Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Radio History: Shadow on Sparks Street

Terrific history radio last night on CBC Radio's Ideas: a repeat of Shadow on Sparks Street (there are links there for podcast and transcript info), a drama, a documentary, and a debate about the assassination of D'Arcy McGee in Ottawa in 1868. Skillfully evoked dramatizations, without all those cheesy recreations televised history is often forced into. Excellent actors speaking letters, speeches, lines of testimony from the trial of Patrick Whelan, who was convicted and executed.

It also had what really makes good history radio: head to head disagreement about the evidence and what to make of it from historians David Shanahan, who thinks Whelen was innocent and the trial a lynching, and David Wilson, who argues Whelen done the deed. Good work by independent producer Sarah Boothroyd. (I'm with Wilson.)
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