Web Wanderings - Shades of old radio

Yorkton This Week’s editorial staff takes readers on an explorative journey around the Internet, searching out the best in videos, podcasts, webcomics, music and anything else that catches their collective eyes which might interest our readers.

Radio drama excellence
There are many podcasts but only a handful achieve both quality and longevity.

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One that has done both is ‘The Leviathan Chronicles’, (TLC).

When I first came across TLC and gave chapter one a listen I was completely blown away. The level of the show’s production was extremely high, and the storyline was quick to grab me.

So what exactly are you in for when you search out TLC?

Well according to the shows Facebook page TLC is, “a revolutionary science fiction audio drama podcast featuring the voices of over 60 actors, professional sound effects and an original music soundtrack.”

That is is why I highly recommend this one.

I am a fan of science fiction from Star Trek: The Next Generation, and X-Files to The Orville and Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams, I have tuned in and enjoyed the ride of stories on the edge of possibility. That is the realm of TLC as well.

That the show has had more than 60 actors involved speaks to their striving to create something special, and to their credit they achieved it.

So a bit about the great series, straight from the TLC Facebook page.

“The Leviathan Chronicles tracks Macallan Orsel, a young genetic scientist in present-day New York City who discovers that immortality is not a fool’s fantasy, but rather a reality for several factions of powerful immortals living among us,” it states. “Across centuries and continents, they have battled for supremacy—and Macallan must suddenly grapple with a mysterious and lethal virus, a covert government organization aware of the immortals—and her own family’s connection to both.”

The show actually launched with its initial trailer back in 2008, and hit chapter 38 in 2013. Then there was a hiatus until some special edition episodes in 2017. So there is a huge library of goodness for a new fan, and they all can be found at http://podbay.fm

According to a post in November 2017, the TLC website is undergoing a makeover, and new material.

That is outstanding news as TLC is one of the special audiocasts out there.

— Calvin Daniels

Tech paranoia
“I’m deleting Snapchat.”

We were mid-way through the first episode of Black Mirror’s third season, Nosedive, when the person on the other end of the couch made that declaration. The episode in question was about a society where every social interaction, every conversation, every minor moment, is ranked by others. Bryce Dallas Howard played a woman striving to get a new apartment by improving her ranking to over 4.5, which would qualify her for improved treatment. The episode, in spite of a bright, pastel colour palette, was easily the most horrifying thing the show had put together, and this was a show that had actual horror stories, including one that appeared to be a zombie movie.

Black Mirror, the British anthology series written by Charlie Brooker and currently airing on Netflix, is a modern Twilight Zone, taking the idea of modern technology to frequently unsettling extremes. Nosedive isn’t really that far off from a business going bust due to a vendetta on Yelp.

Episodes are about people recording every second of their lives, about people making artificial copies of their personality in order to have perfectly prepared toast, about a society where a talent show is the only path out of a hard life of sitting on a stationary bike. Most are bleak, though some – like the digital afterlife in San Junipero – can be hopeful.

The show’s name comes from the cell phone, a shiny black object that reflects ourselves. Much of the show is built around phones, or whatever biological implants might follow those phones, and the way we have made technology a part of our lives. It can make us reconsider how we use our technology. An episode about a grieving widow who resurrects her husband through a service that examines his social media makes one think about how an artificial versions of themselves might look – the social media version of myself would spend all of its time making weird jokes, I suspect.

It’s not really going out on a limb to say that you should watch one of the most buzzed about shows currently available on a streaming service, but there’s a reason people talk about Black Mirror. Like most great science fiction, it’s not mere entertainment, but a way to make us reconsider how we live our own lives. Even if that just means deleting Snapchat.

-Devin Wilger 

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