Great & Terrible: Lifting the Veil. There’s a complete change of tone, compared to the last two episodes. The meditation tape type music in the background gives the whole episode that kind of vibe, and Jane’s even making terrible dad jokes! The episode may give this sense of calmness on the surface, but Jane’s very calculating; she has some kind of plan in mind, which she’s starting to put into action.
The Amelia Project: Episode 38 – Alexandra. I love how, even though the show’s third season has completely broken the episodic format of the previous two, it still occasionally goes back to its roots with interview style episodes. That’s exactly what we got this week, as the Interviewer, still in prison, interviewed another prisoner who has a very unusual talent. And we got some more Interviewer lore! We’ve been learning little tidbits about his life this season, and it’s wild. I love it.
Lost Terminal: 4.10 – I’ve not been entirely truthful with you. The feelings. This season has been much more calm catastrophic-events-wise than the previous three seasons; instead it has focused much more on Seth’s growth and how he’s become a part of a community on Earth. This season finale, however, packs some big emotional punches right from the start. There’s also a very interesting question at the end of the episode, potentially setting up the arc for season five.
Someone Dies In This Elevator: S1E4 – A Shit Show. In this episode, we’re taken to an unspecified year in the future, where couple Ralie and Athena are stuck in the elevator. It’s a snapshot of a relationship between two people, which we know is doomed from the start of the episode, due to the show’s nature. Things are not great between the two, and as time passes and the elevator begins to crack and break as a storm rages outside, it becomes more and more clear that the elevator is a metaphor for the current state of their relationship, as emotions run high and they start to argue.
Palimpsest: Episode 405 – Ginny. I spent so much of the last few minutes of the episode shaking my head – noooope, no thank you! There’s a break in the naming convention for this season’s episodes; and there’s a complete change to the story, as Ash is stuck in Hawthorne House overnight, with the storm still raging outside. And of course, being alone in an old house, which we already know harbours some kind of secrets, means that we know things are going to get creepy – this is Palimpsest, after all. And creepy is absolutely how things get, building up to a horrifying discovery right at the end of the episode.
Second Star to the Left: 8 – A Bad Deal. It’s been really interesting to see how much this story has changed since the hopeful feel of the first episode – we’ve got to a point where Gwen even regrets being on the planet alone. Here, the focus isn’t even on Gwen; through Amelia, Bell’s boss, we have a clear depiction of the ethics of entire scout programme – the advancement of the human race, at any cost. The focus of the story has completely shifted from Gwen and her planet, in a tense episode, where an entire species’ existence is at stake.
Omen: I’ve been following the show’s Twitter account since the writing process, so I was really excited to finally listen to the first episode. The audience is thrown right into the action, as the episode opens with a chase on foot down streets and alleyways. We learn that a girl, Hannah Nesmith is missing, and that the three people we’ve met are on a mission to look for her. Elements of worldbuilding are introduced gradually during the episode, adding to the details of this fantasy world we find ourselves in. There’s much at risk, and I’m really excited to see where this story goes.
Crime Scene Arcanum is a new fantasy crime podcast, which released its pilot episode this week. In a world full of magic, a tragic accident occurs when a carriage carrying two nobles crashes. The Investigators Arcanum investigate strange crimes in the city of Aldren, and the four work on discovering what exactly was behind the two deaths. The show is also running an Indiegogo campaign to fund their first season.
Fathom is an underwater horror, and is a prequel to sci-fi show DERELICT, which had to be put on pause due to 2020. Dr Eva Graff co-leads a team, 19,000 feet below the surface of the ocean, which is investigating an ancient vault which was discovered on the ocean floor. The vault is 7 million years old, and is the first proof of extraterrestrial life – but why is it at the bottom of the ocean? Eva is living with her own demons, having run away from life on the surface, and absolutely does not want to return home. But her, and everyone else’s existence so far beneath the waves, is perilous, as she plows forward to try and decipher the signal that the vault is emitting.
Tartarus is a new sci-fi horror set in Antarctica. In the first of four episodes to be released this year, we meet Dr Brie Lake, an astrobiologist, and get to know some of her work as she gives a lecture. The episode opens with alternating perspectives, switching between Brie and the Tartarus facility, which gives the audience some context as to what could be happening at Tartarus, where something has clearly gone very wrong. It’s a very intriguing start to the story, where we’re only given a hint of the horrors that the facility is hiding, and what Brie’s role could be in it all.
Look Up is a new queer coming of age story from Atypical Artists, and this week the first two episodes were released. High school students Lincoln and Emmet meet up on a beach at Cape Canaveral, as they await their mothers’ return from a three year NASA mission to Mars. They used to be close friends, and still live near each other, but they haven’t spoken to each other in years. There’s a lot of catching up to do, but Lincoln especially is initially uncomfortable, and doesn’t want to talk about their past together. Over the course of the first episode, they slowly grow a little closer, as they talk about their lives and their shared experiences as ‘America’s Mars boys’, and watch the moon together.
Trailers and Prologues
Electromancy is a new fantasy show written by Nathan Comstock, one of the creative team behind sci-fi comedy Solutions to Problems. A teaser for the show was released this week, featuring dialogue from episode two. Jenna is forced to attend Royal Institute for the Study of Sorcery after her powers as an electromancer are discovered. And from what we hear in the trailer, her powers might be extraordinary.
Jar of Rebuke is back for its second season, and it’s been a while since Jared has recorded his audio diary. This episode works as a kind of catch-up, with him talking through some of the things that have happened to him since we last heard from him. Of course, even though he’s not aware that anything’s changed, the audience now sees him and everything he talks about through a new lens, thanks to season one’s finale.
The Strange Case of Starship Iris is back from its mid-season hiatus, and I missed this show and its linguistics nerdery. And we’re thrown straight back into things, as a lot happens in this episode. I loved the nonbinary representation in this episode, and how a nonbinary teenager meeting McCabe brought up an issue that is often seen in sci-fi as a genre (though, much less in fiction podcasts) – in that it’s always the aliens who are nonbinary, and never the humans.
VAST Horizon is back for its third and final season, and with so much at stake for so many, it’s a hugely tense season opener. At the end of the episode it felt like I’d been holding my breath the entire time! The alternating perspectives only ramps up the tension further, with continual reminders of how many lives are at stake; as everyone and everything is under the control of one, very old and still unknown to most, entity.