Harlan Guthrie has made something of a name for himself in the podcast world with the wildly popular Malevolent (which I didn’t really like). However, I won’t write someone off just because they release a show I don’t like. Recently, my twitter feed has been alight with reviews singing the praises of his new show Deviser. I read the blurb, and was reluctant to listen to it to be honest. But maybe I’m wrong, maybe this is the one to change my mind. Maybe there is a reason that Harlan Guthrie has set fire to my social media feed like some modern Prometheus*.
So what’s it about?
Deviser is a Sci-Fi horror series, following the trials of “Son”. He wakes up on a spaceship controlled by the computer “Father”. His only other companion on this journey is “Dog” (a dog, funnily enough). Son is in charge of helping Father look after the ship and the thousands of sleeping passengers happily snoozing the journey away in cryo-stasis.
Soon though, things start to go wrong. Son finds it increasingly hard to do his job whilst suffering from memory loss, and there are odd occurrences on board this supposedly deserted ship.
As Son’s sanity starts to unravel, a reality darker and more horrific than he can imagine starts to materialise. With the knowledge that every choice he makes has more importance than the last, how will Son survive?
Is it any good?
After listening to Malevolent, I wasn’t holding out much hope for this one. I’d even put off listening to it on purpose just because I thought it would be cut from the same cloth. Thankfully, it isn’t. It’s still a tough decision for me to make though. Originally it was a three brain show, then I decided it was a five, then I finally settled on a good four. Here’s why.
The story itself is very well written. It’s acted very well indeed, and the sound design is top notch. Also, I really can’t emphasise how good this series is seeing as it is the work of one person. I dressed to think think the hours that Mr. Guthrie puts in to this stuff.
The twists are just one step ahead of you the whole time. Unfortunately I did guess the general line story was taking rather early on, and that spoiled it slightly, although as I say, the details remained delightfully beyond me.
I love it when I’m wrong. I really do. This is a great series. It’s very dark, and certainly pulls no punches as far as horror goes. It did nothing for my fear of dentists either. Father is a chilling creation, in a similar vein to HAL in 2001. Son finds out all too late that intelligence doesn’t necessarily equal compassion.
If you love sci-fi then you’ll love this, as will fans of gory horror. There are many films that are similar in both feel and plot, but I’m not going to mention them, because it will absolutely spoil the fun.
Hopefully Harlan Guthrie will continue to release series up to this standard. Yes I know that loads of people loved Malevolent, but I didn’t ok? This is a much better podcast.
You can get Deviser here:
Or wherever you get your podcasts.