Radio drama can be presented in three different styles:
- as an independent drama,
- as a series, or
- as a serial
The independent drama can be likened to a short story, it tells the complete story in one broadcast, usually lasting no longer than one hour. It can be shorter, as short as five minutes,for example, when the drama is broadcast as a brief segment on a thirty minute radio magazine program.
The drama series is a collection of independent dramas that use the same major characters in each program. For example, the characters of the father and his three sons from the fablestory above could appear in further programs, with each program telling a different story, underscoring a different theme, and teaching a different message. Extra characters might appear in the other stories, and some might appear in more than one story,but none would appear as regularly as the farmer and his sons. Each drama in the series would be completed in one program. Some of the program titles
for such a series might be:
• The Farmer and his Sons and the Plague of Rats
• The Farmer and his Sons Build a Big Barn
The serial is an ongoing story that continues from one broadcast toanother. Each episode is open-ended, and the story is picked up and continued in the next episode. A serial can be likened to a novel, where the
story is divided into chapters, with each chapter leading into the next. Aserial may be as short as six 15-minute episodes, aired weekly, or it can continue on a daily basis for decades without end. A continuing drama that is presented in fewer than six episodes is usually referred to as a mini-series or
“two-” or “three-part” drama.
If the story of “The of Sindhubad in Maiden land” were to be made into a serial, the story would not end where it does. Rather, it would continue into moreepisodes with other characters and other plots introduced to enrich the story.
For example, one son might find it impossible to do as his father suggested
and take himself off to the city to set up a business of his own, where he