Final Rune Productions, 2011-
Sometimes, when revisiting a series
already reviewed, it's wise just to clear one's mind and approach it as if listening for the first time.
This is what I did with The
Cleansed, one of the best-produced and sonically sophisticated radio serials around. Written, produced and directed
by Fred Greenhalgh, it combines a large cast with ingenious sound effects, a brilliantly contrastive musical score - incorporating
classical as well as popular elements - plus occasional live recordings from local groups.
Although set in the future, The Cleansed
echoes great science fiction serials of the past in its emphasis on collective values as a means of protecting individuals
against harm. The serial integrates past, present and future to create a dystopian world in which people struggle for
freedom against apparently unseen (and imperceptible forces). Radio is perhaps unique in this respect, as it can move
seamlessly from past to present to future, creating worlds in which distinctions between the three no longer seem to matter.
The Cleansed is structured
as a series of short scenes, allowing stories to unfold in parallel. Even if you've not heard any one of the podcasts
yet - and if you haven't, I urge you to do - just to sample one of them is an experience in itself.