Audio Fiction

Audio Fiction Review: Wolverine: The Long Night

Burns, Alaska is a small town with the usual problems. Most of its residents work blue collar jobs at the sawmill, or as fishermen. Meanwhile, a wealthy family owns their workplaces, and most of the town. There are a thousand ways to die in Alaska, but Burns isn’t anything more than an ordinary, slow town.

It starts when a fishing boat covered in scratches arrives with its crew murdered. FBI Agents Sally Pierce (Celia Keenan-Bolger) and Tad Marshall (Ato Essandoh) come to investigate the federal matter of death on the water. Within their first conversation, it becomes apparent the local police are involved. A local fisherman describes parcels of drugs among the bodies and a pair of murders on land. The Sheriff (Scott Adsit) insists the murders were the result of a grizzly bear attack.

As the agents look into their prime suspect, a short man named Logan (Richard Armitage), the grizzly bear theory, and the town begin unraveling. The town has a cult worshipping the arrival of the long night with the September equinox, and a rising body count. Coupled with the stories following Logan’s exploits, and Inuit mythology, Burns tears itself apart. The only real certainty is people who come to this corner of Alaska have something to hide.

Wolverine: The Long Night is a beautiful piece of scripted immersive audio fiction. The performances and sound design put us in the chilly morning air, and snowy drifts where grizzlies prowl. The framework of investigative partners keeps the flashbacks identifiable. It works well, as the two agents split up and reunite to go over what they’ve learned. The details are what drives this investigation forward, and the agents are as descriptive as possible, especially their prime suspect.

Where The Long Night falls short of other productions in the medium, is the lack of clarity in action for the fight sequences. For example, Logan finds himself in a bar fight, but the ensuing sound effects are thrown together. The listener needs an explanation as to what they just heard. Indiscernible action here is more understandable in the independent scene. Many indie productions have more choreography in their sound design, with a much lower budget.

However, for the fans of the Marvel universe, and especially for Wolverine fans, this podcast is for you. The Long Night is a rewarding experience as you can pick up on the minute references. Richard Armitage’s portrayal of Logan has walked out of the comics to say bub and consider the blood on his hands. Intimacy of audio creates a Wolverine which pulls from the performance and your imagination to bring Experiment X to life.

For fans of immersive audio fiction podcasts, if you like audio dramas such as Limetown, The Long Night is a worthy entry to that lineup. The town, its inhabitants and the overarching mystery is developed with nuances in even the smaller characters. Consequently, repeat listens are rewarded as you can pick up on more of the nuances and tiny details.

Lastly, if you’ve never listened to a fiction podcast, but you find yourself interested, check this one out. The Long Night is a great way to introduce yourself to a medium which is growing into a powerful form of storytelling. Let us know what you think after your listen on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or in the comments below.

Latest posts by Colin J. Kelly (see all)

He/Him. Colin is driven by a need to create and share with others. An eternal game master, Colin is a lover of Audio Fiction. His experience as a manager in both personal and professional projects has taught him that mutual respect and compromise is the most important part of working together. Occasionally he writes about the things he loves. You can find him on twitter @CrazyColinKelly

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