You might know Realm as the podcast production company that brought the sci-fi series Orphan Black back to life, complete with star Tatiana Maslany. But that’s nothing compared to what else the company will release in 2021, which includes original series from Maslany (who will also return for more Orphan Black), multiple series from legendary genre director John Carpenter, and so, so much more.
Literally 10 out of the 12 shows announced in the press release Realm Podcasts (formerly Serial Box) sent out sound good, which means 100 per cent of the 10 sci-fi/fantasy/horror shows announced sound also sound good. Here’s what’s coming out and when:
- The Vela – A refugee returns to her home planet in search of a missing ship that holds the key to saving humanity. Season one is written by Yoon Ha Lee, Becky Chambers, SL Huang, and Rivers Solomon. Season two is written by Ashley Poston, Maura Milan, Nicole Givens Kurtz, and Sangu Mandanna. The Vela is narrated by Robin Miles. (May 2021)
- Low Life – This horror-comedy features a chupacabra exterminator and a marine biology student who become unlikely allies while solving a monstrous murder. Created and written by Steve Macarelli and Billy Lalor. Narrated by Nick Sullivan and Eleanor Caudill. (May 2021)
- If I Go Missing the Witches Did It – When a Black writer goes missing in the Hudson Valley, a white podcast host with a saviour complex takes up the cause of finding her — and collides with a coven of influencers she suspects are responsible. Written by Pia Wilson. (Summer 2021)
- Elixir – In this prohibition-inspired fantasy, magic is imbibed through elixirs, which have recently been forbidden by the gentry in the seaside city of Locq. When Elsie’s sister goes missing, she risks everything to find her, including a visit to a notorious Hush Bar, where elixirs are still served clandestinely. There, she meets Vera, a woman with magic-making in her blood. As they work together to find Elise’s sister, the two women begin a dangerous romance that crosses class lines. Written by Ellen Goodlett. (Winter 2021)
- Nemo – An Indian prince and scientific genius becomes the enemy of empires in this reimagining of the legendary submarine master from Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. Written by Samit Basu, Mimi Mondal, Shiv Ramdas, and Achala Upendran. (September 29, 2021)
- Roanoke Falls – From John Carpenter and Sandy King Carpenter comes a tense, atmospheric thriller about the fear of the unknown, the dangers of superstition, and the depths of desperation. A woman investigates a string of murders in the second Roanoke settlement, leading her to a serial killer from the original voyage who waits in the woods. (October 2021)
- Orphan Black: The Next Chapter Season 2 – Picking up where Season one left off, the Clone Club deals with the ramifications of being outed to the world. Written by Malka Older, Madeline Ashby, Mishell Baker, Heli Kennedy, E.C. Myers, and Lindsay Smith. Narrated by Tatiana Maslany, [and TV cast members] Jordan Gavaris, and Evelyne Brochu. (Spring 2021)
- Power Trip – Executive produced and narrated by Tatiana Maslany, Power Trip an irreverent dark comedy in which a screwed-up woman indulging in dark magic tries not to screw herself over. Written by Mary Elizabeth Hamilton, Sarah Smith, and Becca Mix. (Spring 2021)
- Angel to Some – From John Carpenter and Sandy King Carpenter, a chronically ill Catholic student calls on a guardian angel to protect her — but the angel who shows up instead wants her dead. (Summer 2022)
- Furnace – When a former tech darling sets out to start a utopia called “The Furnace, ” he and his fellow anarchists rebuild a former dilapidated town using large-scale 3D printers — only to discover they’ve printed structures made of an A.I. biotech and trapped themselves in a city that wants to kill them. (Summer 2022)
I’m not much of a horror guy, but a murderous, mean-spirited guardian angel is such a classic John Carpenter premise that I’ll be listening, along with If I Go Missing the Witches Did It, which is the best title for anything I’ve heard in a long, long while.
All these series will be free wherever podcasts are offered. Realm is — try not to be shocked here — launching a subscription service called Realm+, which will let you listen to its series ad-free and gives you access to its entire back catalogue. It’s only $4 per month, which is an excellent price for this sort of thing, and launches later this month.