Classic Serial: My Cousin Rachel

Basic Info

Genre: Drama (Radio)

Broadcaster: BBC Radio 4

Broadcast dates: Sundays from 3.00-4.00pm: 6 May 2007 (Episode 1); 13 May 2007 (Episode 2)

Production Co: BBC Radio

Cast & Crew: Lia Williams (Rachel), Cark Prekopp (Phillip), Damian Lewis (Ambrose), Emily Wachter (Louise), Paul Jesson (Geoffrey), Clive Brill (Producer), Robin Brooks (Screenwriter)


To commemorate the centenary of Daphne du Maurier’s birth, Damian Lewis stars in this week’s Classic Serial – My Cousin Rachel, written in 1951 and set on the coast of Cornwall.

When Philip Ashley’s much-loved cousin, Ambrose, dies, he is convinced that Ambrose was murdered by his new wife, Rachel. But then he meets Rachel and falls in love with her.

As the story unfolds, listeners discover whether Rachel is only using Philip to get at the estate Ambrose left to him, instead of her, and if she will murder to get what she wants.

My Cousin Rachel is a best-selling, inherently dramatic and critically acclaimed story, with sinister psychological depths, told in a voice that speaks to listeners as though pouring a confession in their ear.

Rachel is played by Lia Williams, Phillip by Cark Prekopp, Ambrose by Damian Lewis, Louise by Emily Wachter and Geoffrey by Paul Jesson.

Source: BBC

Episode Summaries/ Reviews

Episode 1 –
Carl Prekopp is perfectly cast as Philip Ashley, perhaps the most unreliable narrator in English literature, in this splendid two-part dramatisation of Daphne du Maurier’s 1951 thriller. Ashley starts out as a deeply suspicious, grieving young man who has just learned of the death of his relative and guardian Ambrose, an older and very wealthy man who had been trying to restore his health in the warmer climes of Florence. While in Italy, Ambrose had married their cousin Rachel who turns up in Cornwall shortly after his death to deliver Ambrose’s possessions to Ashley. And herein lies the rub, (albeit a herbal one that Rachel has brewed herself): for is she an innocent woman, ill judged by our mentally unstable narrator, or a pitch-black widow from hell, intent on enticing then ending another man’s life? Thrilling, disturbing and utterly gripping, radio drama does not get much better than this. (RT reviewer – Jane Anderson)

Episode 2 –
Robin Brooks’s two-part adaptation of Daphne Du Maurier’s tale of obsession, paranoia and jealousy. 2: At Philip’s invitation, Rachel has taken up residence in his home. He finds himself falling in love with her, but he is also finding reasons to suspect her. Is her behaviour concealing an ulterior motive? With Carl Prekopp, Lia Williams, Damian Lewis, Emily Wachter.

Source: Radio Times