The Cambridge Geek

Gamma Radio

Radio. Radio never changes.

Fog and Dave run Good Vibes, a radio station, in a world that's had a few more nuclear bombs dropped on it than you really want. Which translates into it being effectively Fallout. Yep, the game. And brilliantly, you can actually install the series as a mod for Fallout 4 so you can listen to it in-game, which is hilariously meta.

Anyway, we're obviously in fictional show territory here. The idea is that this is a real programme being broadcast, and we just happen to be listening in to the only station still transmitting from a post-apocalyptic wasteland. So there's phone-ins, competitions (poetry and otherwise), special guests, live broadcasts from the outdoors and the necessary silly adverts.

This both sits nicely in the Fallout style, but also has an impressively British feel to it, with no small number of references that will delight Brits and potentially confuse others.

These tend to stem from the fact that history got a bit muddled between BBB and ABB. (That's Before Big Bangs and After Big Bangs to you and me. Seems it was easier to start a new year zero from the point of the Global Thermonuclear War.) For example, all of the towns and city names are corrupted. There's Burning Ham, Man's Chest Hair and, my favourite, Chippy Norton. This also gives it a nice slant towards taking the piss out of the "United States of Amurrica", important when they reappear from Mars. (Yes, there is Life on Mars.)

That mickey-taking is done by our comedy duo, with the required contrasting personalities. Fog tries to maintain a sense of high dignity, acting more important than any of his guests, and certainly just generally "better" than the filthy heathen listeners of the show. Naturally, a lot of the humour comes from his being taken down a peg or twelve. Dave is much more relaxed.

It's a very convincing world for such silliness though. That's partly because it can draw on existing lore, but also because a lot of detail is sneaked into each joke. The adverts build an environment in which everything is paid for with tins of food, everybody is suffering the aftereffects of the radiation that's everywhere ("Buy a Radiumbrella!"), and it has a sneaky number of enjoyable nods of the head to real life ("Bang! And the witch is gone.")

The other appeal is the sheer number of crazy people who guest on the show. My favourite is probably a singer-songwriter, who takes a Misery-like approach to her paramour, and drops in with occasional joyous yet horrifying songs. Oh, and the robots. Sorry, "electric people". Got to be PC. (Or Mac, if that's the OS they run on.)

Very funny indeed. Will need to have a listen to the second series. (And whatever the hell Miserable Albert is.)

Score 4

Tagged: Audio fiction Comedy Cast Fictional show Science fiction Serial