I don’t ‘do’ a lot of fiction. I’m a non-fiction sort of guy who loves documentaries, business books, & other ‘real’ media (except news). But, as a a kid, I used to LOVE old radio programs from the 1940’s and 50’s like The Shadow, Murder At Midnight, and Night Beat. Now, before you get the wrong idea, I’m NOT so old that I was hearing these when they first aired. As a child of the 1980’s, there were all sorts of not-so-obvious ways of finding recordings of these old radio plays. Since my Dad was a truck driver and knew all the best truck stops around the Southeast, family road trips turned into a sort of scavenger hunt for kiosks filled with cheap cassette tapes of these old radio programs. My old Walkman used to see as much time cranking out these old shows as it did blasting bands like Stryper and Bon Jovi. (…but, that’s another blog post for another time.)
So, that’s probably why I have gotten sucked into this new guilty pleasure called “The Message”. It’s an audio podcast about aliens and mysterious communications from extraterrestrials, much in the vein of Orson Welles’ “The War Of The Worlds”. Like that now infamous radio play from the 1930’s, I had to get through the first THREE episodes of The Message before I realized that I was listening to a fictional program! I have since come to find out that it is a podcast sponsored by General Electric and is being produced in the spirit of their old GE Theater programs (and other such corporately sponsored radio programming of that bygone era).
Instead of totally spoiling this for you, go listen to this for yourself. Here’s the link to the podcast: The Message podcast. And here is a link to a great article about the production of this cool new genre in podcasting: Podmasters: GE’s New Podcast ‘The Message’ Blends Sci-Fi With ‘Sci-Real’. As a fan of podcasts (I listen to somewhere between 30-40 different podcasts each week) AND a fan of old radio plays, this combination is the “chocolate in my peanut butter’!
**SIDE NOTE: There’s also a pretty cool blog set up by the show’s host, Nicky Tomalin, that contain’s other cool info and clues. NICKY’S BLOG