Review: Cabin Pressure

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By Lim Yi He

Cabin Pressure is an enjoyable radio sitcom broadcasted on BBC Radio 4. Written and created by John Finnemore, the story revolves around the eccentric crew of MJN Air as they fly all around the world. It ended in December 2014 after running for six years, producing twenty-seven episodes in total. Interestingly, the episodes are in alphabetical order and named after the destinations of MJN Air.

The crew is as unconventional as the “airline” is. The acerbic manager-cum-stewardess, Carolyn (Stephanie Cole) obtained a rickety aeroplane out of her divorce and used it to form an “airline”. Her airheaded twenty-nine-year-old son, Arthur (John Finnemore) who still stays with her fills in as the steward. Martin (Benedict Cumberbatch) was so desperate to become a captain that he accepted the job despite it being unpaid, while former Air England captain Douglas (Roger Allam) is more than disgruntled at being a first officer.

The four are shown to squabble at times, but they unite in the face of a problem, most of which arise out of MJN Air’s small budget. With only dialogue to fill in the narrative, let your imagination take flight with Cabin Pressure as the characters grow and develop through their often-comedic adventures.

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