Espionage is a podcast about the real lives of real spies and we got to talk to Max Cutler about differentiating the podcast from other spy shows and what that process looked like.
There’s hardly any profession more thoroughly depicted in media than the spy. From Ian Fleming’s novels to the Spy Kids movies, we’ve seen it all. Spies are such an established genre of fiction that they are beyond cliché. So if you want to create your own spy show, how do you make it stand out? When presented with this quandary Max Cutler, founder of the podcast network Parcast, found an elegant solution – nonfiction.
It’s difficult to compete with the visual flourishes of Mission: Impossible, but podcasts are especially well-suited to long-form storytelling. On the podcast, Espionage, Max does just that. “As the creator of Parcast shows, it has always been my mission to go deeper than any other podcast in the research phase. That’s what separates us from everyone else.”
🤝 Editor’s Note: Parcast was acquired by Spotify on March 26, 2019.
Since launching in April of this year, the show has fulfilled their promise of “intertwining great research with entertainment.” In two parts, Espionage covered real-life spies Julius and Ethel Rosenberg and their quest to steal information from the F.B.I. about atomic weaponry and ultimately sell it to the Soviet Union. Another mini-series discusses the life of British mathematician, Alan Turing, who attempted to crack Nazi Germany’s linguistic code.
If you’re surprised that there aren’t podcasts that already report on real-life spycraft, so was Max. He says that spy stories have performed extremely well with traditional media, so when he couldn’t find any podcasts that cover espionage with the trademark Parcast depth, “we felt there was a special opportunity to own that space.”
But actual spycraft isn’t quite what you’re used to seeing. Max says, “they are not all these flashy people that you see in movies. Most of them operate in shadows and are fairly normal people.“
I’m always curious to ask podcasters about the difficulties of making their shows, but Max says that after working on many other podcasts, his team knew what to expect. “Honestly, we knew this topic would be difficult. It takes a great detail of research to tackle covert operation stories, but it is a rewarding challenge.”
Looking forward to the future of Espionage, Max is just excited to keep it going. He wants to continue to “shed light and share these amazing stories that have never been told before.”
If you’re tired of unrealistic spy stories, or just interested in what it’s actually like to be a covert agent, give Espionage a try and let us know what you think by reviewing it on Podchaser!
Chasing Pods is a Podchaser blog series dedicated to letting our readers know about podcasts they may not have heard of or provide a sneak peek into the making of their favorite podcast. We talk to podcast creators about their journey into podcasting, the creation of their shows, the ups and downs of the work, and what they’re looking forward to for their podcast
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