TANIS: Episode 212: We Get What We Deserve (Season 2 Wrap Up Thread)
November 10, 2016 5:47 AM - Subscribe

In the Season Two finale, Nic continues to try and find Geoff and decipher the mysteries of both the Poeticon Astronomicon and the Voynich Manuscript, before his meeting with Veronika, Nathanial Carter and whatever mysteries lie at the center of Tanis. (Season 2 Wrap Up Thread)
posted by robocop is bleeding (4 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I have a fan theory on the nature of TANIS:

I've been reading Dragons of Spring Dawning by Weiss and Hickman. This is the third book of a 1985 D&D trilogy starring a half elf named Tanis. There is another character named Caramon, another similar name, this time to John Corramon. Ok so we have our hints to look over thisaways.

In this book, Tanis and companions get caught in a maelstrom slowly pulling them to the center of a lake. But the maelstrom has a calm at the center. After the ship is pulled into the calm, there's this passage:
Once more, Tanis looked around their strange surroundings. They were in a room of an obviously ancient building, lit with a soft eerie light that seemed to come from the moss that covered the walls like tapestry. The furniture was as old as the building and in battered, shabby condition...

For every time they ventured forth, the narrow, dimly lit hallways always led them inexplicably back to this room.
So I think TANIS is a calm at the center of a reality storm (like the one featured in Gaiman's Worlds' End). It is pulling Nic in.
posted by Jorus at 6:10 AM on November 10, 2016

I generally love both Tanis and TBT (and I've backed the former on patreon), but I'm really disappointed with how the season wound up. Compared to season 1 it felt like an ugly, pointless, meandering mess. The ending was a cliffhanger that the rest of the season did not earn.
posted by Itaxpica at 6:19 AM on November 10, 2016

I agree that TANIS the thing/place/concept has its own gravity that "pulls" people in to it. My take is that it is a hole in the universe - at best a pressure valve, at worst a leak - that drains our here to.... somewhere.

Some of its features are bound by the conceits of the podcast - it has to move because it has to be in the pacific northwest because all their acting talent sounds like they're from the pacific northwest. Imagine Cameron Ellis trying to sound Egyptian *shudder*. It does weird stuff because the podcast is about weird stuff. It has rituals and refrains because the story needs them. That's all okay, mind you, it's the nature of the thing.

The podcast is also a magpie of a certain flavor of fringe pop culture, which on the one hand is cool, but on the other if you're already familiar with this stuff then you can guess the story beats. The Voynich Manuscript, for example, the moment that thing was mentioned I knew where it was going because OF COURSE it has something to be deciphered. Same thing with Jack Parsons, etc. They have to be aware of Tanis Halfelven (there's a D&D ref in the first season) because before they podcast launched, a google for Tanis got him or a city in Egypt.

The second seasons of all the PNWS stories are weak, mainly because they are trying to filter what worked for the first. In the first season, there's a lot of Throw It Against The Wall And See What Sticks which leaves the second seasons to do the heavy lifting of tying everything together, so you end up with a lot of "here's what we know we know" circular questioning/summaries. The bright parts are when they actually try to create their own thing - I like the Eld Fen parts and wish they were their own podcast - the sad parts are when they try to namedrop based on googling (every time they mention August Derleth in the same breath as Lovecraft).

All that said, I know from trying I could not do any better. I have a few ideas that I think would work well in this sort of format, but the work involved in recording and mixing! Whew. No wonder they have to skimp on the research sometimes!
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:33 AM on November 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

Yes, I like the imagery of the valve or the leak.

I'm looking forward to season 3.
posted by Jorus at 6:44 AM on November 10, 2016

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