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Turn on, Tune in, Freak out

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The Wrong Station Review

Production company – The Wrong Station

Rating –

This is going to be an awkward one really. I’ve wanted to review The Wrong Station for a while, and now I can. On the whole I like the stories, they are well written and mostly well narrated (more on that later). There are a few niggles though that I feel detract from the overall quality. Unfortunately those stop it getting a higher score. Here is my review and I’ll try and clarify my point.

So what’s it all about then?

The Wrong Station is a long running anthology podcast of weird tales and horror stories. Inspired by the classic horror radio shows of the 30s and 40s, it certainly has that “by the fireside” feel. The episodes are expertly read by Anthony Botelho. His voice is almost the Canadian equivalent of the soporific Jonathan Sims from the Magnus archives. There are occasional guest readers too, but not too many that it lacks a general continuity.

On pressing play, you’re met with a montage of snippets of radio stations. This is reminiscent of The “knuckle duster radio” skits from White Zombie’s album La Sexorcisto. In fact there’s a part of me that expects the intro riff of Thunderkiss ’65 to kick off every time I play an episode. The earlier stories are told in a very casual, off the cuff manner. The feeling here is not so much of chatting to old friends and family, but rather getting accosted by some half drunk weirdo in a quiet hotel bar. This is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, some of the stories seem to actually follow this scenario.

Is it any good?

The subject matter varies wildly, as you’d expect from a podcast that has been releasing regular episodes for over 4 years. There are tales of dark family secrets, strange dystopian sci-fi and folk horror. They are all slightly “askew”, in the manner of the best creepypasta stories. There are very few straight ahead horror stories, and they’re mostly well written. That last statement is something that I find remarkable seeing as most of the stories cover such a wide range of subjects I wonder how the ideas keep coming. That’s truly a testament to the creativity of the writers. Not everyone is able to write so well in such a broad range of styles. With so many episodes to listen to you’ll probably find certain styles becoming your favourite.

That’s enough of the pros, now unfortunately time for the cons. I must confess, I did get bored of this podcast a while ago. As I said in the past, I tend to binge on podcasts all day. Some podcasts are good for this. This one, not so much. I guess if you listen to one or two episodes a week then you’ll not notice. There are definitely episodes that retread previous ideas and plot threads, and some of the stories are just boring (sorry).

My only other main complaint is Mr. Botelho’s take on foreign accents. The one that immediately springs to mind was his “Scottish” accent. Something I can only compare to that medieval artists’ impression of an elephant when it was described to him, rather than having seen it for himself. This may sound harsh, in fact it is harsh, but he has such a good voice, I don’t feel that there is any need to do accents when even a flawless Scottish accent wouldn’t have added to the telling of the story. It’s not often this happens, but when it does, it spoils it.

Final thoughts

3 brains for the rating seems harsh, and maybe I should break the ratings down for clarification, rather than a podcast rating low for one or two problems. We’ll see. Despite all this, it is a fairly good podcast, and I’ve started listening to it again. To be honest I forgot how good it was overall. Anyway, if you don’t binge on it for days on end and don’t know how a Scottish accent should sound then you’ll find this to be a 5 brain podcast all day long.

You can listen to The Wrong Station here:


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