For Your Listening Pleasure: Radio Dramas to Stimulate the Mind

Welcome and step right in. Rolling Boxcars has a new article series called “For Your Listening Pleasure”. In this new series, I’ll showcase my favorite podcasts and radio dramas; admittedly I lean heavily towards radio dramas. So, sit back, stay awhile and I hope you find some listening pleasures.

Since my childhood, I have enjoyed radio dramas that I would listen to on the radio, cassette tape, or even the occasional record. Today’s podcasts fall line with those other mediums and I still can’t seem to get enough of them. There are so many great podcasts out there to listen too. I’d like to bring to your attention, three that deserve some extra praise. Each is a fine example of amazing scriptwriting and immersive experience.

Campfire Radio Theater – Campfire Radio Theater brings to life some amazingly creepy tales. The likes of which I have not encountered in other podcasts. The series was inspired by radio dramas broadcasted in the 80s on National Public Radio (NPR). Each episode features a unique story that’s well written, immersive, and may make your skin crawl. “Whispers from Hell”, in particular, stood out for it truly made my skin crawl.

The Case of Charles Dexter Ward & The Whisperer in the Darkness – The series’s name is slightly misleading. In fact, it is currently listed on podcast servers as “Whisperer in the Darkness”. This is actually the second chapter in an ongoing story. Chapter 1, “The Case of Charles Dexter Ward” was awesome in its own right, but chapter 2 is far more dynamic and amazing! Each chapter features a radio drama adaptation of one of H.P. Lovecraft’s works skillfully linked together. These are not straight narrations in any way, but rather modern reimaginings of the original stories for today’s listeners. The series is professionally produced and released by BBC Radio 4.

Bubble – This interesting story is presented in a non-traditional way; part classic radio drama and part narrator led story. The central premise of this 8-part story is about a small band of monster killers who struggle to make ends meet, in a weird utopian version of a gig economy. Bubble capitalizes on thematically incorporating endless hipster cliches that keep listeners silently chuckling to themselves. Produced by Maximum Fun, it is very well done, but not up to the same standards as the other dramas presented here. That aside, the story is great, the hipster references are fun, and it’s a joy to listen to.

Do you have a favorite radio drama podcast, or any podcast for that matter, that you’d like me to checkout? Leave a comment and a link to your favorite(s) and I will give each a listen. If I enjoy them, I will add them to our curated list of Podcasts We Love. I also will feature each in a future article in this series; you’ll get a shout out too for your recommendation.

~ Modoc

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