Tea in the Sahara
Kev – Fiction Podcast Critic
It’s a known fact January is as irritating as that 1990s song the Macarena! So what better way to beat the mid-January blues than with my podcast unboxing of QCODE’s latest horror-thriller ‘Last Known Position’. You also have the privilege of witnessing this, my first condensed review for those who like podcast reviews like TikTok.
Let me know if you enjoyed this shortened bite-sized review. And for fans of my deep-dive podcast reviews fear not! That style of review is still very much the backbone of my writing format and integral to my modus operandi.
The engine room of this podcast is a harrowing aeroplane crash over the Pacific Ocean in seemingly suspicious circumstances. Onboard flight 7963, are the wife & daughter of billionaire William Cavanaugh, expertly voiced by James Purefoy.
Tiny disclaimer at this point, this podcast is not for those with a fear of flying as the opening scenes within episode one sound so real, and feel quite disturbingly chilling. On the other hand for those who enjoy disaster-themed Lara Croft expeditions based at sea, full of mystery & intrigue, you’ll be all over this podcast like a cheap suit.
So like a Saudi Prince buying up football clubs for fun, William Cavanaugh ensembles a crack team of disaster recovery specialists in a bid to discover the fate of the ill-fated aircraft. Part of this elite team of geniuses is gutsy submersible pilot Mikaela Soto (Gina Rodriguez), who happens to have one of the best job titles that I have ever heard of!
This eight-man crew begin the insane search for flight 7963 over a 600 sq mile crash site aboard an extremely futuristic ship privately funded by grief-stricken, Mr deep pockets William Cavanaugh. Onboard the ship we are introduced to the other specialists who populate this podcast nicely adding awkward camaraderie without the show becoming too pedestrian with lengthy sub-character development.
If you thought that life at sea was a walk in the park you would be wrong! Mikaela fishes out a chap from the ocean ranting & raving in Portuguese that there is a beast lying in wait for them beneath the sea. Furthermore, the team also discover another sunken vessel which was opened up like a tin of beans! In my own conclusion, I hope at least for their sake they have the right quota of lifeboats.
For those curious about tempo this podcast buffers from intense, to slightly longwinded with some slower parts reminding me of laborious episodes of another horror fiction podcast ‘The White Vault’.
Four episodes in and our crew have yet to witness the supposed sea monster that potentially downed flight 7963. And before you say it I know the writers are keeping their powder dry by building suspense. However, man-A-live before I get any older can we please get on with Mikaela going Moby Dick stylee and fight this 2.0 version of the Kraken already?
As you would have guessed it this audio drama strives forward with its unique nautical soundscape which QCODE quite simply nailed! The sound is an exquisite experience, as you would expect from a big LA production company. Even the people in the cheap seats feel part of this expedition inside a submersible submarine deep underwater. The opening aeroplane catastrophe and bubbling sub-aquatic vortexes created within this show are utterly stunning.
Strangely even the advert placement within the podcast is almost okay. Those who read my reviews know I am not a fan of overtly commercialised podcasts with averting breaks every ten minutes. However, the advert with creator and writer Lucas Passmore, and director John Wynn is quirky and almost fun. Maybe this is the secret way of camouflaging annoying adverts in 2022?
(But!) Before I lose my mind and rate this show five out of five I do have one area of concern that needs to be looked at. On one hand, QCODE is awesome at delivering crackerjack atmospheric audio no doubt. So why do you have actors voicing regional accents that sound farcical? This is not a direct dig, and I am sure the actor who voices Mr Levi is an accomplished actor, but what the fu*k is up with that accent?! Too harsh? Let me know if you agree with me on this.
So who is going to listen to this podcast?
If you like horror-scripted podcasts that feel like a shipshape game of Cluedo (Professor Plum, revolver, billiard room), then you will enjoy the excursion this podcast takes you on. The acting is solid, the audio is first-rate, and the storyline so far is holding up in terms of keeping the listener guessing what will transpire next. My personal opinion of course, but with more emphasis on plotline pace and less dodgy accents I will be rating this podcast a respectful 4/5.
Thank you for taking the time to read my review of ‘Last Known Position’, which can be found on Spotify & Apple Podcast, or from wherever you get your podcasts from.
Check out my previous CQODE reviews – From Now, Soft Voice, Ghost Tape, Dirty Diana.
For podcast submissions email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, via my socials, or follow my newsletter. Cheers, Kev.