Blood Culture – reinvigorating British narrative audio drama

Bio-medical thriller, Blood Culture, is about to explore our 21st century anxieties. This podcast series looks at the marketisation of the human body, exploitation of Millennial interns and the pervasiveness of corporate control in our everyday lives. This high-octane drama, produced in conjunction with Resonance 104.4FM and The Wellcome Trust, combines music, humour and bleeding edge science to create a compelling digital whodunnit.

In Blood Culture, A’isha is just about holding down her job at tech giant Meta, until her old friend Livi appears in a rage and denounces their boss as a murderer.  Then she has to face up to what she has become, the lies that are woven in her past and the terrifying truth of what Meta are doing.

It’s a mystery that can be solved by engaging with a story that extends outside the listener’s ear buds and into a world of films, blogs, company web-sites and an innovative AI based SMS phone game. When listeners apply for a job at the fictitious company Meta they are contacted back via text by Justine, a desperate company intern. She’ll lead the player through an interactive story where they assist her remotely as she breaks into the company’s office at night to uncover the evidence that kick-starts the whole series.

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This immersive gaming experience is one of the ways in which the producers subvert the boundaries between fiction and the real world, marking the inception of a new generation of audio drama and exploring the possibilities of the form beyond the podcast format. “Audio drama is at an incredibly exciting point at the moment, reaching new audiences and telling fresh stories,” says the multi-award-winning series producer, Lance Dann. “I wanted Blood Culture to capture this energy in a way that is visceral, surprising and amusing. Wrapped around the interactive and immersive media, there is a strong story with a cautionary narrative.” The series feels like a work of science fiction but is actually science fact. Everything presented in the series is possible, feasible and probably happening moment. The creative team created a project that takes some of the most exciting ideas in bio-medical science, and present them now in a dynamic and entertaining manner. The story of Blood Culture explores different biomedical themes within each episode, framing them as potential solutions to the crimes that multinational tech company Meta have been committing.

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The work will be released in April, and serialized through to mid-July (via 10×30-minute podcast episodes) when it will be premiered in full on Resonance 104.4FM. After that it’ll be available as a package of 5×60 minute programmes to Public Service Broadcasters and community stations internationally.

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