The Orphans: Going on a trip, in our crashing Venture ship
British Sci-fi and I are very comfortable bedfellows. Doctor Who, Red Dwarf, Misfits. While Doctor Who has a plethora of ADs, they are hidden behind a paywall. A modest one, but a paywall nonetheless. There is quite a surplus of Sci-fi Dramas it seems. This could be because creators can leave quite a bit more to the imagination for the listeners in terms of technology, alien species, locations, and plot-lines. The Sci-fi genre hinges on suspension of disbelief, so audio theater thrives when it comes to telling a great Sci-fi epic.
Having said that, I was completely blown away with my most recent binge. This show, without a doubt, settles comfortably into my top five best audio dramas available. From sound production to voice acting, plot to twists, beginning to end, this show delivers it all and so much more.
Buckle up, it’s The Orphans.
Told in seven parts, this AD follows the survivors of the star-ship Venture crash onto an alien world. What they encounter can only be experienced, so I won’t babble on about it much. Suffice to say that I was genuinely taken aback in surprise when the twist came, something that doesn’t happen often. I was expecting the typical cliche that follows in these types of stories. However, the writers did not disappoint.
This show is pure gold if you have any interest in Science Fiction. It’s rare that you find a show with so much potential packed into a small story arc. Over the seven episodes, you get to enjoy the survivors grow and fall into their respective roles in the group. You get to savor the small interactions, while knowing that it’s not going to drag on for six or seven seasons. Not that there’s anything wrong with a long show. In The Orphans case, the short arc plays to their advantage. The universe they’ve created is absolutely RIPE for expansion, and from what I’ve seen, that’s exactly what they’re doing!
Now we move onto the voice acting. Bar none, some of the best work I’ve ever heard. Each character has a unique voice, both literally and personality-wise, and the interactions with both their fellow survivors and the environment they find themselves in truly makes this AD shine. This can also be said of the sound production. You could see yourself in the camp, watching their stories unfold. One thing to note especially is the roar. Dear lord, I got goosebumps whenever I heard it. The dread that went through me was palpable.
The Orphans brings something new to the genre of Sci-fi in that it isn’t about hopping from galaxy to galaxy, lounging in the seedy Mos Eisley Cantina, or starting an inter-system war between Earth and Mars. You’re dropped into a single alien world with these survivors, with little to no knowledge of...really anything, but by the end you’ve gained all you needl through the power of amazing storytelling. Being able to do that is one of the staples of great writing. If you were on the fence about starting “another sci-fi show”, I hope that this review gets you to subscribe and download, because I couldn’t have been more happy with the decision I made to. Give The Orphans a listen, you will not be disappointed.