StarTripper!! is a fun, adventure sci-fi podcast, created and co-produced by Julian Mundy, who is also the head writer. Ian McQuown and Mischa Stanton also co-produce the show, and McQuown also plays the protagonist, Feston Pyxis.
The story opens as we meet our hero, Feston. Bored of his desk job, seemingly the only one on his planet of Lorvin who feels that way, he’s decided to pack everything in and sell all of his belongings to go on an epic road trip. A road trip off-world in a spaceship. The show follows him as he sets out to find adventure, but more often than not, it’s the adventure that finds him.
Simply put, Feston’s mission is to live his best life. He travels around from planet to planet, with the help of the ship’s AI, PROXY. He’s looking for the best experiences he can find, the best times to be had, and his trip starts in a very ambitious way. There’s an in-universe series of films that Feston is a big fan of, and which the same model of spaceship that he now has appears in – the spaceship is known as, you guessed it, a StarTripper. Feston takes the Phase Gravely wavefilm series as inspiration, and his first stop is, as the title suggests, the the Gauntlet of Xinpho – a race that appears in one of the films, which has been recreated by fans. While he may have an abundance of enthusiasm, when Feston arrives on the planet, we discover that he is both underequipped and underprepared for this high-stakes race. Things, however, take an interesting turn.
His next stop in episode two is at a very different location, as he tries to track down some lunch – and even that turns into an unexpected adventure! Over the course of the show’s first season we follow him as he visits a harvest festival, tries to have a chill time at the beach… and has a run-in with some pirates. Things don’t always go well for Feston, but his determination and sometimes overly reckless spirit manages to get him out of some tight spots!
The show is framed as a podcast Feston produces himself (which makes for some fun meta jokes) to document his travels. He records everywhere he goes and everything he does, presenting the different sights he sees to his audience. This framing device allows for some very vivid imagery through his narration, as he wants to share what he sees to people who can only listen, describing some incredible scenery on these faraway worlds.
The team behind StarTripper!! have compared the show to Saturday morning cartoons, and it definitely has that feel, along with its slightly retro vibe. I also love the Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy references that are peppered in right from the start, with Feston making a point of mentioning that he’s got his towel before he sets off on his adventure. The theme music is absolutely gorgeous too, and really reflects Feston’s fun and carefree attitude.
Season two of StarTripper!! is due to launch on the 17th of July, and I am very excited for its return. In preparation for the new season, a teaser and a prologue episode have both been released. The prologue picks up from the end of the first season, as we get to know a new character a little better. The show is a beautiful and fun piece of escapism, and I know that I could definitely use some of that right now!