprehensible and troubling. Genly's life is at risk and he must decide who to trust.

Director: Allegra McIlroy.

58 minutes

Last on

Sat 18 Apr 2015 21:00

More episodes

Previous

You are at the first episode

See all episodes from Drama

Credits

Role Contributor
Genly Ai Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
Estraven Lesley Sharp
Argaven Toby Jones
Tibe Louise Brealey
Faxe Noma Dumezweni
Ashe Ruth Gemmell
Ong Tot Adjoa Andoh
Shusgis Stephen Critchlow
Obsle David Acton
Driver David Hounslow
Guard Rhiannon Neads
Author Ursula Le Guin
Adaptor Judith Adams
Director Allegra McIlroy

Broadcasts

Where do sci-fi writers get inspiration for the fantastical worlds they create?

Where do sci-fi writers get inspiration for the fantastical worlds they create?

Ursula Le Guin 'saw' her idea for the multi-award-winning Left Hand

Where do sci-fi writers get inspiration for the fantastical worlds they create?

Where do sci-fi writers get inspiration for the fantastical worlds they create?

Le Guin 'saw' her idea for the multi-award-winning Left Hand

Ursula K. Le Guin - Radio 4 and 4 Extra Programmes

Ursula K. Le Guin - Radio 4 and 4 Extra Programmes

A summary of the programmes celebrating the author's life and work.

Audio Books - great readings

Audio Books - great readings

A selection of highlights available to download via the iPlayer Radio app

The Shakespeare Sessions

The Shakespeare Sessions

Immerse yourself in Shakespeare’s world