“Untold Virginia”, despite having only a handful of episodes out at the time of this writing, manages to grab you in a way that only an audio drama can. I’ve often thought that I’ve never heard an audio drama that couldn’t also be a movie or television show. How, practically, no one person or team has utilized the strengths of sound by itself to make someone go “I can’t see this working as well in another medium.” is like a holy grail. This audio drama — from one of the producers of the Wolverine audio drama from Stitcher Premium — sets the bar high for subsequent audio dramas of the same style.
A New Age of Audio Drama in Untold Virginia
The Bright Sessions changed the game when it first came out. The concept and execution were both brilliant and like Tolkien and fantasy writers, every subsequent author has to deal with his shadow in some way. Having not heard the Wolverine audio drama, I came into this not having any preconceived notions of Chloe Wilsons artistic style, other than names of the show’s she has worked on for TV and streaming services — including Apple TV+ — but also word of mouth from other audio drama fans. Most of which came from their press kit and the cast and crew biographic pages on the podcast’s website.
A Different Class of Untold Entertainment
While the horror angle has been done to death since the first “Jaws” movie where the implied existence of a shark (fake or not) made audiences afraid to go in the water, a story like “Untold Virginia” takes just one episode to get you invested in the characters. Not only as friends but also their differences of opinion.
The show’s format also lends itself well to the medium of sound as it blends fiction and reality very well. How much is scripted vs improvised. This is a new age of audio drama and I’m imagining the people this will inspire to create something similar or better.