Series / Alan Bennett's Talking Heads

Talking Heads (1988) and Talking Heads 2 (1998) are two series of six half-hour monologues by British playwright Alan Bennett. There are two slightly different versions of each one, radio and televison.

Some surprisingly dark subject matter, especially in series two which includes a paedophile falling off the wagon, a serial killer who gets away with it and a non-con BDSM club whose victim finally snaps and shoots her abusive husband.

Tropes Used:

  • Better to Die than Be Killed: Doris, who chooses not to alert a visitor to the fact that she has fallen and is badly hurt, evidently preferring this to an undignfied existence in a nursing home which, she fears, would probably kill her anyway.
  • Bury Your Gays: Francis the nurse dies of HIV related pneumonia. The possibly gay Fran dies too. Graham and Rosemary survive but then, they're narrating characters.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Lesley.
  • Darker and Edgier: Series Two.
  • Disposable Sex Worker: Stuart's victims.
  • During the War: Violet’s clearest recollections.
  • Gold Digger: Celia. And then there's Mallory Malloy.
  • Innocent Inaccurate: Possibly Lesley, who may or not realise that she is starring in porn.
    • Muriel in Soldiering On, who naively doesn't understand her son's mismanagement of her money until it is too late.
  • Last-Name Basis: Miss Fozzard’s first name is never mentioned.
  • Oop North: Most (but not all) episodes.
  • Porn Stash: Graham has one and doesn't know his mother knows about it.
  • Really Gets Around: Lesley. Oddly, she doesn’t seem to realise it.
  • Rule of Symbolism: The windows of the house in Marbella look more like the kind you would see in a prison.
  • Shout-Out: Lesley’s cheap European soft-porn film is obviously a cheap European rip-off of the James Bond film Thunderball.
  • Spin-Off: Ladies of Letters, a Radio 4 and later ITV series, following Irene from A Lady of Letters and her friend Vera.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: Wilfred.
  • Unreliable Narrator: The characters often don’t see what the audience does.
  • Villain Protagonist: Celia, who befriends a terminally ill old lady that she barely knows so that she can get all her swag when she dies.
  • Wham Line: At least one per episode.