Audio Fiction Sunday 21st March 2021

Personal Highlights

Great & Terrible – Most Heinous. There’s a contrast I found darkly comical between the reality of Jane’s existence as a high school student who’s just wanting to get her friend back, and the fact that she’s now Death and has to deal with the consequences of having killed someone. Jane’s narration is dry and sarcastic, accepting of the situation she’s in and how absurd it is, while also trying to find a way to hide it in order to get her friend back.

Moonbase Theta, Out – Season 3, Episode 8: Exposure. (Note: I play Reception Bot in season 3 of Moonbase Theta, Out.) After a brief mid-season break, Moonbase Theta, Out is back with the second part of its third season. The first scene with Alexandre and Elena bonding was so emotional, talking about their partners and common experiences, and it was so lovely seeing them getting on so well. Ashwini is such a delight, and I’m so glad that ze’s back. Zir supervillain reveal was so great, and so was zir’s sorting out of the rowdy Science Bros – they desperately needed some form of leadership, and weren’t going to do that themselves. I see those podcast references, Ashwini! There’s also an interesting glimpse back to Tumnus’ origin story, which we first saw in an episode in the Before The Moon miniseries. In a tender mirroring of the episode’s opening, Roger and Wilder talk about some things they have in common in the episode’s final scene, with the partners they both have back on Earth.

Folxlore – Intruder. A horror story which is very much of our times is told on Reddit, by a delivery driver. Because isn’t the gig economy enough of a nightmare as it is? A delivery driver recounts her experiences on the paranormal encounters subreddit, of delivering to a particular block of flats, as she works for two different companies. It’s done in quite a matter-of-fact way, without wanting to think too much about what exactly’s going on in that building or its tenants, but the story and the creepy and unexplained things that the delivery driver experiences slowly escalate as her narration continues. But the scariest thing of all is that she’s not quitting either job, and has no choice but to be back at that building again tomorrow.

Jar of Rebuke – S1E13, Interlude Minisode 2: On The Same Page. It was lovely seeing Jared and Darius opening up to each other, even though we now know that things are even more complicated than Jared thinks. Jared had previously been confirmed as greyromantic and asexual by the show’s creator, and I definitely appreciated the depiction of that in this episode; how Jared talked about how he’d never been in a romantic relationship, and how he hadn’t understood Darius’ feelings when everyone else seemingly had. It was very genuine, and I found it very relatable.

The Silt Verses – Chapter 6: It Winds, It Worms, It Wends.  Heck yeah more Trawlerman lore. That telling of the religion’s beginning, or one version of it, was so captivating and vivid in all its terrifying details. We also go back to both Carpenter and Faulkner’s beginnings with their faith, how they both found a place within the religion in very different ways. Faulkner’s vindictiveness and determination is chilling, a long journey on his own, his belief that he’s a new prophet; whereas Carpenter is welcomed in by a new “uncle” in the warm environment of a diner, with pancakes to eat. The contrast isn’t surprising at this point, given what we know about the characters, but it was really interesting learning about their past, and more about their faith. I also really enjoyed the glimpses of the world that we saw through these two stories, especially the job listings from Carpenter’s past, where religion and work are so intertwined in all sectors, and the dangers that leads to.

Desperado – 14: Haz lo que tengas que hacer. Well, Elio has seen Some Stuff. The usual bickering between the three main characters at the beginning of the episode feels like they’re killing time and trying to avoid the inevitable before Elio has to recount a traumatic experience; and even his mention of having done “mental prep” for it wasn’t enough to prepare me for what exactly happened. There’s some excellent sound design, eerie and atmospheric, which made my skin crawl at times; and I really liked the use of overlapping internal dialogue to emphasise Elio’s sense of panic. I also appreciated how Elio’s narration was used as a tool to emphasise just how horrific his experience was with the demon, giving us the full, grotesque picture of what he was facing. The next episode is the season finale, and I’m very excited to see what happens next!

The Pasithea Powder, 14: Reservations. Listen, obviously the most important thing this episode was sleep deprived Sophie’s confession that she thought Jane was hot. I just want these morally compromised, complicated, WLWs to kiss! The ‘okay, byeee’ after Sophie brought it up a second time cracked me up so much I had to pause the episode! And speaking of complicated, the plot’s sure become more of that. Romantic confessions aside, this episode was a gradual build-up to the final scene, a potential new use of the Pasithea powder, and Sophie’s enthusiasm leads to her making a grave mistake. The consequences could be huge, and I’m looking forward to seeing how the story unravels after this.

The Penumbra Podcast – 3.25: Juno Steel and What Lies Beyond (Part 3). OOF. I knew the Juno season finale was going to be emotional, but that was a rollercoaster. From the “Nureyev is… y’know. Again.” in Juno’s narration in the first scene, it really doesn’t get any easier for Juno throughout the episode, and that’s even without everything else that was going on. So much happens in an almost hour-long episode, as our little crime family tries to make their getaway, and Juno has to deal with Nureyev being Nureyev yet again. I won’t spoil too much, but that part in Juno’s narration near the end of the episode? How dare.

The Magnus Archives – MAG 199: Seeing it Through. Not the penultimate episode in the series that I was expecting, but then again, there have been plenty of surprises these last few episodes. The promised explosive conclusion is going right up to the wire, as this episode was spent discussing plans, and the moral problems with each of the three. I did enjoy the call-backs to the past, the “Can I have a cigarette” nod to the show’s very first episode; and Jon and Martin talking about their relationship and how it would’ve been if the apocalypse hadn’t happened. I agree with Melanie though, blowing up the gas main does seem like such a mundane and neat solution to such an otherworldly problem. I’m convinced that there’s absolutely going to be more to it, and I am concerned.

Second Star to the Left – 3: As the Bell Tolls. Heh, puns. I’m starting to get concerned for Gwen, she so desperately wants to help everyone, and I’m worried that she’s taking on too much and isn’t looking after herself properly. We’re only getting glimpses of how she really feels, and she abruptly changes the subject when difficult discussions come up – and there are plenty of those in this episode. ‘I like being an optimist’ seems to sum up her whole outlook about her life on an uninhabited planet, so far away from the other scouts. The fragility of life is a big theme in this episode, and not only on these new planets either – and there are some interesting glimpses into the wider universe in which this story’s set. The story started off in such a hopeful way, but reality is slowly setting in, and I’m worried that it’s only a matter of time until something bad happens to Gwen, like it has to some of the other scouts.

Kalila Stormfire’s Economical Magick Services – Case Fourty Two: Stories. To end the story, we must go right back to the beginning, to discover what happened in High Priestess Gabrielle Ravenwood’s past, and this is how the episode opens. The episode is a story of love, different kinds of love, and healing; for Gabrielle, for Kalila, and even for the city of Brushland itself. Kalila has grown so much, and it was wonderful to see her and Shadow’s interactions, and I loved the final scene as we saw her a year later. A very satisfying and beautiful end to the series.


DERELICT released a teaser trailer for their upcoming prequel season, titled FATHOM. The main DERELICT season had to be put on pause due to 2020, as explained in an announcement which was posted in the feed in February. In this trailer, the narrator is at the bottom of the ocean, so far away from the surface, trying to escape something. The first episode of the main DERELICT season is set in space, and I’m curious to see what the link is between these two locations.

Casting Calls

MonkeyTales is casting for an upcoming episode, which is written by Ella Watts (Executive Producer of The Orphans). Deadline March 31st, 11.59pm GMT.

Other News

Congratulations to Greater Boston on an awesome live show last night! To celebrate their fifth anniversary, the folks behind Greater Boston put on a free live show via Zoom, featuring some of the show’s most well-known characters. I had a great time, and I’d especially like to thank the team for putting the show on for free.

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