Tag: David Ault

Are you sitting comfortably?

Shadows At The Door review

Rating –

Shadows At The Door logo

As I’m sure you’re all aware by now, I’m a massive fan of David Ault. He’s a great voice talent who has the uncanny knack of cropping up in a diverse range of podcasts, but whose appearance is always a guarantee of quality. His deadpan delivery is instantly recognisable, and I’m not ashamed that whenever he crops up in a show, there’s a little part of me that goes “yes”. Apart from raising the standard of other people’s work (there is one podcast that springs to mind that got a whole extra “brain” in my ratings just because he was in it), he also has this series. Now that I’ve finished with the fawning, read on and I promise I’ll try to keep the hyperbole to a minimum.

So what’s it about?

Shadows At The Door is an anthology podcast of ghost stories and creepy fiction by David Ault and Mark Nixon. In fact, the first episode is a very Jamesian, and deliciously chilling ghost story written by Mark Nixon himself. This isn’t the only episode penned my Mr. Nixon, but it was a brilliant way to start proceedings.

Whilst I have already given Mr. Ault a good deal of wordcount already, I don’t want to leave Mark Nixon out. He has quite a body of work as a writer for the (now legendary) NoSleep podcast, and even appeared as M.R. James on The Writers Mythos. This is a podcast I must admit I hadn’t heard of before, but I’ve duly subscribed and will be checking out asap.

After the actual reading, Mark and David go back over the story and discuss the themes and influences. This places it in a rather similar vein to A Podcast To The Curious (although that particular show doesn’t feature a full reading of James’ stories). It’s also slightly more light-hearted than the more scholarly Podcast To The Curious. This is a chance to lighten the mood here, as the darkness of the stories gives way to wordplay and humour.

Talking of humour, most of the recent (albeit sparse) episodes have been “drunk stories” told at Halloween and Christmas etc. Hearing David Ault trying to tell a story after drinking an inordinate number of shots is surprisingly funny, and way more entertaining than the similar TV shows. I suspect his is because David and Mark are genuinely wittier than the panel show fodder who usually lend their names to such light entertainment dross.

Is it any good?

I like this show a lot. Recently it does seem to have gone rather quiet over there though, which is a shame. Although I’m sure that this podcast is far from the main source of income for these two, so I’ll just await each new episode like a child hoping to get a full size snickers in his trick or treat bucket.

The stories, while very much genre specific are varied enough to be engaging, and even though some of these are tales you will no doubt have heard many times, you really can’t beat a good storyteller to breathe new life into a well known yarn.

Final thoughts

If you’re a fan of classic ghost stories, or indeed modern stories written in a classic style then this is for you. David Ault is second to none as a voice actor, and Mark Nixon is a very talented writer. They make a great team, and apart from the lack of output by these two, there isn’t anything I can fault here.

You really need to check this podcast out as soon as you can.

You can get Shadows At The Door here:

https://shadowsatthedoor.com/

Or wherever you get your podcasts 

Enter the echo chamber

Two Flat Earthers Kidnap A Freemason review

Production Company – Good Pointe

Rating –

Two Flat Earthers Kidnap A freemason logo

Due to my recent acknowledgement that I really need to be on Twitter more to try and  build some semblance of an audience, I have been on a real voyage of discovery with regards to new shows. I had got to the end of a rather mediocre series, when the first episode of this was previewed. Mainly due to the cast (who I shall get into later) I subscribed and started on this strange and hilarious journey.

So what’s it about?

Two Flat Earthers Kidnap A Freemason is a comedy show dealing with conspiracy theories and social media. It follows the adventure of two struggling flat earth YouTubers named Dunning and Kruger (yeah, yeah, I know), who decide that in order to stand out from the other flat earth YouTubers (who are gaining more views than them) they need to do something dramatic. Cue the premise of the show’s title.

Whilst I’m sure that certain sections of the conspiracy world are as silly and misguided as this series portrays, I’m not so sure if the Freemasons are. Although maybe they are. They wouldn’t say so either way would they?

The disappearance of one of their own throws the Freemasons into a panic, and the game is afoot to try to figure out just who would be audacious enough to do this, and recover their brother.

Is it any good?

Absolutely. The story is very well written, and silly without being inane. The production values are high, and the characters are (mostly) all well acted. Speaking of the cast, there is some stellar talent here:

David Ault needs no introduction on this blog. If you’ve read my previous reviews then you’ll know I have immense admiration for his work, and his mere inclusion in a podcast is usually enough to get me onboard.

Graham Rowat is brilliant as the Alex Jones-alike radio host Newsham. I recognised his voice instantly from his other work. He also played my all time favourite podcast character, Sir Henry Blackwood (a.k.a. SCP 1867. I highly suggest you search for this particular episode and give it a listen. You wont be disappointed)*.

Josh Rubino also deserves an honourable mention for turning Isaac Newton into Steven Toast. Whether intentional or not, it makes for a very entertaining interpretation.

The only real criticisms I have are that there are times when the background music is too intrusive. This is usually when the characters are listening to The Newsham Hour. I may be missing a joke here, I mean I am at work when I listen to this, so maybe I’ll go back through one more time. Also, there are a few of the voice actors who aren’t quite up to the level of the main characters.

These are really pretty criticisms really, and they are the only downsides to an otherwise perfect series. I think it shows the quality of the podcast that I’m really struggling to find fault with it.

Final thoughts

This is a great, genuinely funny show. It’s one that makes a refreshing change from the horror and drama, both fictional and real, that fills my ears for 8 hours a day. I think you’ll love this show, unless the characters are a bit too close to home. In that case I advise you to adjust your tinfoil hat and follow this podcast’s advice for negative reviews.

As I was searching for a copy of the logo to use, I see that this show has also been made into a TV show. This seems to be something of a trend nowadays, and I can’t wait to see if it’s as good as the original. Truth be told, I was disappointed with the adaptation of Limetown.

I would also like to point out that whilst I am a fan of long titles (My old band had one of the longest album titles since Marc Bolan released his first album), this podcast has played havoc with my SEO settings. Do I use an acronym or not? I vote not. To hell with Google’s algorithms this time!

*The character of Sir Henry Blackwood was so beloved to me that I actually named one of my Call Of Cthulhu investigators after him. Although I brought him forward to the 1920s and made him a bit more “Terry Thomas”, the DNA was there though, and I’ll love the mad old sod forever.

You can get Two Flat Earthers Kidnap A Freemason here:

https://pod.link/1582700456

Or wherever you get your podcasts.

This seems to be another one of those podcasts that doesnt have a proper website. The above link is to listen, the production company and podcast site is here:

https://goodpointepodcasts.com/

Creature Feature

The Byron Chronicles review

Rating –

The Byron Chronicles Logo

In life there are a few names that guarantee quality, whether it be electrical goods, cars or clothes. In the podcast world, one of those names is David Ault. I think the first time I heard him was probably on the Shadows At the Door Podcast, but I was soon hearing him showing up in The Magnus Archives, A Scottish Podcast and many others. I would have bet anything that a podcast featuring his voice talents would be well worth a listen. Until this one*.

This particular podcast started an incredible SEVENTEEN YEARS AGO! For some reason it had completely passed me by, until I heard one of the other shows I subscribe to do a collaboration episode with this one. I subscribed as soon as I heard the dry humour and deadpan delivery of Mr Ault, and at the first opportunity pressed play and waited to be entertained.

So what’s it about?

The titular Byron, aka “The Pale Man Of Portland” (voiced by Ault) is nothing if not an enigma. He is an ancient being of indeterminate origin, and indeterminate motives. The pilot episode, strangely enough not featuring Ault as Byron, sees him being contacted by Lucifer and the archangel Gabriel to capture the daughter of God and The Devil.

Here comes the first hole in the story. Byron is literally centuries old, and used to communing with all manner of supernatural and spiritual beings. I find it remarkable that he gets surprised at the concept that God can be either male or female as it sees fit (in this case to give birth to a daughter).

Maybe I should write the pilot off as teething troubles. After all, it must have been popular enough for them to make more episodes right?

Each series is about ten episodes, which covers four separate stories. Each story sees Byron and his sidekick, again called Sparrow (what is it with plucky female sidekicks called Sparrow?) Encounter a different supernatural being, from the aforementioned angels and demons, zombies, werewolves and vampires.

***SLIGHT SPOILER***

Their take on Father Christmas was brilliant, and a really good way to end series 1.

Is it any good?

Yes and no. After listening to the pilot episode I very nearly wrote it off. It really wasn’t very good at all. While the story was interesting enough, the acting was poor (check out the bartender in the pilot episode for a prime example).

The first proper episode showed more promise. Now we have David Ault as Byron and this time he gets kidnapped by a shady Vatican group to capture the original zombie. None other than Lazarus himself. This episode sets the style from here on out, Byron tasked to battle some supernatural foe, and reluctantly doing his duty with all the deadpan humour of someone who has seen (and engineered) civilisations to rise and fall.

Final thoughts

It reminds me of a cross between Doctor Who (a lot) crossed with the comic book character Constantine but written by Neil Gaiman. If you’re a sarcastic and cynical old sod (like I am), and you enjoy listening to sarcastic and cynical antiheroes, then despite the generally poor voice acting from 50% of the cast, then you’ll love this. As in Wormwood, it is possible to overlook the flaws and enjoy the series.

Do not take this as an admission that it is a fantastic series. It isn’t. There have been times that I have wanted to turn it off and forget all about it. Thankfully I have the patience of a saint, so I gave it the benefit of the doubt.

You may have guessed that I wrote this as I was listening to it. I’ve listened to the whole first series in a day, plus the Christmas special. Despite having a serious aversion to stories that deal with werewolves, vampires and talking dragons, I am interested to see where series two goes. I could have written this review after listening to every episode, but would anyone else have the patience to slog through many mediocre episodes to get to the good ones? 

Ultimately I gave this a four brain rating, but honestly, two and a half of those were just for David Ault being in it.

*I reserve the the right to eat my words at any time!

You can get The Byron Chronicles here:

https://ericbusbypresents.com/category/the-byron-chronicles/

Or wherever you get your podcasts

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