Welcome to Glasgow, Scotland – Hell’s Darkest Pit. Sort of. Honestly, it’s just not as great as Delhi from the viewpoint of a Victorian occultist with a taste for the ‘fleshpots’ and his drink.
Some podcasts have to work to win me over, some I like from the first episode. Those sketchy Victorian tentacle sorts got me from the beginning. The story opens with Doctor Cadwallader facing a tribunal for, uh, -reasons- and ends with him being shipped off with the two assigned to help him. If you were ever lacking for insults about Glasgow, rest assured before the fifteen minute mark is passed, many will be added to your list.
There are a few sound issues or at least there is to someone with some hearing loss like I have. The street scenes are the ones that cause me the most problems, but I’m pretty sure it’s the sound switching from side to side versus any flaws in the podcast. Someone can verify they’re fine, and it’s just me? The other sound effects and music don’t run into the speaking parts which always gets praise from me. The music itself is wonderful and sets the mood/time that is being represented. The bag pipes in episode 1? Brilliant.
The voice acting is choice, especially considering the amount of accents, social classes and Victorian gender roles being thrown about… which is all part of this podcast’s charm. The men try to think of the women as helpless soft things while firmly ignoring the fact that they’re running the show or more than capable of trouncing them.
The writing is sharp and interesting, making the jokes but also advancing the plot. I found myself looking up places and people to find out if they had been real with how well the story was being told. History and fiction are blended together that well so far that you might not be sure which is which either.
A bit of an inside joke – ‘The Incident‘ had me trying to stifle a smile each time and led others to think I might have been having an attack of some sort. Thanks all. Love looking stupider than usual in public.
I did find one problem with their website ( http://www.hunterhoose.co.uk/ ) You’ll get the joke about the website after you hear Mr Gillespie. On the home page, all the links are broken. The website itself is a nice touch. It gives a lot of background information on the places and people mentioned for those of us who have never been to Glasgow.
In the end, ‘Tales from the Aletheian Society‘ is smart and funny with a touch of the horror/suspense to keep a fan of darker things interested. They only have five episodes (25-30 mins each) out so far, so if you’re looking for a new podcast to get into, this could be for you.