The Cambridge Geek

We Fix Space Junk

Samantha Trapp is a social media princess. Her family owns multiple planets in the Earth's far future, with a corporate empire that spreads throughout the galaxy.

Unfortunately, she's also a recent prison escapee, having been accused of the murder of several people. She's innocent, but that doesn't really keep the bounty hunters from going after the massive price on her head.

That's how she ends up on Kilner's ship, heading as far away as possible, keeping as low a profile as possible. Kilner is the definition of low profile. She's a repair technician for Automnicon, the Orwellian super corporation that owns her. She's an indentured servant, paying off a loan in the millions of credits, which only gets larger every time she needs another cyborg implant. (She has a lot of industrial accidents.)

To supplement her meagre income, she has a sideline in smuggling, which is where Sam comes in. (Admittedly in a crate.) The two of them are now stuck with each other, and have to travel the galaxy (often frozen for six months en route to the next job) making minor repairs and trying not to drive each other insane. You can draw a lot of parallels with Red Dwarf, and the humour in this feels similar to a lot of that.

This will do you a lot more aliens however. There's super-evolved popcorn. There's evil AI. There's the hive monsters, who are perfectly happy to deposit their larvae in you, such that you get consumed on their way out. (These also have an excellent war song, which is impressively buzzy.) And there's a few more human concerns, like prison planets, and old romantic flames forever bringing trouble along with them.

Kilner and Sam are a strong double act, with Sam's naive but feisty cheering up Kilner's ancient and cynical. (Due to the effects of cryo, Kilner is...old. It's impolite to ask a woman how many years they've been alive, but I'm guessing it's a lot.) And they're bouncing around a universe that has a proper corporate dystopia feel. Automnicon literally owns them, and isn't against charging them hideous rates for basic necessities. It's your standard updating of the company store, but with the twist that the store can now talk to you via horrible voice synthesizers.

Very short episodes, such that you can get through the first season in under a couple of hours. It probably bears a re-listen, but I'm more likely to charge on to the next season. Very good sound quality, and has a pleasingly 80s-ish theme, that put me in mind of Blake's 7, another series you can compare it to. God, I hope it doesn't end like that.

A very cheerful podcast in the main, with some nice occasional terror, and more depth than might be initially obvious. Also, when you discover why the ship's called Yellow Submarine, you'll be amused.

Score 5

Tagged: Audio fiction Comedy Cast Sitcom Science fiction Serial