Tea in the Sahara
Kev – Fiction Podcast Critic
This week guys we travel back in time to 1848, Rochester, NY for a historical-fiction podcast from Criminal Content & QCODE based upon actual bonafide events – albeit slightly ‘zhuzhed up’ for a 2023 audio audience.
The Foxes of Hydesville – follows narration and lead character Leah Fox (Carey Mulligan), alongside her infamous real-life sisters Katie & Maggie Fox. You can locate/deep-dive the Fox Sisters’ history on Wikipedia – however, long story short they were the OG forerunners for monetizing spiritual seances… Yep, back in the day the spiritual scene was a big deal with thousands desperate to contact the departed via mediums. ‘The influencer generation’ think of the evolution of TikTok, but instead dialing in the dead.
The drama begins with Katie & Maggie’s reunification with antagonist older sibling Leah, coupled with their rise from local hick mediums – whilst the audience pieces all the oddness together. With the post-title sequence concluded, and two episodes in I was hooked – and here’s why.
The centerpiece of this audio drama is Carrey Mulligan’s performance as Leah Fox, her totalitarian witty cynicism elevates the show from interesting to outstanding. This does not mean that the other actors on display here are poor (no, no), far from it – Adelaide Grainger (Phoebe Tonkin), is the town gossip, and also Leah’s sidekick is a worthy Watson to Leah’s Holmes. IMO, the retorts Leah provides are insanely awesome – delivered wonderfully with an effortless casual demeanor and possibly wry smile.
Podcast pacing so far has been even & fair – that being said I am seeking further plotline development alongside a jolt in storyline tempo as the season progresses. The audio quality we have all come to expect from a QCODE production is included within Foxes of Hydesville – continuing that theme of high-end visceral audio entertainment.
To caveat that, the intro scene with the wider Fox family could have transitioned smoother and less chaotic – in parts it felt a trifle rushed with some vocals sounding very similar to my ears.
Should The Foxes of Hydesville be on your radar?
Honestly speaking I have thoroughly enjoyed this podcast as I’m totally down for some historical reinterpretation mashup with a contemporary vibe. Sadly I have some nuanced gripes with some of the accents used within the podcast – this isn’t the first time I’ve picked up on this within a QCODE production. So here we go again – not that I have anything against my fellow countrymen however, why is the lead character British, yet all her family rightly have American, or other random accents… If Leah’s brother was also close in age wouldn’t he technically also sound British…my OCD in full effect, but food for thought.
My personal semantics aside this podcast is definitely more a hit than a miss. As we venture further into the season I really hope the listener gains more insight into the famous Fox sister’s storyline – naturally via a lens of fascination, and Leah Fox’s acidic wit. To summarise if like me you like your podcasts to be as bonkers as a Tracey Emin art installation, then you are in good company…
DISCLAIMER! This review is by no means sponsored by QCODE – however, if you are lucky enough to be a QCODE+ subscriber all nine episodes will be available free for you to binge your life away!
Spotify – The Foxes of Hydesville
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Scores for Foxes of Hydesville – 3.7/5
Cast & Crew
Produced by Criminal Content and distributed by QCODE
Starring Carey Mulligan, Phoebe Tonkin, Mckenna Grace, and Christina Brucato
Directed by Shawn Christensen
Previous Tea in the Sahara reviews
- The Foxes of Hydesville – Criminal Content & QCODE – podcast review
- TAGGED – SONY Music Entertainment & Goldhawk Productions – podcast review
- How to Win Friends and Disappear People – QCODE Productions – Podcast Review
- The Hunt for Typhoid Mary – BBC Northern Ireland Production review
- We’re Alive Descendants – revisited – Wayland productions