The year is 1899 — the Industrial Revolution has been chugging along for a while now and things might be getting a little out-of-hand! Steam-powered airships hurtle across the skies; pneumatic tubes crisscross the landscape; and great inventors like Nikola Tesla and Thomas A. Edison are changing the entire world forever! Steampunk is an intriguing rarity: an actual new genre of speculative fiction. A world of Victorian manners and Jules Verne-esque invention collides with prescient inventions and actual historical events and characters to create wonderful, new possibilities! I realize, of course, that this isn’t in the strictest sense “a genre from the Golden Age of Radio,” as our press package puts it — but Orson Welles dramatized “Around the World in 80 Days” several times throughout his career; and if he’d thought about it, he’d have zombie Benjamin Franklin in a show, too!
When we first met our lead characters, American inventress Divinia von Presteron and Lord Tiberius Q. Braithwaite, last year, their race around the globe was interrupted by the evil Thomas Edison and Henry Ford! This year, they are ready to resume their race, but will soon discover a secret society of immortals who seek to control the world! A small sampling of what we have in store for you includes airships, a mechanical giant squid, Tesla, Edison, Carry Nation, Nostradamus, an automoton army, zombie Benjamin Franklin, and the horrifying origin of this season’s sponsor; Button Soups!
These are my very favorite episodes to write, for so many reasons: They are as unfettered as my imagination can get (for better or worse) — until they are a gallimaufry of facts, fiction, immense action, references only a few folks will get, and actual historical figures bent to our purposes! The action itself is on an enormous scale this episode — with twice as many sound effects as any previous show! If it were a movie, it would cost $100 Million to make — which is why I adore radio theatre: we’d never be able to afford to construct a mechanical giant squid, but we’ll have one nonetheless! Our cast is also the quill: Sadie Cassavaugh, Ryan Lawrence Flynn, and Christian McDaniel will be playing multiple parts (any similarity to any actual historical persons, living/dead/undead is purely coincidental)! In the titular roles we welcome back seasoned vet of Don’t Close Your Eyes: Robert Dalton as Lord Braithwaite, and my bride-to-be Sarah Jackson as Divinia von Presterton! This week we will all endeavor to provide you adventure, humor, and diversion on as grand a scale as possible! Join us this Friday and Saturday, won’t you? Until then, I remain,
Your Obedient Servant,