RogerBW's Blog

The Whisperer in Darkness 23 December 2019

2019 audio drama, adapted in eight parts by Julian Simpson from the story by H. P. Lovecraft. Henry Akeley has vanished from his home near Rendlesham Forest, and the podcasters investigate.

As with the previous Julian Simpson production of The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, the story's been not just updated to the modern day, transplanted to England, and converted to an audio drama, but essentially rewritten from scratch using the original as inspiration.

Things do carry on from that previous production, though; there are some reminders of what went on, but quite a few names from before are mentioned in passing and it's a good idea to know what they signify. If you can, listen to that before listening to this.

So yes, there are ultimately Mi-Go here (though not as they were in the original story), but there's also the Rendlesham Forest Incident of 1980, EVP, the Babalon Working, and stranger things; but also ECHELON and other contacts with the creepier parts of the real world. There's an interesting hierarchy of Lovecraftiana which explains at least some of the cultic attitude, which I think works quite well… though things do get a bit Derlethian at times, with a second conspiracy opposed to the cultists that are trying to summon Elder Gods in order to gain power and wealth and so on.

I suppose that's inevitable: if only one side has the establishment supporting it, it's hard for heroic investigators to make much progress (especially when they aren't particularly heroic, or at least aren't as carefree as most player characters). For GMs looking for motivation for their investigators, this adaptation does a good job of striking the balance between "we can see that this is clearly very dangerous" and "we almost know enough to make a difference".

There's a large cast; I found this version of Albert Wilmarth particularly interesting, as the local vicar and one of the few people to have known Akeley at all well before his disappearance.

All in all, highly recommended as a continuation of the story; this time things have been left more open for a possible sequel, and I hope that it's made.

The Whisperer in Darkness is available via the BBC. (If you don't have get_iplayer, you can apparently download it via the BBC Sounds app.)

See also:
The Case of Charles Dexter Ward

Comments on this post are now closed. If you have particular grounds for adding a late comment, comment on a more recent post quoting the URL of this one.

Tags 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s 3d printing action advent of code aeronautics aikakirja anecdote animation anime army astronomy audio audio tech aviation base commerce battletech beer boardgaming book of the week bookmonth chain of command children chris chronicle church of no redeeming virtues cold war comedy computing contemporary cornish smuggler cosmic encounter coup covid-19 crime crystal cthulhu eternal cycling dead of winter doctor who documentary drama driving drone ecchi economics en garde espionage essen 2015 essen 2016 essen 2017 essen 2018 essen 2019 essen 2022 essen 2023 existential risk falklands war fandom fanfic fantasy feminism film firefly first world war flash point flight simulation food garmin drive gazebo genesys geocaching geodata gin gkp gurps gurps 101 gus harpoon historical history horror hugo 2014 hugo 2015 hugo 2016 hugo 2017 hugo 2018 hugo 2019 hugo 2020 hugo 2021 hugo 2022 hugo 2023 hugo 2024 hugo-nebula reread in brief avoid instrumented life javascript julian simpson julie enfield kickstarter kotlin learn to play leaving earth linux liquor lovecraftiana lua mecha men with beards mpd museum music mystery naval noir non-fiction one for the brow opera parody paul temple perl perl weekly challenge photography podcast politics postscript powers prediction privacy project woolsack pyracantha python quantum rail raku ranting raspberry pi reading reading boardgames social real life restaurant reviews romance rpg a day rpgs ruby rust scala science fiction scythe second world war security shipwreck simutrans smartphone south atlantic war squaddies stationery steampunk stuarts suburbia superheroes suspense television the resistance the weekly challenge thirsty meeples thriller tin soldier torg toys trailers travel type 26 type 31 type 45 vietnam war war wargaming weather wives and sweethearts writing about writing x-wing young adult
Special All book reviews, All film reviews
Produced by aikakirja v0.1