A fallen psychologist grows more and more deeply obsessed with the occult, leading him to spurning mob bosses and tearing off to forgotten small towns in search of his visions of a drowning woman. Meanwhile, the small town in question is haunted by ghosts of its own, and dark secrets that creep up from the past. Sound like a good start to a ghoulish drama? It sure as hell is, and it’s the premise behind the new podcast series Wormwood, which I had the delight of feasting my ears on this past week.
Wormwood is a new serial which follows in the footsteps of Shadow Falls, though the pace is a tad slower, less epic in scope (at least in the first few episodes) and not as insulated to the confines of the town. There’s still the requisite town diner, the dopey sheriff, and strange happenings galore, albeit with mysterious, rather than apocalyptic, overtones. While the series is still early (it’s only on its third episode) so far there’s a great set up, lots of moving wheels, and a storyline that breezes you through the intriguing narrative.
Not that Wormwood isn’t without its technical snafus. Lamentably, the production suffers from some rather boxy sounding effects, the occasional “is this guy in a well?” phenomena with the voice recording, and a few painfully rough scene transitions that leave you in “what’s happening?” land rather than where you should be — deeply entwined in the story. On the other side of things, the musical score is fantastic, and overall the acting is above the cut.? Besides, the story itself is what makes the series, and good story is in no shortage here.
I admire the commitment to producing an ongoing series, and Wormwood is one of the more promising ones I’ve heard lately (okay, it’s one of the only I’ve heard lately). With what appears to be great community support (com’n, how the heck do you get all those people to comment on your blog?) and an engaging storyline fraught with perils and intrigue, Wormwood should be the next stop on the XML dial for audio mystery enthusiasts.