I’ve spent the last month listening to this, in its entirety, for the second time. This is one of my favorite long-form audio productions I’ve ever heard, alongside Earthsearch, A Canticle for Leibowitz, and We’re Alive.
The story, characters, and acting help me see past the production design and quality issues, most of which are forgivable and surely budget related.
The characters, the characters, the characters. And the story.
And it has a great fantasy world – rich and detailed, with traditions, rituals, societal classes, sporting events, even a language you start picking up as you listen.
The bloopers at the end of each episode just add to the fun.
Season Two is like a thrilling upgrade sequel. Makes the first season look like amateur hour. Everything to love about the first season but now SO much improved. The writing is more mature and darker, the storyline richer, the sound design (including the music) and quality are even better than the first season, the characters are deeper, the acting is more demanding yet the performers meet the task beautifully.
If this story has a flaw it is not fully realizing the abilities of Mike and Katherine. We’re told about the remarkable potentials of all three characters in the beginning of the story, but only Shauna’s are realized. The abilities of the other two are barely even mentioned again and certain scenes even contradict Mike’s strengths we’re told of. Was this intentional? I doubt it. I fear the story in its entirety wasn’t outlined and they simply made it up as they went and decided to abandon the two to focus on the one.
This is the only point that I would consider as a failing of this show.
As an entire package, I give this show a solid A+ and I will always keep my own personal stash of every episode. I’m positive I will listen to it many times for many years to come.
Note – When I went to gather various info for this post, I found that the Second Shift website had received quite an update and now has an incredible amount of bonus material and information about every episode. This will tip me over the brink from Second Shift fan to full blown Second Shift GEEK. We’re talking commentaries, episode notes and analyses, scripts (and drafts), and the full primer on the Charandrean language I’ve always wanted, etc., etc..
And I can’t wait to start digging into it all! :)
This Parsec-Award nominated audio drama follows the adventures of three students from Boston who are summoned to another world against their will. There they must either find their places or find a way home. New friends, new enemies, clashes of culture and clashes of personality help and hinder them in their search for answers.
Second Shift follows an ambitious, character-centric story arc about three college students from Boston who find themselves “shifted” against their will to another world. They must find their place in that world while trying to return to theirs.