Are you going on a road-trip and need something to listen to? Want to bring some entertainment on the treadmill? Have you already spent eight hours looking at a screen today and need to stay occupied while giving your eyes a break?
If you’re looking for a new podcast for any reason, then let me recommend The London Necropolis Railway.
From their website:
The London Necropolis Railway is an original, full cast audio drama podcast that premiered on November 7, 2018.
The story takes place in London’s underground system where an organisation called The London Necropolis Railway works to move the souls of the dead out of London to avoid the city getting overrun with hauntings.
Barney works at the LNR, he’s one of the ghouls whose job it is to ensure that the souls end up on the trains that take them to the hereafter. He is bored with his job and tired of his endless existence when one day a soul refuses get on the train. The soul, a private investigator named Agnes, convinces Barney to help her catch the demon she was hunting when she died. Together they have to confront his boss, the demon that wants them dead, and even death itself.
The show is is inspired by the real London Necropolis Railway which was active from the middle of the 1800s to the middle of the 1900s. It was a train line that moved dead bodies out of London to a cemetery 40 minutes outside of the city. The BBC has called it ‘the spookiest, strangest train line in British history.’
How cool does that sound? And the execution is just as good as the concept.
The London Necropolis Railway is a short podcast: only seven episodes, each one clocking in at about ten minutes long. It doesn’t feel rushed or undeveloped, though. It’s simply a tightly-scripted story that doesn’t waste any time.
While the story doesn’t shy away from the topic of death (One of the characters has just been brutally murdered and is barely holding it together as a ghost), comedy and warmth from the character interactions keep things from becoming too dark. And the characters are the main draw of this show for me (besides the overall concept–which, again, is so awesome).
Most of the characters are ghouls (who are very bureaucratic in this universe). You’ve got Barney, a slacker who’s been working at the station for endless time and is trying to break the monotony by spicing up the boarding announcements when we meet him. He’s hilarious to listen to, but I would hate to be his coworker.
His boss, Siobhan, seems equally tired of their job (and extremely tired of Barney’s nonsense) and is angling for a promotion so she can do something different. She has a spotless record spanning back a century, so it’s bad news when she gets a call from Barney reporting that one of the souls that’s supposed to board the train has gone missing. Especially since management has picked that day to audit her station.
The voice acting is superb, from Barney’s sigh-heavy, reluctant tones to Siobhan’s forced cheerfulness that attempts to hide her stress. And the sound effects are top notch. You really feel like you’re on a crowded train platform or moving through damp, dark underground tunnels.
I won’t say too much about the plot to avoid spoilers, but it has a good rhythm of tense action and quiet character moments and takes some nice twists and turns. If you like urban fantasy (and you wouldn’t be on this website if you didn’t), then you’ll probably find something to like about The London Necropolis Railway. Start listening wherever you get your podcasts from, or visit their website at lnrpodcast.com.
Got any good audio drama recommendations? Share them in the comments!