Obdormio.com Unwasted Hours

27 February, 2012

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Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — Obdormio @ 00:00

This is visually spectacular!

– Mechanic #2.

Recently, while waiting for my next Audible credit to come through, I have been listening a good deal to the Thrilling Adventure Hour podcast. The Thrilling Adventure Hour is really a monthly live show, featuring various performers from Hollywood – some I’ve heard of, some I haven’t – doing a pastiche of 1940s radio serials. The podcast version takes some of the regular segments of the show and puts each in a little episode of its own. I imagine the live version has some bits us podcast people don’t get to hear, but that’s all right – what we do get is more than fun enough.

The podcast, as I said, gives us a different regular feature of the show each episode. I haven’t listened to all available episodes yet, I am only up to number 38, so I have not sampled all the regular features, and some less than others. Amelia Earhart, Fearless Flier is still a couple of episodes away from appearing, and I have only heard two episodes of The Cross-Time Adventures of Colonel Tick-Tock. Actually, looking at the list in iTunes, I should have heard an Earhart episode – maybe I accidentally skipped it?

It’s time to send the little ones to dreamland, and set your radio’s dial … to spooky!

– Narrator, Beyond Belief.

Anyway, I have been listening to the first 38 or so episodes. The bits that seem most frequent – without doing anything so scientific as to count and see if that’s the case – are Beyond Belief and Sparks Nevada, Marshal on Mars. These also happen to be my favourites. Beyond Belief stars Frank and Sadie Doyle, the upper-class mediums who are really only interested in spirits you can drink, while Sparks Nevada follows the eponymous hero in his effort to keep the peace on the new frontier. Up until now, Sparks Nevada has held my number one spot. I particularly enjoy the character of Crouch the Martian tracker, and his interplay with Nevada. I have recently gotten more and more fond of the Doyles as well, however, and the good marshal will have to work at it to keep the top spot.

 When crime appears upon the scene, so does Captain Laserbeam!

– Captain Laserbeam.

The quality of the segments vary a bit, in my opinion, but I guess that could also be described as a feature – “something for every taste, etc”. I like the utterly formulaic, and yet somehow always funny Adventures of Captain Laserbeam, and I find the millionaire-turned-hobo antics of Down in Moonshine Holler amusing enough. The Cross-Time Adventures of Colonel Tick-Tock has a great concept, and an even better theme song, but the execution has left something to be wanted in the couple of episodes I have heard so far. And they don’t even sing the full version of the theme! Speaking of themes, I should say that all the theme songs in this show are really, really well done. Even on the low end of the scale, where Nathan Fillion is completely wasted on the utterly bland Jefferson Reid, Ace American, and I’ve taken to skipping entirely the Tales from the Black Lagoon, I can say nothing against the music.

I don’t really have any basis to compare with when it comes to 1940s radio, but this sure sounds like what I imagine 1940s radio to be, which seems to be the more important goal to reach in this day and age. More than that, it is actually hilarious, beyond the joke of the pastiche itself. Good characters, great concepts, excellent actors and some wonderful music thrown on top. If you like comedy at all, go have a listen.

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