If you’re desperate for a new genre podcasts for the new year, look further than BBC Sounds’ Murmurs. Presented as fragments of found sound (think voice notes, answer phone messages and phone calls), each episode of this anthology series is immersive and mysterious, and treads the lines between magical realism, sci-fi, fantasy and occasionally horror.
Murmurs features familiar voices from British TV, including Alex Lawther (The End Of The F***ing World), Camille Coduri (Doctor Who), Georgia Henshaw (Skins) and Danielle Vitalis (Attack The Block). But the line-up of writers make it more interesting still.
“What we’ve consciously done here is we’ve gone to the writers from the indie podcast scene and invited them into the BBC tent,” explains editor James Robinson. “That means in terms of BBC output it’s a very different-sounding drama series. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever made before. We’ve really tried to capture that aesthetic that’s growing out of that indie podcast scene.”
As well as making it stand out from other podcasts, the team behind Murmurs also wanted to make each episode feel vastly different from the next. Through hiring a diverse mix of scribes — including Beth Crane, Tom Crowley, Robert Valentine, Jen and Chris Sugden, Jesse Schwenk, Greer Ellison and Eno Mfon — they’ve achieved just that.
“Eno who is very new but fantastic, wrote this beautiful story that’s sort of a Nigerian folk tale set in Brixton, and it’s got this really lovely feel to it,” enthuses Robinson. “There’s also a lot of diversity of sexuality in the series… I don’t think we made a conscious choice in terms of the balance of sexualities on display in the series, but it’s come quite naturally. It’s quite a diverse mix. Each story has its own character and each story has its own identity.”
Murmurs is available to stream on BBC Sounds now. Get all the latest sci-fi news with every issue of SciFiNow.