Darkfield’s hallucinatory audio dramas are practically their own genre and I don’t think it’s totally unreasonable to say that if you’ve seen one before, you basically know what you’re getting yourself into with a newie.
‘Seen’, of course, is not the operative word: like predecessors ‘Seance' and ‘Flight’, ‘Eulogy’ takes place in total blackout conditions, inside a sealed shipping container, with the show prerecorded and relayed via headphones - a trippy audio drama relayed in disorientating binaural sound.
There’s a twist with this one, which is that our headsets have microphones in them, and throughout the show we’re asked a series of yes/no questions about ourselves - it’s mostly at the beginning and I started to wonder if there had been any point to it, but it actually builds up to an extremely amusing twist at the end – it’s a throwaway gag, but it’s a good throwaway gag.
Otherwise, it’s a traditional Darkfield adventure: that is to say, a batshit crazy story that involves us being entered into some sort of bizarre contest at a strange hotel, where we’re put under the charge of a ‘helper’ who seems to be tasked with taking us through a ritualistic series of actions that must be followed to the letter if we’re to succeed in the contest. We do not follow them to the letter… and things get very dark.
The plots in Darkfield shows always seem to follow the vertiginously swirling logic of dreams, with abrupt changes in location and a cheerful disregard for coherence. That’s fine, but there is a ‘Twilight Zone’-style plot to ‘Eulogy’ which is genuinely compelling but quite hard to follow for the above reasons.
I get where Darkfield are coming from with the dreamy stuff, but I don’t think they’d be selling out if next time they evolved themselves by tightening up the storytelling rather than simply breaking out a new techy gimmick – fun though they are.