Audio Fiction Sunday 7th March 2021

Personal Highlights

The Silt Verses, Chapter 5 – My Song Is Long and Twisted. We’ve seen the lengths others have gone to to protect themselves and their faith, and this time it’s Faulkner’s turn. Given what we know about these new, manufactured, gods, the ones that are allowed to be worshiped, it’s ironic that Faulkner and Carpenter’s God is called the ‘false’ one. And especially so, given what happens next, as more death is caused at the hands of one of these forgotten, outlawed gods. Carpenter has an apparently chance encounter with a character we’ve previously met, and it feels like the pilgrims’ time may already be starting to run out.

Tides, 12 – A Reasonable Distance Under The Sea. Fred sounds suspiciously cheerful in the opening scene, and it turns out that there’s a space whale, and she understandably sounds very smug about it! Fonzian life being Fonzian life, I was a bit apprehensive about this new discovery, even if Fred wasn’t. But it turns out that it wasn’t the whale I should’ve been apprehensive about, but the fact that Fred would decide to pick a fight with a new, horrifying creature. Terrible idea? I don’t want to say I told you so, but… The sub gets damaged, and Fred ends up stranded. Again. Until those clever little snailiens save the day! But things take a sinister turn, as she makes a shocking discovery. As Fred says at the end of the episode, the next part of the story after all this is going to be interesting.

Lost Terminal, 3.9 – Time is running out. After posting the episode, the Lost Terminal Twitter account tweeted on Monday morning “There is no need to panic.”, which immediately had me concerned, especially given that this week’s episode was the penultimate episode in this season, and the episode title didn’t do anything to reassure me either. Seth still has so much on his plate, so much to balance, and I’m glad that he was at least aware in this episode that everything was on a “knife-edge”, as he so often has such a naive outlook on things. I was surprised to hear him read a couple of the messages IVAN had received, from people living on Earth, grateful for his new sermons. So much of this show focuses on isolation, on only seeing the space Seth currently occupies, so it’s interesting to get a glimpse of a wider world, even if it’s only such a small one as this. I really liked the binaural effect when both versions of Seth were talking after they’d merged, saying conflicting things, but eventually ending up in the same place. The now-merged Seth recognises towards the end of the episode that he’s like a child, always reliant on others, and I was so glad to hear him say that. That’s something the audience has been able to see so clearly since back in season 1, but that Seth has never seemed to realise until now. The ending sets up an interesting season finale, especially given that Seth has been in a different location for every season so far – who can he rely on now?

The Strange Case of Starship Iris, 2.05 – The Museum Heist. It’s nice to see the crew bonding over a TV show, especially as this one has been such an indicator of how folks have been getting on together this season, and hearing a part of it in the episode was fun. But much as always, the down-time doesn’t last long, as Captain Tripathi decides on a good old fashioned museum heist. It’s impressive seeing the team, including the ex-agents, working together so seamlessly, even when things start going very wrong.  There’s some great banter (and puns?? Puns??) after the crew get back to the ship, until there are a couple of interesting developments. After an episode that showed the crew’s unity, and how well they can work together, they now have to split up, which gives me a very uneasy feeling. The last episode before a mid-season break.

Rapture 518, Episode 8.5 – Mucociliary Escalator. This psychological horror/thriller has been a recent discovery for me, and I got caught up just in time for this week’s episode. I have even more questions to add to the pile that I already had about the show! In a flashback, we’re taken back to the day Sarah moved into Rapture, and there’s a really weird conversation with building manager Carrie. These deep dives Sarah go on seem to be pointing towards themes which involve death and alternate dimensions – what exactly is Rapture?

The Oracle of Dusk, Oracle 2 – Message 3.  This fourth season continues with a third message to the second oracle who contacted Delphi. This season is proving to be completely different to the previous three, Delphi is actually talking to people who seem to be able to understand her mysterious power of being able to see people’s lives in her dreams. And her talking to these two oracles provides as much insight into their lives as it does to her life – she talks about her girlfriend and their relationship in order to try and help Oracle 2’s relationship with their partner. But after a whole episode of talking to this oracle, there’s a revelation at the end. Who exactly is this second oracle and what is their ability?

Unwell, 3.02 – Talking to Ghosts. The episode title made me think that it’d follow on from the previous episode’s flashback, but instead, the episode starts with two kids breaking into the observatory, which we know isn’t a good idea. Heh, good work Nora. But she then ties into Lily and Abbie’s search for Wes, as they eventually go to ask her where he is. In a town where humans and ghosts co-exist side by side – even when neither group is aware of this fact – it’s an examination of the effects the alive and the dead can have on each other, and especially the negative ones and how difficult this strange co-existence can be. There’s an atmospheric and heartbreaking post-credits scene, which only deepens the mystery as to Wes’ disappearance.

The Magnus Archives, MAG 197 – Connected. Jon and Basira to the rescue! There’s some impressive sound design in this episode, including the overlapping of tapes playing recordings of statements in the background. Annabelle jokes to Martin about an idea she had for a TV show called The Annabelle Cane show, but how much of this whole story has been just that now? Or The Web Show, to be more accurate. What seems to have been Jon’s life-long destiny with the Web, the ‘We marked him young’ as they saw the potential in him as a child which would ultimately lead to the apocalypse, the mother of puppets and her tapes always listening… It all makes so much sense. And now it seems that the Web has provided a way out of the apocalypse. Just as I was thinking that the story’s ending had gone in a completely different way to what we’d been led to believe would happen at the beginning of the season, we’re back to killing Jonah. And destroying the Archives.

Second Star to the Left, 2 – A Narrow Strip of Life. A few weeks have passed since the first episode, and Gwen has started to grow vegetables – I’m totally on team ‘cucumbers are crispy water’. I love Gwen’s sarcasm at the beginning of the episode, and even though she’s suffered a minor injury at the hands of a ‘swamp duck’, she’s still taking the new planet in her stride – and it makes for a distinct contrast to Bell’s ‘babysitting’. But there’s a shift in tone and focus as the episode continues, as Gwen receives a letter from Priyanka, her friend and another scout. Gwen’s concerned that the letter doesn’t sound like the friend she knows so well. It highlights the danger the scouts are in on these unexplored planets – it’s not only their physical health that’s potentially at risk, but also their mental health, and not in the ways we might expect, either. And making this all worse, Gwen’s not able to talk directly to her friend to help her – everything has to go through Bell. Her mood by the end of the episode is understandably completely different, as the risk of the scouts’ missions have been brought to light in an alarming way.


Folxlore released a second trailer for their upcoming full first season, which is due to launch on March 7th. It’s an eerie return to the Glasgow underground, with some excellent atmospheric sound design.

Ophiuchus Radio also released a second trailer, for their first season. We meet Coconut Silver, advice giver and the audience’s new best friend, who introduces the show.

Palimpsest released a trailer for their upcoming fourth season, which is due to launch on April 14th. It features a haunting poem by former US Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith, about a hungry, haunted house.

Casting Calls

Ritual Six, an upcoming fantasy thriller is casting. Deadline March 15th.

Hand in Glove, a new queer romance about two baseball players, is casting. Deadline March 15th.

Starfall, a new fantasy show about a travelling theatre troupe from the creator of The Beacon, is casting. Deadline April 1st.

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