Longform Digital Stories: Podcast Segment & Review

The following is a transcript of Podcast Junkie episode 28, on The Magnus Archives:

[Podcast Intro Plays]
H: Hello Everyone, I’m your host, and today on “Podcast Junkie” we will be discussing a very popular, much requested podcast,

[Audio Clip plays, it is the opening credits of “The Magnus Archives”, the theme is an eerie, lilting string theme, over the music, a voice–Jonathan Sims– speaks: “Rusty Quill presents: The Magnus Archives” ]

H: Today I am joined by Whitney, who also just finished listening to Season One, and just a warning, this episode of “Podcast Junkie” will include spoilers for Season One of “The Magnus Archives”, that is episodes 1-40 so, do not listen in if you have not finished the season, or plan to listen in the future.

H: Okay so, I guess let’s start by asking: What was your favorite episode of season one?

W: Oh, hard question, but I would have to say that my favorite was definitely MAG 039 “Infestation”. It is the climax of the season and personally I enjoyed hearing more from every character.

H: Yes, it’s a very entertaining episode where you have way more action than any of the previous episodes, however, I am partial to Episode Six “Squirm”

W: Also another great episode!

H: Yes! It does follow the more tradition case study story, but episode six, if I’m correct, is the first time that we earn a mention of the season’s main villain, Jane Prentiss.

W: I think that you’re right, and speaking of, I really loved how Jonathan Sims–Who is the writer of the podcast–really plants these small hints and ideas early on in the season and we as listeners are able to see each of them pay off later on. It’s a great feat of writing on the part of Sims, dealing with these interconnecting storylines can be challenging, but I think he pulls it off incredibly.

H: I have to agree wholeheartedly, I think that Sims creates this meta-narrative in a very compelling way, and personally, I cannot wait to see how the last seasons will play out.

W: I also think that one of the strengths of this podcast, is the characters themselves

H: Definitely. I’m thinking specifically of Martin and the other archival assistants like Sasha and Tim, because even though they don’t get much screen time, by the time the season finale roles around, you do feel very deeply for these characters, especially Martin and Jon, when they have their heart-to-heart conversation.

[Audio Clip plays, from “The Magnus Archives” Season One, Episode 039 “Infestation:
Martin: How could you possibly still not believe?
Jonathan: Of course, I believe. Of course I do. Have you ever taken a look at the stuff we have in artifact storage? That’s enough to convince anyone, but even before that, why do you think I started working here? It’s not exactly glamorous. I have-I’ve always believed in the supernatural, within reason I mean. I still think most of the statements down here aren’t real. Of the hundreds I’ve recorded, we’ve had maybe 30,40 that go on tape. Now those I believe, at least for the most part.
Martin: Then why do you-
Jonathan: Because I’m scared, Martin.
Audio clip ends]]

W: That scene was acted incredibly, and I think overall, I just have to compliment Jonathan Sims for his voice acting. I mean. Throughout the season, you really become attached to this disembodied voice, and his delivery is so consistent, yet each narrative, each case study, is performed with different mannerisms and inflections that help establish them as these separate experiences.
And, with what you were saying about the characters, I think that being in Jonathan’s mind truly is what makes us so attached to them. I mean, we do hear their voices occasionally and Martin and Sasha each deliver statements, but we mainly learn about them through Jon’s eyes.

H: And I think back to the earlier episodes where we have Jon, kind of grumbling about the other workers and complaining about how the archives are run, he-he essentially calls his coworkers incompetent several times, yet there is this almost familial sense to this corporate workspace that I find very endearing as well.

W: While we are talking about characters, there is something that has been bothering me since I finished this season.

H: Oh really? What is it?

W: What happened to Sasha?

H: You’re right!

W: Because in the season finale, that voice actor is definitely not Sasha

H: I noticed that as well, and I’m wondering, do you have any theories on that?

W: I’m just not sure. I did notice that in the same episode Jonathan claims that certain tapes are missing from the archives and he lists out those case numbers. Well, the two cases he mention, are also the only two episodes where we hear Sasha speak.

H: Really?

W: I believe so. Jonathan mentions the case number of Episode 24 “Strange Music”, and in that episode, we hear Sasha berate Jonathan over his pronunciation of “Calliope”.

H: [laughs], yes I remember that, and what’s the other missing case.

W: It’s episode 26, I believe, which is a full statement given by Sasha herself.

H: So, those are the only two that go missing? And they both have central moments with Sasha?

W: Yes.

H: Wow. You know, I can’t help but think about one of the first few episodes, where the neighbor is watching her classmate who lives across the street, and all of a sudden, he’s replaced by someone who acts entirely different.

W: That is an interesting theory, and I wonder if that’s something that may be brought up in season two.

H: Well, I certainly hope so. In the main time, let us know what you think happened to Sasha, tell us your favorite moments of TMA Season One, or tell us what podcast to listen to next by tweeting us @PodcastJunkie, Thanks for listening!

[Podcast Outro Plays]