Last Known Position review
Production company – QCode
As I said at the end of last week’s review, it seems that the term “Lovecraftian” gets bandied about a lot. I’d go so far as to say that it is this decade’s “found footage” particularly in the audio drama field. It’s a style that is either done well with poor production values, or done poorly with good production values.
Here we have though, a story that really is Lovecraftian, and well made to boot. I enjoyed it immensely, and I think you will too.
What’s it about?
It all starts innocuously enough (as it always does). The wife and daughter of billionaire businessman William Cavanaugh are on a flight to meet him as a surprise. When the plane encounters a freak storm and disappears, the grieving businessman launches a no expenses spared mission to find the wreckage. He assembles a crew of experts to aid in the search aboard his state of the art boat, and they set off to the last known position of the plane.
Expert submersible pilot Mikaela Soto gets a job on Cavanaugh’s boat after a position comes up. She soon discovers all is not what it seems though, and things soon take a very dark and mysterious turn. Secrets are uncovered, people can’t be trusted, and ulterior motives threaten to quite literally destroy everything.
There are two main threads to this story. The “public” side, that is the reason the crew are assembled to hunt for the downed plane, and the private side. This is the real reason for the search. The two dovetail nicely as the series progresses and offer a nice reveal that is worthy of any of Lovecraft’s stories, albeit in a modern setting.
Is it any good?
It is good. The claustrophobic setting of the boat really comes across thanks to the excellent sound design. You really get a feeling of paranoia and being in situations that are out of your control. The tension builds nicely as the episodes tick by, and the final episode is a suitable grand crescendo.
The voice acting is top notch, despite James Purefoy managing to hit “maximum Purefoy” in his role (if you know his other work, you’ll know what I mean when you listen to this series). Mikaela Soto as a character is cocky without being irritating. In fact, the only character I didn’t really like was the security officer, a stereotypical veteran who was overly clichéd as a brusque jobsworth with an overly threatening presence. If this character had been a man, he’d have been played by Bill Paxton in full Pvt. Hudson style.
Speaking of clichés, there are a few humdingers that make themselves known as the series progresses. I won’t say what they are because they are rather important plot points, and as much as it’s funny, I don’t want to spoil anything.
This was a very enjoyable series. Short enough to get through without getting bored, long enough to tie up all the loose ends plot-wise. There is scope for a second series, but I really hope they leave it as it is. Sorry QCode, but I think the way possible next adventures were teased, it will become cliché rather quickly.
It seems that people think that in order to be “Lovecraftian”, you need lots of monsters with names that resemble bad Scrabble racks, or hordes of fanatical cultists. This is where the point is missed. For me, a truly Lovecraftian story is one that is bleak. Puny humans pit themselves against an ambivalent universe. People get out of their depth trying to defeat an impossible enemy. This is what makes this a good story that would make the “Old Man of Providence” proud.
You can get Last Known Position here:
Or wherever you get your podcasts.