The Sonic Society

Showcasing the very best in new Audio Drama

Welcome To The Sonic Society!

Each week Jack Ward and David Ault are pleased to showcase the very best Modern Audio Theatre (Radio Drama) from around the world. From the days of Old Time Radio in the early 20th century until the modern age of broadcasts, podcasts, and streaming simulcasts, audio plays are movies for the mind!

August 2020

Sonic Speaks 0501: Nightfall #1: Ballentine and Hartnell

Posted By on June 21, 2020

In preparation for the 40th anniversary of the classic Old Time Radio series- Nightfall from the CBC, Jack sits down to talk to John Scott Ballentine and Kevin Hartnell of the amazing Campfire Radio Theater podcast!

Sonic Society #651- Temporary Sounds

Posted By on June 21, 2020

This week in our penultimate episode of Season 15 we have The Temp from Michael Wilhelm with two shows.

Sonic Speaks 0404: Broken Bard Studios

Posted By on June 14, 2020

Last month, Jack sat down with the movers and shakers of Broken Bard Studios– Austin Beach and Drew Profit!

Sonic Society #650- Filthy Audio

Posted By on June 14, 2020

In an extend Sonic Society double-feature, Richard Raymond brings us Filthy ’47 the first two parts of an audio serial in four. England. 1947. Former Land Girls Joyce & Kay stumble upon a sinister conspiracy to plunge the world back into war.

Sonic Echo: 405 Western Adventures: Dr. Sixgun

Posted By on June 7, 2020

Lothar, Jeff and Jack go digging into the golden treasure chest that is Old Time Radio. The week, the Amigos explore Dr. Six Gun and “Colonel Crown is a Mad Man!”

Sonic Society #649- Quarantides

Posted By on June 7, 2020

In a timely new feature from the Frozen Frights horror anthology, Jeffrey Adams and Icebox Radio Theater presents “Quarantine”!

Sonic Society #648-Void Voices

Posted By on May 31, 2020

This week Jack suffers from ennui and David cheers him up with some The Call of the Void audio drama therapy!

Sonic Echo: 307 Temple of Vampires

Posted By on May 24, 2020

This week we search through the archives and discover a lost episode from Season 3 of Sonic Echo- Temple of Vampires! From I Love a Mystery! Jeff Billard brings this amazing series to the other Amigos! Lothar Tuppan and Jack Ward discuss this favourite of Bill Hollweg!

Some links!

I Love a Mystery

Carlton E. Morse Interview

Temple of Vampires

Polarising Your Cast (The Four Temperaments)

Sonic Society #647- Cryptic Tales

Posted By on May 24, 2020

This week Jack and David feature two incredible shows- Cryptic from Jeremy Snead and Y2K from Karin Heimdahl!

Long Live the King!

Posted By on May 22, 2020

The incredible partner of the Mutual Audio Network and creative heart and mind behind The Rise of King Asilias, JV Torres, got some grand ink from the MD Theatre Guide from Mark Dreisonstok on May 21st. Check out the review!

“The Rise of King Asilas” is a fascinating, thought-provoking, audio series currently in its third season. The brainchild of JV Torres, who writes and stars as King Asilas, the show received a Latin Podcast Award in the category of “Performing Arts” and is nominated again in the “Drama” category for 2020.

“…a unique, reflective series worthy of attention . . . ”

Mr. Torres got interested in creating his own full-cast audio series replete with extended music and sound design via an unusual source – linguistics.  

“I studied linguistics at Notre Dame of Maryland University. Linguistics is how I got into podcasting in the first place.” Mr. Torres was comparing the dialogue and accents used in old-time radio detective shows and comparing these to features he heard in modern audio drama. He then decided to produce his own modern audio drama series, and the rest is history.  Or, perhaps more appropriately to his “King Asilas” series, alternate history!

“The Rise of King Asilas” starts off from a recognizable vantage point – the current divide in American society between conservatives and progressives. According to the plot of this series, this division leads to extreme factionalism and a variety of localized independent movements.  Enter the U.S. General Asilas Roman, who invites these leaders to a conference where he has them and many of their followers assassinated.  The United States is then abolished, and “The New Kingdom of America” is begun, with Asilas as absolute monarch. The series proceeds as this everyman-dictator deals with personal relationships (his wife Queen Rebecca and a love interest), foreign policies (future negotiations with King George, whom we assume to be the son of the real-life Duke and Duchess of Cambridge), and “night terrors” (doubtless a human reaction to the draconian measures Asilas has enacted). 

Set 40 or 50 years in the future, the series is a modern dystopia with suggestions of works in the genre such as “Brave New World,” Mr. Torres comments that a major reference point is the Book of Revelation, for he states that “nothing is more utopian or dystopian than the Bible.”  Indeed, there are biblical markers throughout the series, such as an appearance to King Asilas by the Angel Gabriel, who presents Asilas with a sort of Rosetta Stone which the king orders to be translated. 

Yet “The Rise of King Asilas” is not merely science fiction due to its dystopian features, but also because of such elements as conspiracies of monsters and meetings with extraterrestrials (alien “close encounters” is a motif especially in season 2). By season 3, King Asilas turns his focus to religion, as he becomes more devout, and the Catholic Church and the Pope become a serious focus of the series. “Because we have thought of God and have the idea of God,” King Asilas has already noted to his doubting protégé Abigail in the first season, “there is a God.” Rare indeed is the adventure audio series which postulates the ontological argument for the existence of God.

There is also a JV Torres novel which bears the same title as the podcast drama. The novel and the audio series complement each other, telling the same story but presenting some different scenes so that each format enriches the other.  The “King Asilas” novel is by no means the only book penned by Mr. Torres, as he works in second-language acquisition and has published a textbook. He intrigued us with the comment that “a textbook I published for English learners connects with strategies I employ in the audio series.” Indeed, the book is referenced in the credits of each episode and funds the production of the series. In the series, Mr. Torres is joined by the vocal talents of both professional and first time actors. Standing out for special mention is Clarence Jackson, who is ardent and complex as President Jackson, the last elected American commander-in-chief whose fate it is to relinquish the United States to the reign of King Asilas. John Doby also turns in a highly effective, low-key performance portraying Quintin  Capone, the ominously named confidant of Asilas who helps the King retain power with Capone-like methods.

For these podcasts, Mr. Torres has teamed up with the Mutual Audio Network. The moniker of this network takes us back to traditional radio broadcasting. Radio listeners may remember the now-defunct Mutual Radio Network, famous for “Mutual Radio Theatre” and the radio version of “The Larry King Show,” which featured Mr. King’s occasional skit contacting extra-terrestrial life on the fictional Planet Fringus. Listeners of audio drama, whether coming from the entry point of older radio theatre or modern podcast audio dramas, should certainly give this unique, reflective series their attention. As Mr. Torres comments, “ I believe we are on the cusp of a digital renaissance in the podcasting world — if we are not there already!”

Link to the series:
Link to Website: 

Listen to The Rise of King Asilas weekly on Mutual’s Monday Matinee now available at all your favourite listening nodes:

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