You know how much we like our What Ifs here at The Dreamcage and how much more we enjoy thrilling Cold War dramas? Wireless Theatre have combined the two in their new Audio Drama serial Red Moon...
Way back in the mists of time (well, a couple of years ago anyway) Wireless Theatre took us back even further in time to the Victorian era with their audio drama series The Springheel Saga about the menace of Springheel’d Jack (read the reviews of that here). So we were very excited to get news from them recently about a new audio drama in the works. This time though, it’s not urban myths in Victorian London, it’s Cold War alt-history that comes under the spotlight in a world where Russia beat the US in the space race to land the first man on the moon. Reviews of the first two episodes are coming soon but for now, we’ll leave it to the series co-creator Robert Valentine to shed some more (moon)light on Red Moon in his article below...
Red Moon: Alternative Realities by Robert Valentine.
“с этим шагом мы все входим будущее человечества.”
(“With this step we enter the future of mankind.”)
Yuri Gagarin, 20th December 1968.
These days it often feels like we’re living in a far-fetched and darkly satirical parallel timeline. As the UK drifts into some murkily defined isolation, emboldened fascists sieg heil under the twin banners of the Stars and Bars and the swastika, and Donald Trump – Donald bleeding Trump – tweets alt-right alt-facts from the White House, it seems a good time to explore another parallel world inhabited by people who also suspect that history has taken a badly wrong turn… Wireless Theatre’s RED MOON.
The genesis of the project began in a not dissimilar way to that of The Springheel Saga; on a night out with my esteemed colleague, Mr Jack Bowman. One evening, as we were strolling through Covent Garden on our way to the tube, Jack remarked that he’d always wanted to do an alternative history story, expressing his admiration for things like Fatherland as the reason (this was years before The Man In The High Castle stormed our tellies). With the ‘Nazis Winning World War 2’ concept done to death, I suggested there’d be more mileage in finding another binary event of the 20th century – such as the moon landing – and that the (maybe too?) obvious title for such a tale would be ‘Red Moon’.
Heading our separate ways with a historical MacGuffin and a working title in mind, the question became: if the Soviets had reached the moon first, would America have let the space race end there or would they have pushed back the winning-post to the next logical point – lunar colonisation – and even armament? It seemed like a fun premise for a Harry Palmer-style thriller with sci-fi overtones, but the idea languished on the drawing board for a couple of years like the real-life blueprints for the Zvezda moonbase. However, after the double-whammy of Britain’s EU referendum result and the election of Donald J. Trump as the 45th president of the United States, RED MOON now seemed disconcertingly and depressingly relevant. We had all woken up in an alternative reality, and the question of ‘What If?’ was suddenly less interesting and pertinent than the question of “What Now?” RED MOON, in a very minor way, is an attempt to address that second question.
RED MOON is an alternate history, cold war audio thriller in six phases. Phase 1 – “Moonrise” – is out now, and as long as tensions between Washington and Pyongyang don’t escalate, I hope you make it all the way to Phase 6. But with the speed that global events are happening at the moment, who knows what the world will look like when you do?
This article was originally published on the Wireless Theatre Company blog on December 18th, 2017 and is reproduced with permission.
Phase 1 of Red Moon is FREE to stream on Wireless Theatre's audioBoom channel
Phase 2 (and all further phases once available) are exclusively available to buy on the Wireless Theatre website
Image - Wireless Theatre Company and @arbernaut