A big and humble thanks to our gurus Larry Fessenden and Glenn McQuaid for giving us a special shout out on Larry’s personal news feed and on the Tales from Beyond the Pale Facebook fan site. We’re not worthy, we’re not worthy! (If you haven’t LIKED Tales yet on Facebook then why do you bother with Facebook at all? Get on that, people.) I can’t even begin to convey how much giddy texting and emailing has been going on since Glenn’s comment ON THIS VERY BLOG as well as Larry’s link and then finally the post on the Tales’ Facebook page. We are super excited and we hope that other fans are enjoying the discussion. Let’s all raise our glasses to an awesome Season 1 and to a mythical and much desired Season 2. Here’s to MORE TALES! Cheers!
Summary: A company sends an envoy to evaluate and retrieve data from a unsuccessful pioneer colony on a mysterious moon.
OMG. Ron Perlman AND Doug Jones?? How much do I love Hellboy II? (Answer: A lot. I could watch that puppet part like a million times, never mind some of the beautiful scenes with Prince Nuada and….wait, what? Huzzah?Where am I?) This Oracle Moon isn’t scary per se, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t fit in well among it’s frightening audio brothers and audio sisters. It is a fun story to listen to and it is a real homage to the old school radio plays that are the inspiration for this new revival. Being a huge fan of sci-fi, this Tale was really one that I was looking forward to and with such great actors, how could you not be excited? Well, the acting is great. Ron Perlman and Doug Jones are solid. However the story line isn’t particularly exciting or mind blowing. Still, it’s a good story with obvious twists that plays out well but remains ever-so-slightly underwhelming. What I did love is that in writing this tale they partake in the classic sci-fi rite of passage which is the creation and implementation of new and futuristic sounding jargon like: phillanthium (filanthium?), The Nam (that name seems to constantly remind me of Vietnam–strange juxtaposition), out-system mission, etc. Fun! I think I’m going use the phrase “tastes like credits” all the time. The beeps and beboops of space flight were great and the setting was clearly demonstrated by booster blasts and Doug Jones’ robot-ified voice. This is a great into to Tales for any sci-fi but not horror fan.
The Oracle Moon not only has the deep, wise, action-hero voice of Ron Perlman (aka Hellboy), but also just enough sci-fi to get anyone’s nerd blood pumping. It isn’t super original; but it does have some twisties that help give the story its own flavor, even as any listener who likes space sagas can immediately pin-point this Tale’s inspirations (I’d say it’s a mash-up of the best parts of the Alien movies, Firefly tv series, and Planet of the Apes). You need to pay a bit more attention to this one than some of the other Tales just because of the special space dudes’ vocabulary (dark matter radiation! Credits! Cycles!), but it’s a pretty basic, classic story: an antihero with a noble cause up against the man and the Unknown. The space setting is a nice change-up from the rest of the series. The atmosphere is still great though it is built with buzzes and static and Hal-esque computer voices more than with the squishes and screams of other TFBTP. But it makes great use of sci-fi-y thumps and echoes, especially in the climactic Nam attack on the ship. Even my puppy was disturbed by the android’s maniacal laughter, and oh, man, the Nam have some great old fashioned scary growls and grunts.
Bonus points for listing “The Nam” as “themselves” in the CD liner note credits.
This Oracle Moon is a very different sort of Tale. It is classic sci-fi, a story that feels like it would fit quite well on the version of The Outer Limits that aired in the late 90s. That is to say, it is a story that might not carry many surprises, but is very well told and has at least one well known actor in it. Ron Perlman does, as always, an excellent job. The sound effects of this Tale do a great job of forming an image in your mind of an extra-terrestrial planet, and are kind of a constant, aural reminder of the environment in which the story takes place. The atmosphere of this Tale is great– it is not scary like some of the others but feels very cold and lonely. This Oracle Moon uses some common sci-fi lingo, and feels almost like the radio play equivalent of a really good B-movie. This Tale is not very scary, and the story seems fairly standard for sci-fi, but it is incredibly fun to listen to, and scratches that hard to reach sci-fi itch. Even though it is a totally different style from the rest of TFBTP, it fits the old fashioned radio feel, and the rest of the series, perfectly.
Next up: Trawler