Testing Connection – The Apocalypse I’ve Been Dreaming Of
The creator of this AD, Chris Rosewood, asked for me to review his show. I am always looking for new and creative ADs to listen to and review, so why not plug myself and say that you should send me requests for reviews?
Anyway. I’ve seen this one crawl up my phone screen as a browse the Audio Drama subreddit, so I was familiar with the name. I was definitely surprised that Chris reached out to me in the first place, as he was one of the first to request a review and I was only two or three reviews in if I remember correctly. He asked for an honest opinion of the show, and I wanted to make sure I gave that.
Here we go, Chris. This is Testing Connection.
First, let me give you my honest review of this show. I can say without hesitation that this is one of the best Audio Dramas I’ve ever had the pleasure to listen to. Everything about it is as close to perfect as you can get. I feel like I’m not offering anything constructive, but that’s because I can’t think of anything wrong or off about it. I’m hooked completely.
Now, you’re going to want to know what this is about, now that I’ve hyped it up so much. Testing Connection is about a man named Damien. He is able to get a comm terminal working from his location, which is….somewhere. I’ll leave that bit up to you. Suffice to say that the world has been in better shape. Both he and his droid, J-2, try to make contact with anyone listening. I’ll also leave the rest up to you. Go experience this for yourself. Learning and letting the world develop before you is essential, and never more so than in Testing Connection.
I get a huge I Am Legend vibe from this AD. Which is funny, as Chris told me that it was a huge influence. Not only that, but I’m also reminded of another amazing AD, Tin Can Audio. I’ve already given my review of that, so you’ll know what I mean when you listen to TC. The acting is top notch. All voices, except one that you may miss if you’re not paying attention, is done by Chris himself. It’s amazing when you find this out, as you can’t tell that it’s one person. My first listen through (I may have listened a couple of times, a first for me!), I had ZERO idea it was just him, so kudos to him!
I was able to speak with Chris about the show and its origins, so I’ll let him tell you about it:
"As far as how it started, well, it kind of began as an idea I had almost 10 years ago for a character.
I was about 16 when I had an idea on this character I wanted to use, but had no idea how to implement the character. I used to write a lot during that time, and this character started to have a life of his own. As weird as it sounds, the character tried to appear in a number of books I started writing, but never finished.
Flash forward about 2 years or so. After a lot of crazy things happened in my life, I decided to try to return to the solace of writing. I finally had an idea on how this character could be introduced and started writing a book I had titled "Dust".
This book is not finished, and I had the same problem I had with every other book I started to write: I had a beginning, and an end, but no middle. No plot developed at a certain point.
This is something that happens to a lot of people, of course, and I am not the only one that has experienced writer's block like that.
So I put the book on hold. It was something I could come back to, but never did until about a year ago.
I decided to give voice acting a try and I had realized I needed some work on acting. As a little test idea, I started experimenting with story ideas and started to improvise a few things, using Damien and J-2 as the main characters.
At first, it was going to be a "Fallout" story, and I was going to center it in that universe.
However, I wanted to make something that was mine. Something more... Original.
I shared the test footage with a select few people and asked them what they thought of it. Most people gave great response, saying they wanted to know more as to what was going on.
It wasn't long until that old story "Dust" came back to me.
Then like a crashing wave I was smacked with the idea of how I was going to tell the story. Piece by piece.
So, I spent a lot of time writing down ideas, talking to myself, acting out roles and conversation ideas, and actually had (almost) exactly what I was wanting to do, and how this story was going to be conveyed.
After making them into YouTube videos, some people said they wanted an RSS feed, so they could listen to it on the go.
So I made an audio podcast version as well."
I can tell you right now, we can expect great things from this man’s mind.
What makes this AD even better is that there are ciphers and codes to crack. This is also true of my previous review, Lake Clarity. I absolutely LOVE when ARG elements are thrown into this type of entertainment, as it gives the listener something tangible to work with and discover for themselves. It allows them to engage with the characters and setting to immerse you even more.
Even without the ARG elements, the story itself really draws you in. The episodes are never longer than 8 minutes. Somehow, it feels like you’ve been listening for days, but not in a bad way if you catch my meaning. You feel really engrossed in the story with so little. It’s talent that you don’t see often enough; a gift, not something you can teach.
Testing Connection has everything I love in Audio Drama. I’m blown away by the story, the characters, and I just CANNOT wait until more comes! I encourage you to subscribe now. I know that Chris has poured his heart and soul into this, and it shows. Show him some love, and listen ASAP.
It also gives me others to gush over the show with. Please?