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Turn on, tune in, drop out

December 18, 2009

With the temperatures even here in Southern Finland dropping to a frisky -15°C, indoor activities are more than welcome. Movies are great, painting is fun and games are awesome. Despite all that stuff, I’m always more or less on the lookout for anything interesting, and it occasionally pays off.

Tonight I was delighted to run into something I’ve never even thought about: zombie-themed radio theatre. Radio theatre’s always had a kind of a mysterious soft spot in my heart. Having never really understood it as a kid growing up in the 80s and 90s, I’ve only recently come to understand its potential. Like a good book, it evokes the imagination with a combination of dialogue and sound effects, which makes for an experience very different from the one offered by movies for example. It’s nice to see this art form kept alive in these modern internet times. In this case, we’re talking about a free podcast.

We’re Alive is a pretty traditional setup. Small riots turn into a massive catastrophe, and small people – in this case a group of three soldiers – try to survive in all the surrounding chaos. As they go, they meet and pick up other survivors, leading to all kinds of drama.

In my opinion, the drama is acted out well enough, even if we’re not talking Hollywood quality. I especially like the actor doing the narration, but the others pull their load too, the actors managing to build their characters up within the confines of radio drama. The dialogue is solid enough not to make the listener wince, and the story – even if it repeats a lot of clichés of the zombie genre – makes for atmospheric and suspenseful listening. Of course, since we’re not talking about a massive budget, you’re going to have to suspend disbelief a bit and just enjoy We’re Alive like you would an old fashioned ghost story. Just let your imagination fill in the blanks.

The story is usually updated every Monday, and has been running since May 2009. Every episode is around 10-20 minutes long, which is just about right. The length is also perfect in sparking that “maybe I’ll listen to just one more” feeling, which suckers me in every time.

Listen to We’re Alive at http://thezombiepodcast.com.

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