Professor Hoyt’s Remarkable Elixir and Thanks for the Memories

Thanks for the Memories

A interesting premise where the how isn’t really answered. We understand when and why it happens, but not the scientific or fantastical elements that cause it. There’s no cause and effect. The verisimilitude of the story was good enough that I never asked the standard who, what, where, when, how and why questions. In fact I was so engrossed by the story that it was the last thing on my mind.

The premise is that someone has the ability to take someones memories. One of the catches is it has to mutual (there are more that are explained later on). The person has to willingly give his memories to this person. I mentioned before that the big question never entered my mind, but one question that did plague my thoughts was why was the age so important. It wouldn’t have crossed me if the protagonist didn’t make such a big deal of it.

I’m writing this review a few weeks after listening to the episode so maybe it was explained. I just didn’t hear it or remember it. Maybe the author, Mike Murphy didn’t think it was important? Whatever the case may be, it’s just a minor complaint.

Another element I noticed, and I do this in my own writing, was that this man’s unique ability had rules that seemed to come out of nowhere and seemed like reasons added in to have the story make sense. Like I said I do the same thing in my own work and other works of fiction, such as the movie Inception, have similarly complex plots that they need to be explained otherwise the reader, listener or watcher is taken out of the story and starts asking questions. It’s ultimately up to the writer to decide what elements to leave out, but he/she has to make sure it makes sense within the confides of the story.

I think its a fine line and Mike Murphy walks it very carefully.

Episode 8

Professor Hoyt’s Remarkable Elixir

The conflict and the relationship between the characters was very original and creative. People bringing someone back from the dead is common, almost a cliche if not done properly. But, writer Mike Murphy adds in an element of film noir. The particular film that jumps to mind is Double Indemnity. Murphy combines two very common plot threads into something entirely new.

It just goes to show that a story can come from anywhere.

Episode 9

Robots of the Company Episode 1

Story/Script

The story is an interesting one. The pacing was perfect for a comedy series. Not a lot of tension, except towards the end. I laughed a bit, but I don’t think the writer was going for a straight out comedy otherwise I would’ve laughed non-stop. For those who know me in person I laugh at just about anything. So there were serious and dramatic bits that seemed to overpower the comedic ones. I thought of it more of as a sitcom that I laughed at the jokes, but the characters didn’t rub off on me. Not to say that the characters aren’t likable, it’s that it has that feel. There are a lot of sitcoms old and present that have one-dimensional characters, but the humor it there. Sort of the best of bits, for me at least, wrapped into one series. I also loved the idea of an all-powerful company in a non-thriller kind of story. It was a nice twist.

Production/Mixing

The production value was great, not much I can comment on that stuck out. The music during the narration bits felt like it was made it for it. Nice sound effects, though some instances where they lasted longer. It was like the floating head syndrome, but with sound effects instead of actors.

Acting

I was shocked when I learned who some of the voices belonged to. I was very impressed that some actors I knew from other production companies could do such talented things with their voice. Good job to everyone.

Lilith’s Children

Story/Script

The story was confusing, but the script was alright. The reason it’s confusing is because it feels like just a bunch of scenes pasted next to each other that ramps up the tension, but ends on a cliffhanger. Which isn’t a bad thing, but a nice arc for a few scenes would have been nice. It seemed like every scene new characters were introduced. This additive process then repeats itself until the episode’s ending. It doesn’t answer any questions, merely adds more characters to a plot. And to me that’s not pacing that’s just structured scenes.

Production/Mixing

Mixing was good. Didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary. Loved the theme song. My only complaint, and this could go in anyone of the three categories, is that the character’s sound too similar. This only added to my “feeling” of confusion, as I’ve stated above. And let me reiterate that this is just the feeling I get, not actual mistakes in the story itself. I’m sure with a second listen I could catch all the parts I’ve missed, but if you don’t get the audience interested the first time it’s damn near impossible to get them to re-listen.

Acting

The acting was good, but added to my confusion of the story. A lot of the voices sounded too similar. One actor in particular, I won’t mention a name, fooled me into thinking he was acting and not reading the lines in a different voice. I’ve been known to do this myself and I’m not sure whether that’s a good thing or bad thing as people say that acting and deception/lying are often synonymous. That being said it really didn’t bother me until the last few sentences of the character before the scene ended.

The G-Files Episode 1: “The Kings Prerogative”

Story/Script

The first episode of an X-files type show was both interesting and possibly based off of a famous person in English History. I’m referring to King Henry VIII, the English pimp… I mean monarch who had six wives. That period of English history is one of my favorites to learn about. So, as the story progressed, I was treating it more and more as a “what-if” story, which is the basis for a lot of fantasy and science fiction these days. But, this isn’t either of those genres. It’s quite dark and gritty, which I’ve come to expect from Michael Murphy’s scripts. I really enjoy his work and this piece is no different.

There are a few minor things I have a problem with and maybe there is a reason for it and I’m just not getting it. Below, in the “acting” section of this post, I posted a critique/comment about a performance. Read that and you’ll see what I mean. But, like I said, maybe I just missed something and it does make sense.

The ending was kind of abrupt. It didn’t really end in a satisfying way. It left me wanting more, which is good, but at the same time I was kind of disappointed that it was over so suddenly. But I guess some people like endings like that. I’m just not one of them.

Production/Mixing

Overall I was impressed with the pacing of the dialogue. But, there seemed to be a long pause in between the first and second scene. A pause that I believe was not really needed and way to noticeable. The reason I don’t think it was needed is because it’s just a continuation of the previous scene. It would be the equivalent of reading chapter in a book that ended as a partial cliff hangar, “he opened the box and saw…”, and then the following chapter continues that sentence. It’s a trick that took me out of the world, because it was too long and had me asking why would they do that?

Other than that little nitpick I enjoyed the production value. Having once mixed episodes of an audio drama myself, I know it’s hard to get pacing right when the lines you receive don’t always flow with the other ones. But despite this setback that is common among almost all online audio drama groups, the mixer did the best they could. And that’s all I, or anyone can ask of them.

Acting

The acting was good all around. But the scene where the King “finds” out about the death of the Queen kind of confused me as I thought they added another character. H Keith Lyon’s performance as the guard is great, but during that scene he had a completely different voice that was more nasally. I’m not sure if it was to show panic. If that was the case I would believe it. However, when the guard talks to the king about Prag and the Kings prerogative, it sounded like he knew about the plan all along. I’m not saying that H Keith Lyons performance was bad, far from it. I was just confused as to why there was a sudden change in his voice. At first listen I thought it was an entirely new character, maybe it was? The credits on the company website mentioned a voice in the hall. I suppose the argument could be made that there was more than one guard in the Queen’s chambers after the murder.

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