Archive 81: Episode 1: A Body In A New Place
April 20, 2016 9:58 AM - Subscribe

"A few weeks ago, my friend Daniel Powell disappeared. Before he vanished, he sent me hours and hours of audio he’d collected while working as an archivist for the HHCNYS. The tapes are… strange. I’m not entirely sure if they’re real or not, but I’m posting them in the hope that someone can tell me what’s happened to Dan." In the spirit of The Black Tapes, Limetown, and The Message comes Archive 81.

Episode 1: The enigmatic Mr. Davenport leads a tour of Archive 81. Melody fails to interview a member of a historical society. And Dan is unable to prevent the destruction of a tape.
posted by robocop is bleeding (7 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Yessss, thank you for the heads up on this, this is my exact favorite genre of podcast!
posted by yasaman at 12:10 PM on April 20, 2016

I'm trying not to form an opinion so early, but this seemed extremely similar to The Black Tapes (and especially Tanis) in terms of dialogue and Limetown in... plot and execution? After the first tape Dan just offers a lame, that was weird and the second tape-within-the-tape where Melody fumblingly interviewed Jacob seemed lifted straight out of Lia Haddock's first interview with a Limetown survivor.

I'm hoping there won't be too much reliance on the ruined tape sound effects. Stacks of unlabelled and unsorted tapes seems like enough of a plot device for maintaining the mystery without needing to rely on a machine that conveniently only mangles the interesting part of every tape.
posted by books for weapons at 1:40 PM on April 20, 2016

Ok I've listened to the first couple episodes now, and I agree that it's very much Tanis and Limetown whirled together in a blender, but I mean, I don't see a problem with that? Possibly just because I'm a big fan of the "ominous found footage" and "investigating creepy shit" genre, so I am here for every variation of it. Also, the voice acting is way better than TBT and Tanis so far. The production in general sounds a notch higher than TBT and Tanis, if not quite as good as Limetown.

Dan does remind of Nic from Tanis though. Dan at least has some reason to just go "that's weird," his literal job isn't investigating weird shit. I can roll with Nic being a sweet, credulous summer child characterization-wise, but it frequently does bug me in the context of his job. Dan at least is just some random archivist/librarian who has no reason to immediately start theorizing or investigating about wtf is going on.
posted by yasaman at 2:41 PM on April 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

I like how at some points we're listening to a recording of a recording of a recording of a recording. When that happens, I check to see if the top is still spinning.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 3:59 PM on April 20, 2016 [3 favorites]

I'm not sold on it yet, but I didn't hate it. The "Keep your recorder on at all times" conceit is at least better than TBT/Tanis's often-horrible attempts to justify why something is or isn't on tape.
posted by Etrigan at 6:31 AM on April 21, 2016 [2 favorites]

How to handle the "recordings" is a big piece that these podcasts have to get out of the way first. If you don't stick that (like, say, The Message) then you end up with a lot of TBT/TANIS fumbling. Limetown does an okay job (recordings stay on because Lisa is getting increasingly paranoid) and Alice Isn't Dead needs to work on the transitions between truck monologues and A Thing Done Happened events.

I'd love to be able to discuss these podcasts as a set, but there are not many good articles out there at the moment for a FPP to spark it all off. The only recent happening is Lore getting optioned for TV by The Walking Dead producers.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:24 AM on April 21, 2016

Okay, I'm listening. My all-time favorite of this type of thing is Limetown, followed by TBT. I'm enthusiastic about the eventual return of both.

1. The big deal the government guy made about getting the compliance language right: Maybe this is a sort of The Ring scenario where whatever power behind the tapes needs willing listeners? Is that why the listening station is so remote?
2. I'm not keen yet on Melody's delivery. I thought Dan's was so natural, Jacob's too, and Melody has a great voice but sounds like she was reading, which took me out of the story a little.
3. Curious about Jacob's relationship to Samuel, and why he's so protective. The thing about speaking through him was a weird point.
posted by mochapickle at 9:43 AM on April 21, 2016

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