Uncommon Valour

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Down Range review

Production company – Tenderfoot TV /QCode

Rating –


I was lucky enough to get the first two episodes sent to me in advance for this review, and while I thought of posting this as another release day special (it actually launched on Nov 2nd), I thought it would be more apt to post this on Veterans Day instead.

In all honesty, this wouldn’t have been a podcast I would have chosen to listen to. After the great people at Tenderfoot TV got in touch though, and going on their past work, I was intrigued enough to give it a go.

So what’s it about?

Episode one starts off with a history of the most respected award in the American military. The Purple Heart. From its origins in the American Civil War, this is awarded to soldiers who get injured or killed in the line of duty, so called “essential service”.

This podcast tells the story of veterans who have performed acts of outstanding bravery. Hosted by former Navy SEAL Remi Adeleke, each episode is told by the veterans themselves. Some sections are dramatised using actors and sound effects, but it is essentially a monologue.

Is it any good?

This show really comes out swinging. The first episode is as exciting as I could ever hope a show could be. Episode one covers the career of Sgt. Michael Harryman. From his misspent youth, to his various tours in the Middle East.

To hear him tell these stories so nonchalantly is incredible. He does say that he had problems with PTSD and subsequent substance abuse. Despite the matter of fact manner in his storytelling, the first hand accounts of his struggles really adds a poignancy that I think would be lost any other way. I don’t think I could bring myself to talk about my experiences in the same way he did though.

I’m not going to go into what happens in episode two, because I’m not sure if it will be out by the time you read this, but it’s a very interesting change of direction from the opening episode.

Final thoughts

Despite not being a fan of military shows, I can’t deny that this show is something very special. There is something very intimate about how the stories are told. You can almost imagine a darkened room, with the interviewee lit by a single overhead lamp. 

The extra dramatised sections, along with the sound effects really put you in the position of the narrator during some extremely high stress situations. These add an extra dimension to this show that really sets it apart from series like Deep Cover or True Spies. I’ve listened to the first episode three times as I’ve been writing this review, and I only just realised that there is some subtle music in the background. This isn’t because the music is boring, but the story is so gripping you just don’t notice.

After all this unabashed gushing over how good the show is, you may wonder why it doesn’t have a top score. This is simply because I’ve only heard two episodes. Therefore it only gets a four (but it’s a five really). 

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