Let’s kick off a brand new year with my intergalactic podcast review of ‘From Now’ completing my own personal hat-trick of reviews from those studio production guys down at QCODE. If you haven’t already, you should definitely check out my other two QCODE podcast evaluations in the shape of the sinister Ghost Tape and risque Dirty Diana both polar opposite podcasts, yet astounding in their own rights.
‘From Now’ written and created by Rhys Wakefield & William Day Frank, starring & executively produced by Scottish actors Richard Madden (playing Edward Fitz) most famous for the TV series ‘Bodyguard’ and being mooted as the next James Bond, star alongside veteran theatre, television, & film heavyweight Brian Cox who plays Hunter Fitz.
Australian Rhys Wakefield of ‘The Purge’ also directs the show, and apologies spoiler alert if you haven’t already listened to the first three episodes.
A psychology space-age thriller set within a dystopian 2060 future with the plot anchored around the returning of a spaceship, the USS (United States Ship) Hope from her ill-fated maiden voyage, somewhat late by exactly thirty-five years to be precise! The mysterious ghost ship returns amidst a media frenzy, and as the crowds gather to watch on the hatch opens and the soul survivor lieutenant Edward Fitz from a seven-man expedition steps out. The whole crew aboard the famed vessel have been found dead, and Edward, startled & confused has not aged one day in thirty-five years.
Back on terrafirma Edward’s identical twin brother Hunter Fitz (Brian Cox) now a 65-year-old man suffering early stages of onset dementia has been brought to the landing site by the FBI to ascertain, and question where his brother Edward has been for the past 30 years. Could Edward be a clone, and what brought about the demise of the rest of the USS Hopes crew?
Hunter apparently has his own demons to exercise, which have been living within his head (rent-free), and as the return of the USS Hope, those demons have also been kept hidden for thirty-five years. And more importantly what part did he have to play with the secretive ‘operation window’? Assisted by Hunter’s android robot helper nurse Helen (Erin Moriarty) the two brothers meet for the first time in an epic showdown with some excellent byplay sibling rivalry on display as both men demand answers.
Let’s back things up for historical landscape context. The USS Hopes primary mission was to formally seek an answer to our global climate change as mankind has nearly poisoned the planet into extinction. NASA deem the only viable option, and escape for mankind is to create a space program using identical twins as astronaut’s to charter an odyssey to seek out a planet called Fader-Seven (guesswork on the spelling) which hopefully holds enough natural resources to sustain life. I must say I like what the writers have done here with the story focusing on the mission, and underlying theme on climate change, and what a lack of respect could subsequently do to our planets endgame if not taken seriously.
QCODE production has a fantastic array of ace podcasts and are equally lucky to have had their payroll blessed with some seriously high calibre acting talent. Brian Cox is a major coup adding much-needed depth, and experience to the sadly mentally detouring character Hunter Fitz. Through Brian’s immense acting abilities he really brings to life the inner strength within Hunter in what is his ultimate defiance to not let his condition beat him. Beautifully scripted, and superbly executed.
The other leading character within the show is Edward Fitz voiced by the excellent Richard Madden who certainly knows how to make the needle move with a performance! If Hunter is calm & collected Edward is the opposite being irrational, demanding, and prone to acts of violence. The first scene where the twins meet where Hunter says that he was previously a handsome man is a genius scene. It’s too early to fully understand what, or even who Edward is however Richard Madden plays the former confident hotshot astronaut in a confused & frightened tone balancing like a high-wire trapeze act of intrigue & menace.
Erin Moriarty also needs a quick mention for her portrayal of Hunters assisted helper nurse Helen. The way the two bicker & squabble like a married couple even though one of them is a machine brings a lighter tone to this otherwise dark 2060 future we find our cast set in.
Three episodes in my theory is this, Hunter & NASA have engineered a way for the USS Hope to travel through a self-created wormhole ‘operation window’ which through trials was perceived as safe. Something obviously went wrong with Hope’s mission which leads us to the guilt that is all-consuming Hunter. The ‘who done it’ part with why the crew are all dead I haven’t quite figured out yet. Although I’m not ruling out Edward losing his mind and carrying out the macabre act. But is that too obvious? Perhaps the Russian Federation have a secret part to play…
If I am to nitpick (sorry), my only small gripe with the show is that they used actors with very English sounding accents to play the parts of the younger Eddie & Hunter when they move to America to begin their space program. Yet fast forward 30 years, and on Eddie’s return via the USS Hope, he strangely has a seriously thick Glaswegian accent. Now I’m no accent specialist, but I’m pretty sure you don’t pick up a Scottish accent in Nevada, or deep space comes to think of it.
So who is this podcast for? Again guys another week, and another awesome sci-fi thriller innovatively scripted which really delivers. If like me you like an audio drama with some genuine acting talent on display, and a podcast that keeps you guessing where the plot is heading, look no further. Hit that download button now and take the From Now plunge. You might just thank me!
(Final words I promise!) The visually stunning retro artwork used for the podcast depicts the very essence of the show in a futuristic neon nightclub kinda vibe with the Fitz brothers looking like guest DJs bang in the middle of the shot. QCODE, if you haven’t got this image in mind for some cool looking merch you should consider it.
I hope you have enjoyed reading this podcast review for ‘From Now’ which is definitely worth checking out on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts from. UPDATE! If you have enjoyed this review you might want to read my continuation review of From Now (pt.2).
Are you are a writer or creator keen to have your podcast given the once over by an independent podcast critic? Have you enjoyed the previous Q&A blogs that I have done, and are thinking I’ve gotta get me one of them?! If that is the case, then maybe (just maybe), I am the chap for you. For all podcast submissions, you can reach me on my contacts page, or email me directly firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time podcast lovers cheers Kev!