A Voice From The Dark (ex-Channel Awesome Producer Crossover Radio Drama)

I don’t know how many people here were around when Channel Awesome was born (or let alone when it was That Guy With The Glasses), but if there’s any of you out there, I thought you should know about this.

Lewis Lovhaug (aka comic book reviewer Linkara) put together a crossover radio drama starring a bunch of former Channel Awesome producers and is putting it up on Youtube in parts, four of them out now (Diamanda Hagan and Dena are also posting episodes on their channels, possibly some others I don’t follow).

For those unaware, Channel Awesome came about roughly a decade ago now, a site filled with video reviewers who ended up creating a shared continuity in their videos, resulting in four crossover specials scripted and directed by Doug Walker (aka the Nostalgia Critic). It was kind of a huge deal for awhile there and inspired a ton of video producers. However, the site started to bleed producers for one reason or another, and rumors were passed around of people being injured on set of these crossover filmings and abusive management practices (plus crap like briefly having the amazing atheist as a contributor, though he only did a movie trailer review show for them). Last year, a bunch of former producers released a doc compiling all of their issues with the site, and those issues ranged from minor to actually utterly horrific, so much so that to go into further detail would require a whole heap of trigger warnings.

Basically everyone still left on the site quit except for Brad Jones (the Cinema Snob) and the site no longer functionally exists. The planned 10th anniversary that the new talent that populated the site would have been apart of was canned.

It was not a happy time for anyone involved, and I won’t go further into detail (you can look that up yourself).

So color me surprised when Lewis dug up an old crossover idea he had after the forth special, re-wrote it to work in the newer producers and meta text on the whole situation (he does this a lot in his story lines he puts in his videos from time to time), and then produced and edited it together as a radio play.

I’m surprised by how good this has been so far. Lewis’s filmed stuff tends to go on a bit too long at points because he’s not great at editing or framing action, but a full on audio drama ended up removing that big weakness of his and the strength of his writing shines. It’s this cheesy horror adventure that balances comedy and drama well, and you can tell he has a ton of love and respect for everyone involved in this project. Everyone does a great job acting out their parts (oh how I missed Chaos D1’s weirdly intense voice) and all the story beats are introduced just right and are paced out in an effective way.

There’s even real acknowledgement of the CA fiasco that’s handled in a very raw, personal way. There’s a turn at the end of part three that really caught me off guard and let Lewis really go all theatrical (which he is very good at), playing off well with the other producers and their complicated feelings with what CA meant to them (especially the generational divide between the two ages of the site).

Producers involved: MarzGirl, Diamanda Hagan, Linkara, The Blockbuster Buster, Dena, Welshy, Chaos D1, The Dom (now Dominic Noble), Some Jerk with the Camera, Mike J, Suede, Paw, Nella and Elisa (Lindsey’s friends), Bargain Boy, Calluna, Luke, Nash, Lotus Prince, Shaun, Ryan, and Yomarz.

There are more names that I would have liked to have seen there (though many do at least get a mention, like Allison, Phelous, Sad Panda, Film Brain, ect) but the cast is well used and everyone has good chemistry with each other (unsure if they were recording via a call or recorded separately with extremely good direction on Lewis’ part).

EDIT: I got the title wrong at first lol

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The sixth and final part released last night on Linkara’s channel! I was surprised by a few names in the credits list I missed before, especially the guy who used to do What We Had to Watch doing music for the series (who mainly does Nintendo themed songs these days).

It was easily the best anniversary thing by a mile, because Linkara was clearly not writing this from an egotistical perspective and gave everyone a time to shine. He even dug at his own personal shortcomings his persona and he has a writer has grown over the years and how his stories usually focus on him too much.

Highlights:

Spoilers

-Diamanda Hagan betraying the Voice just for the hell of it, which fits her inconsistant persona well

-Defeating a demonic being of sound with a cover of Time Warp from Rocky Horror Picture Show

-Welshy and ChaosD1 referncing that weird Phelous alliance from back in their trolling days and making Bargain Boy an honorary member

-MarzGirl getting to be the person who brings everyone together

-ERod’s big damn hero moments

-Yomarz’s sudden rhyming skills

-Solving the problem with alcohol explosions and Molotov cocktails

-After party on Linkara’s spaceship