Dark Ages created by Brandon Kraemer
Release Date: May 17, 2018 (Trailer) & May 24, 2018 (Episode 1)
Running Time: Currently Episode 1 runs to 1 Hour & 9 Minutes
Summary: High fantasy. High culture. Low attendance. For the staff of the Rivercliffe Museum of Mostly Natural Histories, the only thing harder than attracting patrons is suffering each other…until a new exhibit results in a world of trouble marching up to their front gate.
My Thoughts: Dark Ages is a comedic, high fantasy audio drama! With an expansive world, solid cast of characters, brilliantly written, and complex story, this newly released audio drama is one to definitely check out!
After finishing The Bright Sessions series finale, I was on the look for even more audio dramas to add to my already filled subscription feed.
As I was browsing twitter, I came across Dark Ages!
The summary sounded so unique and interesting and because of my love of the Audio Dime Museum, I was definitely intrigued to check out another museum-centered podcast!
It was fantastic and easily one of my new favorites! I am beyond excited to see where the next episode and series as a whole, is headed!
The story is very intricate and complex, that I was worried it would be difficult to follow along, but with each passing minute I found myself understanding even more of the intriguing story and world!
Episode 1, The New Exhibit (aka The Crown of Shadow’s Dawn), begins with the Dark Priest conducting a ceremony that brings back The Dark Lord. And after his 999 year slumber, he’s ready to reclaim and conquer worlds, alongside his goblin army, and his Crown Of Shadows Dawn.
But, to his surprise its gone!
Though its clear its a very expansive world in just this first episode, the backstory to how the museum got the crown was weaved in so perfectly and expanded on what we heard in the previous scene through The Dark Priest & Lord!
As we learn of his plan to get the crown back, we are then taken to the city Rivercliffe, located on the planet of Middle Elsewhere.
The local museum suffers but not on new exhibit day! However, as it turns out the new exhibit is for none other than, the Crown Of Shadows Dawn!
The lore of the crown expands as we learn that one of the employees of the museum worries that they should look into it more before setting it up for display!
Now as we are introduced more of the staff, we learn of the great threat outside their museum doors, The Dark Lord and his army, eager to find the crown!
The descriptive writing not only builds a paranormal and fantastical setting, but also easily introduces you to the expansive world of the Dark Ages Podcast!
Characters, from their very first introductions, are incredibly developed and well rounded, and while this is the first episode there is quite an expansive cast of characters which is great!
I did find it hard to keep track of them all at some points (name-wise), but of course it is just the first episode and after reaching the end, definitely had a better understanding of each character!
The dialogue is so clever and brilliantly executed that each of the voice actors delivery, really allowed each character to stand out!
There were so many amazing characters and I really loved them all! I can’t wait to see how they develop even more over the course of the show!
For example, Nick! Though he is an employee of the museum, he is tasked by Marwood (the curator) with staying away from the crown.
According to the Marwood, he’s a thief who has been known to steal exhibit pieces due to curiosity.
I just really loved how his character was introduced and overall he was such an interesting character!
Again, while there were so many interesting and wonderfully developed characters, I also loved Malison (the legal attorney to the museum), Marwood, and the Dark Lord!
Malison is introduced in the beginning, but I loved how her character is developed in an interesting way near the end! Getting more to her backstory and how it played into the plot made the ending to the first episode surprising and overall a great set up for the rest of the series!
As Marwood tries to keep his museum safe from the invasion, we definitely learn more about him and just how much he cares about the museum and how important the crown is for the future of it!
The writing brings so much life and personality into each character, the setting, lore and fantastic comedy that’s weaved throughout the entire episode!
As the plot progresses with the Dark Lord’s arrival, the whole museum scene where the staff gets split up and tries to trick or go after the goblins was so well done and hilarious! I loved that entire scene, which basically runs for the majority of the episode! It really revealed more about the characters and was just so incredibly well executed!
The end of the episode its revealed Malison is also a sorceress and used dark powers/legal work (& help of the underworld) to keep the crown from returning to the Dark Lord, when he, his army &the museum staff finally reach the exhibit.
As the episode comes to an end, its revealed that the Dark Lord compromised to get his crown as long as he stays as an exhibit alongside the it.
The employees are now in charge of looking over him as he’s stuck for a year in the exhibit.
Now its clear he will regain his power alongside the crown as he plans to use that time and wait until the contracted time is up.
The ending left me wanting the 2nd episode right away and with so many theories on where the story is headed!
The Dark Ages podcast starts off on an incredibly high note with its first episode! The superb writing delivers a stellar cast of characters, brilliantly weaves comedy with fantasy, and delivers a plot that clearly has so much in store! The Dark Ages audio drama podcast is definitely one to listen to if your a fan of comedy, dark/high fantasy, intricate lore, and vast world + wonderfully developed cast of characters! ✨🎙
That concludes my 2nd audio drama review! There are definitely more audio drama reviews I plan to recommend & can’t wait to share! I hope to continue with this new addition to Literary Listens because there are just so many great audio drama podcasts out there that do such a phenomenal job with storytelling and I’m hoping my posts have inspired you to check them out! 🎉✨♥
Are you interested in the Dark Ages podcast? Are there any audio drama podcasts that you recommend? 🎙✨