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Audio Drama Review
Comedy is a difficult thing to get right, science fiction comedy doubly so. Many have tried and most have failed in the endeavour. Night Terrace: Season Two does not fall into this category.
The audio plays follow the exploits of Anastasia Black, who far from enjoying her retirement has to deal with Eddie Jones, who has turned up literally on her doorstep with an offer to change her utilities. This annoying conversation is cut short when the house decides that it would prefer to fly off into time and space, rather than listen to Eddie for one minute longer. Along the way the duo collect Susan as the third member of their crew.
Each season of the show consists of eight crowdfunded episodes. With season one already available; season two has finally come out to play. Season one won the Convenors’ Award for Excellence at the 20th annual Aurealis Awards.
The show stars Jackie Woodburne as Anastasia Black, Ben McKenzie as Eddie Jones and Petra Elliott as Sue. As a brit, for the most part, I have to admit to almost complete ignorance to the talent involved, some have appeared in Neighbours, a show I stopped watching decades ago, many appear in shows I have never heard of. However, the product produced is high quality and professional, it’s also funny.
So what is it and what is it not? Well, it cannot get away from its Doctor Who influences any more than Who could get away from H. G. Wells or writers of gothic horror, Terrace is not a rip off of Who, rather it fits into the continuum of shows featuring time travel. That is not to say that it is unaware of the debt it owes the show and any keen eyed Whovian’s will be able to pick up on lateral referencing of the show.
This is not surprising as the show was created by Splendid Chaps, which includes John Richards, Ben McKenzie, David Ashton, Petra Elliott and Lee Zachariah, who had previously produced a Doctor Who podcast. The references are not restricted to that single show as Terrace is just as happy to make obscure references to anything from The Rocky Horror Picture Show to The Picture of Dorian Grey.
I’ll stick my hand up and say that I know little of the comedy scene in Australia, but from the sounds of this show it doesn’t deviate a lot from English humour. If I had to place it somewhere it would be between Monty Python, for the surreal aspects and Douglas Adams for the Arthur Dent level of bemusement expressed by Eddie.
Obviously, with the whole of space and time to play with, the show can, and does, go where your average terrace house would fit. For season two the show introduces a ‘B’ plot in that in the first half of the stories the crew keep bumping onto copies of their house mysteriously abandoned. The eight stories included in season two are Sense and Susceptibility, Full Steam, A Verb of Nouns, Things That go Bump in the Night Terrace, Ancient History, The Edification of Anastasia, The retirement of Horatio Gray and Home Again, stories that encompasses flying steam boats, ancient Gaul and the creation of the Earth.
It really is a splendid show and well worth catching up with and although it is not compulsory to listen to season one to enjoy season two, I suggest it will be worth your time.