The Strange Case of Springheel’d Jack Series One

The first episode of this award winning audio drama from the Wireless Theater Company takes an urban legend and twists it into a wonderfully horrific adventure with a bit of an issue with tone. The story is a bit schizophrenic, unsure of what it wants to be. The opening scene and the final one are practically from two different stories in terms of their style and subject matter.

There’s a certain “Neverwhere” vibe coming from the production value as well as the story. The villains act very much like Mr. Croup and Vandemar from the audio adaption of Neil Gaiman’s story about the setting underneath London.

Episode two has a much better time of getting the listener hooked. The amount of twists and turns is just right and by no means convoluted. Where the first episode fails, the second episode uses those traits to springboard off of and takes you by the horns for a wild and fun thirty minutes.

The third episode, like episode one, was hard to find rooting interest in anything. While it shares similarities with Neverwhere: Victorian England and the “Mr. Croup and Vandemar” plot device, the final episode of the series one of this show lacks the power of increasing tension and twists found in episode two.

This may be a case of the ending leaving a bad taste in the mouth. It’s an excellent story idea. The acting and sound effects are great, so it’s not the execution of the idea that’s the problem. Another listen is merited, because I feel I must’ve missed something. But for now I give my rating.

4/5 Stars

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