Podcasting has been used to great effect to promote independent music and musicians. It’s been used to promote various political opinions and ideologies. And it’s being used by various religious groups to “spread the word.” Corporations are making use of podcasting to promote their products. Many news outlets used podcasts to extend their Olympic coverage. NPR is podcasting in a big way. What else can there be?
Some out there may remember the days before television, when radio ruled. Others, like me, have heard about “the good old days” of radio. And now, with the advent of podcasting, the radio drama is making a comeback.
I’m using drama, of course, to include any theatrical performance on the radio, whether comedy, mystery, or actual serial drama. And there are a LOT of these types of podcasts out there, in many different genres, that people aren’t aware of.
I’m not talking about podcast novels; there is a difference here, though it’s often slight. Novels that are podcasted are different in tone than dramatic serials, especially when it comes to exposition and narration. The podcasts that I’m talking about are true to the tradition of the ’20s, ’30s, and ’40s radio serials.
The latest addition to the fold is the much-promoted Silent Universe podcast. It tells the story of a future gone wrong; the peace and harmony that was supposed to come with space travel didn’t materialize. Mercenaries and megacorporations rule the day. The first episode of Silent Universe aired on February 15, and the second is in final production right now. Fans of sci-fi should not miss this podcast.
There are more, though. Decoder Ring Theatre produces two podcasts, both set in the 1930s. Black Jack Justice tells the story of hardboiled gumshoe Jack Justice and his partner, Trixie Dixon, Girl Detective. The style is very much in keeping with the style of the 1930s detective serials, right down to the sound effects used. The other serial that Decoder Ring Theater produces, The Red Panda Adventures, is a superhero serial set in the same time period in Canada. This one is unfortunaltely on hiatus until April. Both are certainly worth downloading and listening to. And who can forget The Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd? This is a radio serial in the classic sense of the word. There are a lot of people who are re-creating the feel of the Golden Age of Radio.
There are also some podcasts that broadcast actual 1930s radio serials. The Adventures of Superman is one such podcast; Speed Gibson Of The International Secret Police is another. These types of podcasts are fascinating looks back at another time.
The best resource for these types of podcasts, both classic and modern, is Dramapod. There are directories for each genre of radio drama, and a voting system so that you can see which podcasts are, if not the best, at least the most popular.
Podcasting has a lot of potential, and creative people are using it for some very creative purposes. Go check out a dramatic podcast today – you won’t be sorry!Powered by Sidelines