Storytellers are constantly looking for new mediums to explore their stories. As television has become the go-to episode method for telling a story to an audience, podcasting platforms offer unique new opportunities to showcase concepts, just as radio drama once captivated listeners.
Redditors have taken to the social media page to highlight some of the best audio stories, which use every available technique to their advantage. Whether it’s the quality of the voice acting, the sound editing that accompanies it, or perhaps even the writing itself, these podcasts could rival the beloved TV shows.
The edge of sleep
Redditor FelixD1ed created a thread noting that when it comes to podcasts, they “don’t like ones that sound like radio stations, I want to be immersed with background sounds and different places I can imagine in my head “. They thus point to The edge of sleep as a prime example of this.
Produced by QCODE, the podcast interestingly features YouTube star Markiplier, with creative credits from Jake Emanuel and Willie Block. The show is a thrilling listen that feels immersive, as a night watchman realizes that everyone who has fallen asleep…is dead. This doomsday tale keeps listeners clicking for the next episode.
User katherine_c contributed her own thoughts to the discussion. Far from being a miniseries given that it actually has five seasons, the user suggests zero edit saying “Each episode is about an hour long (sometimes longer) and feels like a produced TV episode. It’s about a strange explosion in a world like ours, only different, and the team investigating it. “
The episodic series plays heavily in the sci-fi and cyberpunk genre and is produced by Slipgate Nine Entertainment. It’s built pretty cult and feels almost independent in its presentation, but it allows it to take a lot of quirky risks, with a talented voice that complements the pros!
Redditor M_a_d_E jumps on the same bandwagon as a previous user with his recommendation, which is also produced by QCODE, the team behind The edge of sleep. The Reddit user says the studio “has a lot of other stories that look like a TV show without the visuals. One that I particularly liked is Classified.”
It’s hard to look away from, or rather belittle, any episode of Classified, which boasts an incredible cast including Wyatt Russell, Brent Jennings, and Monica Potter. Created by Spenser Cohen and Anna Halberg, the series is a comedy-turned-mystery with Chef Ivan trapped in a shadowy institute. It could easily inspire a TV show.
User DazzlingEffect2152 has many brilliant recommendations to bring to the discussion, focusing on the BBC and its well-known work in audio. They say “Tracks BBC conspiracy/human modification (that’s really good)”, as their particular option of choice.
It’s a strong entry, with the series being written by the talented Matthew Broughton. Award-winning and conflict-focused, the series features the usual hallmarks of BBC production, with multiple seasons exploring this mysterious world and the fascinating plots yet to be uncovered. It could be compared to the likes of Black orphan.
Hell’s Gate City
User MrSnitter suggested a podcast that looks like a horror play on the surface but is actually a bit more remote than that. Reddit user says: “Hell’s Gate City (OK, so it starts at a cyberpunk radio station, but with very immersive segments. And the whole show gets more and more immersive as the host starts broadcasting his dreams and suppressed memories to solve a mystery .)”
Hell’s Gate City is from the mind of Kevin Berrey, who created this futuristic landscape, not too dissimilar to the likes of blade runner, and gives the listener a glimpse of what it’s really like to live in this world. It’s so inventive in the way it tells its story and feels incredibly real.
Redditor TheBitterSeason was one user who simply had to bring up a particularly beloved and popular audio drama, saying “No one mentioned Forest 404 Again! It’s sci-fi with incredible production values and it’s one of the best commercials I’ve ever heard, so I highly recommend you check it out.”
With music by Bonobo and dubbing by Doctor Who former student Pearl Mackie, Forest 404 is described as an environmental thriller, with the first Pan discovering a recording of a rainforest, which triggers multiple questions about the power of nature. It brings the quality of a BBC production to the masses.
Redditor Nervous-crevices contributed to the discussion with so many brilliant podcasts saying “But, there are some really great full-length audio dramas out there. I’m NOT a big fan of storytelling.” Their suggestion of Dugan Hill exactly what the user likes.
Created by Andy Garland with help from production company Time Signal Productions, the story is inspired by a real-world event and actual voice memos from an investigation. It is based on the disappearance of Sasha, a woman from Saskatchewan, and uses a powerful and poignant non-fiction style of storytelling.
The white vault
The ever-burning user has brought a unique podcast to the table, which also plays with non-fiction storytelling and is sure to be one many TV shows could take inspiration from. User says “The white vault is a technically found sequence, but in every room, it’s super immersive!”
It’s horror-fueled fiction that draws its stories from around the world, using real-world scenarios. It features such a wide array of voice actors, each of them taking this Fool and Scholar Productions add-on to another level as listeners continue to feel the scares.
Redditor Zelaba brought his own array of intriguing productions to the table, with “dark times -a high-fantasy workplace comedy,” standing out among them. There aren’t enough comedy podcasts in the realm of fiction, especially ones that cross genres.
Produced by Liz Macke, with Brandon Kraemer creating the piece and Stephen Mank providing the fantastic sound design, the premise alone makes this a must-have podcast track, as the series follows the staff of the Rivercliffe Museum of Mostly Natural Histories and all of their escapades.
Mansion of mockery
User Jaex23 supported another recommendation and doubled down on Mansion of mockery saying, “Their sound design is top-notch and created a great sense of presence, especially when it came to things like character movement and positioning.”
Conceived by Long Cat Media, this award-winning piece of fiction could very well be compared to Strange things. Set in 1989 Britain, the titular mansion is actually a disturbing theme park that contains a killer whom the tracks are tracking down, to stop mysterious disappearances in the area. It’s intense and yet adventurous in its design.
NEXT: 10 Celebrities Who Are Actually Great Podcasters