The Cambridge Geek

The Monster Hunters

The past is a scary place. It has mythical horrors that rampage through the night, ravishing young women, eating your children, and putting insufficient postage on letters. These freaks of nature, whether they be vampire, werewolf, mummy or zombie have hunted mankind through all of its history, and become legends to scare people with.

But this is the modern era, the hip, up to date, totally rational 1970s. There's no place in society for these hysterical monsters. Which is why Sir Maxwell House has assembled a cosmic team from two of the most available heroes he can find.

There's Roy Steel, lady's man and complete charmer, with his incredible powers of punching and...doing some punching. And there's Lorrimer Chesterfield, a man who's read more books than you've had hot dinners. And cold dinners. And possibly sandwiches. He's clever, alright?

Together, they are The Monster Hunters. They hunt monsters. And then punch them. With mystical knowledge. In the face.

This falls into the genre I've just pretended to invent, called "cleverly stupid". It's a very silly show, with the characters sitting comfortably in stereotype, while playing them up enough that it doesn't feel hackneyed. Steel is constantly on the prowl for young women, but inevitably fails due to his overconfidence and the fact that leching is never actually that appealing. Chesterfield finds himself unexpectedly attracting romantic attempts and pulls off the shy academic perfectly.

And they end up in some enjoyably daft scenarios. There's vampires at the disco. There's werewolves who run across the moors. (Honestly, the country house involved isn't called Baskerville House.) There's an evil hand, which is determined to attach itself to an evil arm. And there's a mysterious nemesis in the background with an ominous motive.

Imagine the Persuaders crossed with Hammer Horror and you're partway there. They've performed the very impressive trick of taking a spoof and turning it into a full series, and I really mean a full series. The original run of this had three seasons and a whole bunch of specials. They're slowly releasing the entire lot again as a new podcast. (And if they're fiscally wise, they'll probably hide a few of the specials behind a "give us money" button. I would give them money.)

It's got a sweet soundtrack, with music that fits beautifully with the intended time period, and since it's made by professionals, you can't fault the sound design or acting. (They've got the voices spot on, though that does occasionally mean I think Matt Berry has turned up. You can hear the moustaches.) And it's got a script that has more attempts at bad one-liners than you can shake a stick at. Luckily, it manages to be hilarious regardless.

Overall, lovely. Give it a listen.

Score 5

Tagged: Audio fiction Comedy Cast Sitcom Horror Serial