Gaia’s Voyages — Initial Series Review

Before I begin the review of Gaia’s Voyages from Brokensea Audio Productions, let me make two brief statements:

1. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Holy Flying Monkeys, Batman. I can’t BELIEVE some of the people who are reading this blog! It’s crazy. I feel like a  McDonalds worker who suddenly realizes that the person who just ordered a Big Mac is actually the guy who owns the whole company. Some of the people who write these shows, produce them, and act in them actually read this blog. I’m honored, but also terrified.

2. A note to anyone who intends to take college level Psychology: Don’t. I mean, unless you intend on actually going into that field, in which case, go right ahead. Maybe you’ll end up treating me in the future, because this class is going to make me go crazy.

—-

OK! On to the review!

I’m trying to remember where I heard the trailer for Gaia’s Voyages. I think it was on The Byron Chronicles and The Leviathan Chronicles. Going by the trailer, this show seems a little cheesy. I was a little iffy on the premise itself, which seemed a little, well, one-dimensional. I was wondering, “How far can they carry a show that’s about extraterrestrial wildlife conservation?”

Note to self: Don’t go by the trailer. Never ever.

When I started listening to Gaia’s Voyages, my initial reaction was “Wow, this is funny!” Even though that humor continues well past the first episode, that isn’t all there is to the story. Nor is ‘Gaia’ only about protecting wildlife and ecosystems on distant planets; there’s a sub-plot worthy of The X-Files or Section 31, there’s assassins and conspiracies, dark pasts and darker futures, and friendship and even romance that is found in the most unlikely of places. Also, I’m a big fan of character-driven storylines, and Gaia is no exception.

There are only four episodes out so far. Well, five, because Episode 4 is a two-parter. Still, the amount of depth found in the world Gaia inhabits is phenomenal. The aliens are new aliens, not  races regurgitated out of one of two SciFi shows with the word ‘Star’ in their names. Some follow standard guidelines (for instance, a shapeshifter), but for the most part, the alien races and creatures that have been encountered so far have been original, or at least fresh variations on a familiar theme.

The same goes for the characters in general. In Joss Whedon’s Firefly, the running joke is that the ship herself, Serenity, is the 10th character on the show. In this case, the ship is literally a character. The Zoo Ship Gaia has artificial sentience; emotions, opinions, and a personality. Another great example of one of the series’ 3-dimensional characters is Captain Elizabeth Monroe. When we first encounter her in Episode 1, she’s on a vacation in the Amazon and complaining about insects, impromptu anti-mosquito song included. Then, she flies a space shuttle upside-down. But beneath the surface layer of apparent craziness this character, like the show itself, has hidden depths…and a dark side.

I also like the fact that there’s exposition. (Wow, never thought I’d say that.) Usually, I tend to think that having a narrator is the way to go, as long as it’s a good narrator just providing the details and descriptions that the characters logically couldn’t. (Prime example: The Leviathan Chronicles) In ‘Gaia’, however, there’s enough character exposition to provide a foundation for the series, without getting annoying. It may seem to be laid on a little thick in the first few episodes, but that changes once the show takes off.

Now, we turn to the cast. Wow. Just, wow. I have to admit, before I start listening to a new show, I always check the cast list. Not only is Gaia’s cast list huge, but it features a lot of familiar names: Elaine Barrett (also the show’s creator), David Ault, Mark Kalita, Bruce Busby, Melissa Johnson… and those are just a few of the names that I recognise from Darker Projects and can pull off the top of my head. Like I said, the cast list is immense, and it contains some great talent.

The music… in that area, ‘Gaia’ excells. I’m an amateur musician, I love music, and I always pay attention to the score in movies and podcasts. What makes ‘Gaia’s Voyages’ stand out from the crowd in this aspect is that the music in ‘Gaia’ was composed specifically for ‘Gaia’. Its brilliant, and it can be found right here, if I did the link right. 

Finally, my only semi-complaint with this show is that in the beginning, a few of the aliens’ voices weren’t exactly easy on the ears…but I got used to it. Other than that… I’ve got nothing.

Episode 5 should be coming soon, so keep your eyes open for the latest installment. In the meantime, set aside an hour or so to listen to the first 4 Episodes. I’d recommend downloading them from iTunes/Zune Marketplace, depending on your music player, but click the following link to get teleported to the official website:  Engage Internet Teleport.

I’m very glad I was introduced to this series (and that I was introduced to it at the beginning, so that I could get up to speed quickly). I’m looking forward to following it through this season, and into the next.

Next Up: A review of Pendant Audio’s ‘Once Upon a Time in Vegas’, if I can manage to listen to enough of it for a proper review without my brain exploding.

Also: Please don’t be shy; feel free to leave comments in the comments area below!

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8 Responses to “Gaia’s Voyages — Initial Series Review”

  1. People read them because they’re well thought out and feedback is not as common as everyone would like.

    Good or bad, the producers would love more feedback…

    Keep up the good work.

  2. Thanks a bunch for the review, Sam! I always like reading what you say about other shows and having one up about Gaia is quite a thrill!

  3. Which comes out Thursday, I think

  4. What’s wrong with psychology?

    • leviathandances Says:

      It’s a difficult, time-consuming, sanity-erasing course. For me, at any rate. It’s an interesting subject, but there’s a lot of exams and busy work associated with it.

  5. I love your reviews also, by the way..
    Although I am only a non threatening “lay person”..

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