Tea in the Sahara
Kev – Fiction Podcast Critic
A few weeks back I tweeted a call to arms asking the land of Twitter and its inhabitants for an exciting new podcast crying out for an independent review by Tea in the Sahara. Answering that call was the guys behind ‘The Night Post’ produced by Station 103. The Night Post is a weekly supernatural podcast created by an all-LGBT team. An extra special mention goes out to Rae Lundberg for introducing me to this creative new podcast; cheers Rae.
The TNP players are Rae Lundberg, Ethan Thomason, Tyler Anderson, and Elizabeth R.C Lundberg who all take rotational turns in writing & producing the show which airs every Wednesday. Ethan Thomason is also the show’s composer creating the soundscape within which the show exists.
The guys admirably & unashamedly admit that they are novices to the whole podcasting scene. Kicking off season one in the autumn of 2020 amidst a global pandemic, which would have been far from easy. Openly admitting that they bought a cheap microphone, and winged the podcast. This admission alone in my eye shows spirit. That spirit for having a go (a bloody good go at that!) And is all part of the TNP charm; trust me guys you smashed a debut!
The Night Post is set within a fictional shadowy dystopian backdrop of Gilt city where communication in general between Gilt city & the Skelter has gone down the pan. For further clarification, The Skelter is technically the entire region of Gilt City and surrounding areas with locals using the term to distinguish what lies beyond the metro area. Or as I interpreted it as the difference between the outskirts of town. For London folk, this is how they would comfortably class the rest of the UK!
The idea for the podcast came to the shows writer’s as the US postal service became a hot topic for public debate. You see the TNP team all live within the rural south, where it appears internet speeds and mobile phone coverage is pretty shocking. This lack of modern-age communication ability made low-fi ways of communicating i.e. pen & paper more tangible to our podcasters. And so with this initial concept and blueprint, the TNP podcast was outlined.
The podcast does have its own centralised bunch of characters (Nicholas, Milo, Clementine, and Val) written with their own individualised backstory with one of the biggest plots being Milo (Tyler Anderson) who finds himself endlessly searching for his missing husband Ashley. In my opinion, it is the actual stories taken from the letters with which our couriers deliver, and the storytelling narration delivered to the audience’s ears that make the show.
The couriers, or pigeons as they are known at the post act as an integral nocturnal postal service connecting communication dots for many inhabitants of Gilt City. The couriers are treated with unfair contention by most, and that theme sadly derives from real-life experiences our writer’s experience living within the South. That slowness and reluctance for change within a society where you don’t always fit in seem to be the focal message running within the background of this forward-thinking podcast.
You have to remember that this podcast is written and produced by an indie podcasting team with a limited budget. There is a raw production quality to some early episodes where the audio sounds just a little squiffy, especially if there is a scene where an actor raises their voice. To be fair the TNP guys do cover these audio teething problems during their recent Q&A episode. And this really is me nitpicking as the audio steadily improves becoming flawless as the show progresses. I even had the ‘ding, ding, ding’ guitar theme music created by Ethan Thomason buzzing around in my head days later!
The writing within the show on the other hand is the real star of the podcast. The use of vocabulary and articulated line delivery in certain letter reading scenes is bang on the money. I mean who else wouldn’t want to title an episode ‘Centrifugal Force’ right? I also think that the way the TNP team sets out their stall and takes turns to write & produce the show really makes every storyline quite unique in its own right.
Look out for episode 04. ‘So Below’ was easily my favourite episode from the first series. The detailed evocative, almost claustrophobic description Val gives whilst exploring the city’s underworld setting was a deeply immersive experience and was brilliantly written (kudos guys!)
So who could this podcast be for? Well anyone that enjoys a show that is a mish-mash of genres really. TNP is advertised as a supernatural podcast, however, it is not your out-and-out ghost story type of paranormal podcast you might be accustomed to. Sure, there are creepy events that take place giving the show a cool edge to it, however, I see a deeper meaning behind the podcast. If I may, I see this podcast as more about relationships, some close, some strained, some blossoming (I’m talking about you Val & Clementine!) However at the nexus of TNP is the characters, and how they navigate the relationships they create as the series progresses. The slightly deep-meaning answer I know, but hopefully, you get the gist.
I really hope you have enjoyed reading this review for ‘The Night Post’ which can be found on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you grab your podcasts from. If this review strikes a chord with you I highly recommend you head over to the official The Night Post website for more details about the show. Or better still why not rate & review their podcast and perhaps jump on the Patreon bandwagon for early episode releases, and proposed bonus episodes? Roll on season two guys.
The TNP team are on it like gin & tonic pulling out all the stops to make this fantastic podcast a success, and if you cannot already tell I am personally passionate about indie podcasters. So all you podcast reviewers out there let’s get behind this visionary team. TNP is giving out show postcards for every review they receive so what’s not to like about some awesome merch bribery? They have also launched a TNP playlist called Gilt City Radio over on Spotify for eager fans to get their inner TNP groove on.
Plug time! Are you considering having your podcast reviewed by Tea in the Sahara? You can reach me via my contacts page. If you have enjoyed this review please consider doing a combo of kind things by leaving a cheeky comment, and liking this review. These simple actions on your behalf really go a long way to help promote what I love to do, collaborate with talented podcaster’s & write EPIC reviews. Likewise, if you feel there is a podcast out there that needs a plug please get in touch. For further Tea in the Sahara reviews & shenanigans please check out the link boxes below. Cheers, Kev!
Nicholas Best – voiced by Ethan Thomason
Milo Cylix-Wilder – voiced by Tyler Anderson
Clementine Keys – voiced by Elizabeth R.C Lundberg
Valencia Torres – voiced by Rae Lundberg