Friday, March 5, 2010

The Endless Night

The Endless Night is an Art Lawful Production and a new series just into its sixth episode from the count on the libsyn server. The Production company is a theater and audio production company founded by Timothy J. Meyer in 2008. They have recently focused on online podcasting and film.
Website
The website is a typical Libsyn feed site. Nothing special or invasive. The color scheme works for the series The Endless Night, but there's little details about the people involved, the universe, or where people can get in touch with the creators. Rating 3/5

 Theater Type- Modern
Endless Night uses voice actors that appear to be recorded in some form of studio and uses modern sound effects and music.

Acting Type- Amateur
While some of the acting is extraordinarily good, there is certainly a sense that the actors are new to this genre and are still finding their voices and characters. This is understandable, and I look forward to hearing more from them as the series continues. Steven Molony as Captain Nemo is especially a delight. Danielle Marie who plays Moira seems a little shakier on her role. Perhaps the funniest acting comes from Oddy the alien, although he remains uncredited in their wikipedia entry. Bel8 played by James Vonasek sounds the most artificial of the bunch but by episode 5 he's much better, and Katie Adducci does a more than able job with the lines fed to her. One of the main issues I have is that sometimes actors make a mistake in the line and there is no attempt to do a second take. Errors that don't sound natural, aren't natural. Still, all in all the show keeps improving with each episode. Rating 3.5/5

Production Type- Minimal
While there certainly are a lot of sound effects occurring in space battles, for the most part sound effects are sparse. This makes for a bit of an uneven performance, as at times when someone was running through the spaceship, I was craning to listen to footsteps that were not there. Creating an atmosphere for each setting would improve the production immensely. But the number one production requirement is better microphones. The first episode was ghastly, and I recommend people skip it and move to the second. The sound quality was no better than everyone wearing metal pails on their heads while recording. Still many of the characters sound like they are recording in their bathrooms where echoes and distance from the microphone makes it difficult to stay with the story which is a shame. The story is really good! Another minor problem is the different stings used. The fiddle sting works very well with the tone of the story, the standard ominous sting that so many people use from Garage Band and was made especially famous in the 7th Son Trilogy should be shelved. Try to get different fiddle or guitar stings to keep the integrity of the theme.  Rating 2/5

Writing
The writing is what shines about this series. Meyer has a real love for space opera. His dialog between characters is natural sounding. The Captain's pithy remarks sing off the page and must be fun for the actor to read. Meyer writes exciting battle sequences with interesting battle strategies. Everyone loves a rogue, but a clever rogue is dynamite. Captain Nemo is the rapscallion everyone wants to have as their captain when the shit hits the fan. Great character development for the other characters don't really develop until episode 5 where we look at how they got together. This episode is a little confusing as it goes back and forth from past to present time, but fills in a lot of gaps as to how some of the crew got on the Unconstant Lover (Personally I think the word should be "Inconstant" but my dictionary tells me that "unconstant" is allowable too) . Rating 4/5

Additional Notes
I get the feeling that Meyer is a fan of Firefly. If he isn't, he should be. And if he is, he needs to trumpet this to all the Browncoats everywhere. The Endless Night has the energy of a Firefly story: Pirates and spaceships, a Captain down on his luck, and an unfair universe stacked against him. Everyone loves an underdog, and I think there's lots to love about Endless Night.

Over All Rating
I would say that if you like space adventure audio drama, with some humour, lots of battles, and you don't mind folks who are just on the learning curve of understanding production values, then give Endless Night a listen. It's a fun show with lots of good potential. Rating 3.5/5

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for the review!

    We're really glad that you like the show! As you say, we're still feeling our feet with the show and the series and we're hopeful you'll remain with us as we continue down this new road.

    We're into recording our Second Season and things are definitely improving in leaps and bounds - so stay with us!

    - Timothy J. Meyer
    An Art Lawful Productions

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  2. Thanks for reading the review Timothy. It is an enjoyable pulp series I will remain listening to as long as you keep pumping them out :)
    Congratulations on the coup of getting Mr. Gregg Taylor to guest star. Will you be asking other folks to be involved as well?
    Warmly,
    ~J. Snowe

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