Julian Simpson’s brilliant trilogy of HP Lovecraft adaptations for the BBC are audacious, terrifying and occasionally hilarious. Transposed to the present day, each of the three series takes one of the author’s early twentieth yarns of comic horror – ‘The Case of Charles Dexter Ward’, ‘The Whisperer in Darkness’ and ‘The Shadow Innsmouth’ – and makes them the subject of The Mystery Machine, a sly parody of a true-crime podcast, daringly spliced together with Simpson’s own Pleasant Green meta-universe.
What’s the difference between a ‘fiction podcast’ and a ‘radio play’? To be honest, it doesn’t really matter, and if you want to call these gripping yarns radio plays, then you do you. However, as a rule, these selections are united by scope and length that’s closer to a TV show than a play, with many of these picks lengthy and with multiple series, and several of the more successful ones already well on their way to being adapted for the small screen. For whatever reason, podcast dramas lend themselves to science fiction and horror-based shows, but this lovingly-curated list contains everything from gripping conspiracy thrillers to sitcoms as funny as anything you’ll catch on the box.
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