Doctor Who: redacted BBC Sounds
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I’m far from a hands-up Whovian and had vaguely assumed that the new podcast Doctor Who: redacted was one of those television spin-off affairs, where enthusiasts discuss the latest episode of a hit television series. But no! Redactednow in its fourth episode, is a fun and engaging drama series that features the current Doctor – we hear him leaving a distressing message early on – along with other familiar characters who characters. Importantly, though, it doesn’t put them center stage.
Instead, our main characters are Cleo, Abby, and Shawna, uni-dropout pals and hosts of a mysterious investigative podcast called “The Blue Box Files,” which explores the many sightings of a strange old post. police during unusual events in history. The action mainly focuses on Cleo, a young trans woman, played by the funny and charismatic Charlie Craggs: “Oh, come on, I don’t know anything! I’m just here for the nerve! she announces when asked to interview a journalist. But Cleo quickly becomes the most insightful person on what’s going on, which is, so far, the disappearance of everything and anyone to do with Doctor Who. No one seems to remember ever seeing the Doctor, and people associated with him (or him, once) keep disappearing. A news report says a boy named Ryan Sinclair and his grandfather are missing (former traveling buddies of the Doctor); soon after, everyone completely forgets about them.
Written by YA novelist Juno Dawson and directed by queen of audio fiction Ella Watts, the action in Redacted lickety separates, driven by spirited performances and excellent sound design. Plus, it’s so much fun! Like all the best Doctor Who TV episodes, there is a psychological element, a few jokes and, above all, there who-action-esque. In the second episode, Cleo and her brother Jordan find themselves witnessing what appears to be a live hologram of who the character Rani Chandra is attacked by a “all humans must die” monster. A few minutes later, they turn around to find that an entire hotel has disappeared. It’s extremely entertaining stuff (I prefer Redacted aware Doctor Who TV series), ideal for family trips. And there aren’t many shows you can say that about.
Another upbeat new show is a revamp of the BBC Disability Podcast, Ouch!. Now called Access all, it is hosted by Nikki Fox, with journalist Emma Tracey. Fox uses a wheelchair, Tracey is blind, and their journalism has humor and insight into the struggles and triumphs of their interviewees. The opening episode was awesome: informative and moving. It featured a pretty sweet interview with Pastry shop semi-finalist Briony May Williams and a more interesting conversation with Dale, a gym instructor who decided to cater specifically for people with disabilities. He describes the teaching of tennis to school children and realizes that a girl in a wheelchair, who is always entrusted with the position of referee, can play as well as the other children: “She was not handicapped by his disability; she could not participate because she never had any support.
Also, and most importantly, we heard from two people who spoke about how rising energy costs were destroying their ability to care for their disabled children. A father, Dan, understandably got upset. Her daughter, Emily, needs various heavy equipment, including a fan, to plug in and run for hours a day. Due to soaring electricity prices, he had to turn off Emily’s winch and the door between the bed, shower and wheelchair. I thought of Dan when I heard Nick Robinson interview Conservative Minister George Eustice on Today Wednesday. Reducing household spending isn’t just about deciding to go for Tesco’s Value range – as if people aren’t buying that already – it’s about making decisions like this. Hoist or fan? Heat or eat? Dan blows the hair dryer on Emily’s feet every night before putting on his socks, since he can’t afford to heat the house.
If you want to increase your disbelieving rage even more, then try will be wildanother fine survey from Pineapple Street Studios for Wondery and Amazon Music (the combo that brought us the excellent 9/12). The podcast uses the invasion of the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021 as its kickoff, analyzing not just why such a shocking event happened, but how it was authorized. The information he uncovers is wild indeed. An interviewee informs us that he and others notified the Department of Homeland Security that such an event was likely to occur… and nothing happened. When another DHS employee wrote a report outlining the threat of domestic terrorism from right-wing extremists, he was forced from his job. will be wild made it clear that January 6 was not an end, but a stage. Seriously gripping.