Despite Kepler spending decades battling with conflicting data and theories to find the truth about the movements of the heavenly bodies, Johannes came across the idea of elliptical orbits from a drawing by his daughter…. and the mathematical relationships of his discovery came to him in a dream…

This highly unrealistic, overly-condensed but entertaining telling of Kepler’s arrival in Prague to his elevation to imperial mathematician was first broadcast by BBC Radio in 2004. Benedict Cumberbatch stars in John Banville’s dramatisation set during the last year of Brahe’s life.

kepler by john banville


The BBC describes this short radio play as “An exploration of the clash between two of the 17th century’s leading astronomers – the assured, prickly and self-mocking Johannes Kepler, and the aristocratic, overbearing and secretly insecure Danish Nobleman, Tycho Brahe.”

Johannes Kepler… Benedict Cumberbatch
Tycho Brahe… Alun Armstrong
Barbara… Arabella Weir
Sophie … Gillian Kearney
Longberg … Scott Handy
Rudolph II … Geoffrey Beevers
Jeppe … Kenny Baker
Christine … Marcella Riordan
Regina … Hannah R. Gordon
Messenger… Simon Imrie
Court Official … Kevin Jackson

Director: Gemma McMullan

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