Written by J.B. Stephen and performed by Michael Johnston, Philip’s Apocalypse is a locally made drama podcast series that chronicles Philip’s journey as he struggles to survive the aftermath of the apocalypse.
In a word, Philip’s Apocalypse is incredibly immersive. Through musical score, sound effects and quality voice-acting, the podcast evokes the atmosphere of Philip’s bleak world, drawing the listener into the story in a way that’s engaging and intriguing.
Despite the bleakness of Philip’s situation, the podcast isn’t a downer. It is sombre, yet soothing. Serious, but not without moments of levity.
The music, in particular, helps contribute to the distinct ambiance of Philip’s Apocalypse, as well as accentuate the emotionality of a particular moment. The music (by J.B. Stephen) is delicate, slow, moody and airy. Each note of the piano is perfectly timed and pleasing to the ears.
In addition to the music, the podcast’s sound effects are incredibly detailed. Each sound one would expect to hear as Philip trudges through the snow, opens a door or rummages for supplies is presented and accounted for. Impressively, each sound is authentic: clear and high-quality. Together, both music and sound effects work in tandem to create a vivid image of the story’s world.
The story of the podcast itself is endearing. While the first episode begins with the lonely circumstances of Philip’s life (told through retrospective narration and soliloquy) it ends with him making a connection that’s heartwarming and endearing. This, in no small part, is due to Johnston’s heartfelt performance.
What’s more, the podcast’s first episode hints at in-depth lore surrounding the nature of the apocalypse and the impact it has had on civilization. This only adds to the intrigue of the narrative. Lore and worldbuilding aside, the podcast’s character-writing is also well done, especially for a pilot episode. This is a credit to the excellent writing.
All in all, Philip’s Apocalypse is a polished podcast series with high-quality acting, writing and sound. It checks off all the boxes for a great story-based drama podcast series, and then goes above and beyond. As of right now, the Past Bedtime Studio team has released five episodes in its first season, along with a few bonus episodes, as well. Be sure to support the Winnipeg studio as they work to complete Philip’s apocalyptic journey and whatever projects they take on in the future.
Published in Volume 75, Number 04 of The Uniter (October 1, 2020)