In Our Time is a podcast of a radio program from BBC Radio 4. It covers history in all its permutations, from the history of Neuroscience to the Siege of Constantinople. Melvyn Bragg is a tough but fair moderator, keeping the guests–who can stray off course and get caught up in minutia–moving forward and asking the right kind of questions to get the information I want to hear. The back catalogue of episodes has some absolutely stellar topics, like Robin Hood, the Jacobite Rebellion, Merlin, and Christopher Marlowe. It’s unfortunate that the archives are only available for streaming, but I’ve had some success using Audacity to capture them in relatively good quality for listening on my mp3 player.
Pros: Excellent moderator, highly informed guests, professional, some of the best podcast episodes I’ve ever heard, I can listen to it with my toddler in ear shot.
Cons: Too many of the recent topics covered don’t interest me; back catalogue only available as streaming rather than downloadable mp3s.
When the new episode of In Our Time is something in which I am interested, it goes first, ahead of anything. If you are interested in history, I can’t recommend this podcast enough.
Fraser’s Rating: 4.75 out of 5 (I can’t blame them for providing topics in which I’m not interested, but it detracts from their score anyway.)