I find that a lot of AD tends to push for the fantastical, which can come in many forms. Big laughs, big scares, big productions. That's not a bad thing, by any means. I am a huge fan of King Falls AM, The Magnus Archives, and The Cleansed; all of which I would consider big in their own ways. Each of these examples push the envelope on what it means to be an Audio Drama, and a podcast.
I want to tilt the spotlight away from BIG for a little bit. Yes, each of these shows deserve a listen and all the praise they get. Having said that, I want to shine a light on this show for the simplicity of it. Simple kickoff, simple format, and simply amazing. This is Duggan Hill.
There are two different seasons so far, but I'm going to focus on the first in this review. The premise for this show is , you guessed it, simple:
On a back country road outside the hamlet of Duggan Hill, Saskatchewan, a woman named Sasha Ismond goes missing without a trace.
She had been travelling from Vancouver for the past...
Before I kick this thing off, I’d like to thank Laura Bramblette, longtime fan of the site, for getting me into this show!
I tend to find science fiction audio dramas come in two flavors; space opera and alien invasion. Having grown up with Star Wars and Star Trek, all while reading series like The Spinward Fringe and Old Man’s War, I derive great pleasure from Space Opera. When we talk of alien invasion, I’m willing to bet the first thought you have is of old time radio, H.G. Welles, and alien ships with long, stalk like legs taking humans for experiments.
War of the Worlds is, by and large, a staple of radio dramas. You’d be hard pressed to find anyone who hasn’t at least heard of it. Full of scares and suspense, great acting and amazing scripting, WotW is radio drama and alien invasion story done right.
Many audio productions have borrowed from this epic, however I have not seen an invasion story quite as lighthearted, funny, and entertaining as Otherverse.
When looking for a good story, I find one trait shared among many of my favorites: Devestation. The utter ruination of civilization as we know it really makes for some interesting story telling. It gives us the hope of redemption, of overcoming near insurmountable odds to come out on top despite little or no hope. Maybe it plays on the knowledge that, for us, it could always get worse. Throw in secret organizations and the evil inherent in the human condition, you get the framework of what could become a classic, despite the genre's exhaustibility.
Hey, alien invasion doesn't hurt either. I give you: The Phenomenon.
Still in its infancy in terms of audio drama, these five episodes (as of the writing of this review) give you just enough world building and exposition that you get very interested from the start, yet not enough to weigh you down and make it seem like a dissertation. I quite honestly could not stop listening as I sat at work in front of my computer, my eyes glazing over while...
Welcome back to another edition of First Impressions! I have been wanting to review this show for a good while now, but I held off. I felt like a spoiled little child, not wanting to share. Well, I’ve decided that sharing is caring, and I care about you DEEPLY to share this one with you. I have listened to this show over 167 times, AND IT JUST KEEPS GETTING FUNNIER. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I LISTEN! NOT TO MENTION THE FACT THAT YOU’RE READING A REVIEW BY A ROBOT! NOW WHAT DO YOU THINK????....should we get going?
I am proud to present the First Impressions of Attention Hellmart Shoppers!
If I had to sum up this show in one word, I can’t think of a better word than Fun. This AD is so fun! I commute a half an hour one way to work, so I have some time to myself before I get to work, where I sit in front of a computer and dive into ADs for the next 8 hours. AHS makes my commute fun and full of laughs. Trust me when I say, making the mornings anything other than a drowsy haze is an accomplishment...
I want to share a story with you all. Trust me, this does tie into the review, and it is one hundred percent true.
A few years ago, I was traveling across the US with my then girlfriend. We drove from my current hometown in Maine to Washington State in my old Ford hatchback, my first car. We would drive all through the day, stopping at monuments along the way and for bathroom and snacks. We would sleep in my car at rest stops and once, even in Yellowstone park.
We were Minnesota if memory serves me correctly. We hadn’t seen a rest stop for hours, and it was getting late. Usually we drive until it gets dark, then pull off at the closest rest stop, but we were in almost pitch black, driving through a densely wooded area. We had ran through our music playlist for about the sixth time, so I decided to switch to the radio to see if we could find some decent rock music while we hunted for the highway.
As I was hitting the tuning button to cycle through local stations, I found one that…it’s hard...
For my first review back after such a long upgra-VACATION…yes, vacation…I am happy to bring you a fresh batch of AD reviews! They may not be as frequent as they once were, however I’d like to shoot for quality over quantity this time around. So please relax and enjoy!
Living in Maine, the heart of King Country, you tend to accept and adapt to the weird. Cemeteries dedicated to your most beloved pets, yearly reports of a prom dance gone horribly awry, huge glass domes enveloping whole towns, all of this is common place. Travel just an hour south of my town, and you find yourself traveling the twisting and eerie roads of Massachusetts. You may find that, while coasting leisurely along a country road, you see a dark and foreboding structure in the distance. The sun is out in full force, and yet a stray cloud always seems to swallow the light whenever you look at it. A rock suddenly hits the bottom of your stomach, and visions of otherworldly horrors dance at the edge of your sanity. You lo...
Welcome, welcome, WELCOME back to First Impressions! I wanted to bring to you all an upcoming AD that is extremely unique in how it is both presented and marketed. It operates very much like an ARG (Alternate Reality Game), but even then it’s a unique twist on the ARG. I expect nothing less than this kind of master storytelling from the same people who brought us Jim Robbie and the Wanderers.
With the passing of Sir Roger Moore, I can think of no more appropriate genre to showcase today than an espionage AD. Don’t worry, this review will NOT self-destruct in five seconds…wait, that’s Mission Impossible…now I’m mixing fandoms, oh boy.
Anyway, I present to you OAKPODCAST.
As I said, this AD is extremely unique in how it presents itself and its funding. Most shows will have advertisements somewhere during or right after the show, letting you know about their Patreon account or how amazing stamps.com or Bombas Socks are. In this case the main character, Holly, uses her Patreon in her story. Y...
One of my favorite books growing up was a very well-worn copy of At the Mountains of Madness by H.P. Lovecraft. For those of you that have never read H.P. Lovecraft…we will need to have a proper sit down soon. For the sake of expediency, I’ll give you a short synopsis:
Professor William Dyer, a professor at the great bastion of knowledge called Miskatonic University, travels to Antarctica for a geologic survey. During this survey, Dyer and his team discover the remains of ancient organisms. Neither wholly plant or animal, this discovery leads Dyer and a graduate student named Danforth on a jaw dropping excursion over the mountain range and into a vast city of unimaginable horror and age.
I tell you this to give you an idea as to my thought process while listening to this AD. Something is very wrong in the very-down-under, and it seems none too friendly. I get a very Lovecraftian vibe from this AD, though that may just be my bias showing. I feel that I would be remiss if I didn’t bring up...
Science Fiction. Post-apocalyptic. Mystery. Action. Each genre with an ever deepening well of content. So many ADs under so many genres and sub genres and microgenres, you never find yourself bereft of content. It is truly a glorious day when you can find an AD that just fits. I know, that sounds “wicked weird” as us Mainers say. Hear me out.
Every single one of us has a genre or two that we just fall in love with. We obsess and crave, yet when you actually listen to it, a great sense of calmness and happiness just seems to fill us. No better feeling, that is. For me, I can’t get enough of anything Sci-fi. Especially Space Opera. Oh, good lord I just lose myself in books like Old Man’s War, Leviathan Wakes, and The Spinward Fringe series.
Having said that, this AD is up there with those major works of art. Every single aspect just pulls me in and makes me crave more. The story is unique and inspired, the voice actors are phenomenal and very relaxing to me, and I just could not stop liste...
Any horror aficionado worth their salt will know just what an influence H.P. Lovecraft has been on the entire genre. His work stretches through time, much like the abominations and otherworldly being that populate said work, and has influenced many of the great horror creators. Say what you will about his personal beliefs and the time period he grew up in being a factor in such, but no one can deny that Lovecraft pioneered the journey into the unknown and gave us something to truly be afraid of.
Because of Lovecraft’s influence, there have been a myriad of novels, short stories, games, and other forms of media that have built on the foundations he laid down. This is collectively known as The Cthulhu Mythos. Today, I want to introduce you to one of the only Audio Dramas I’ve found that draw directly from Lovecraft and his work.
Get ready to Cthulhu your Ftaghn, this is Father Dagon.
Before I even start, I want to say that I may be a tad biased on this one. H.P. Lovecraft is my absolute fav...