High Strangeness Review

By Ben Wright (@iamzavagno | www.xgeeks.co.uk)

This review is spoiler-free.

I’ve had my eye on High Strangeness for over a year now, so I was very excited to finally dive into this eight-episode Audible original podcast series.

The sci-fi and comedy elements definitely have a huge British influence, which I think can make these genres have a lot more character and uniqueness to them. There is a quirkiness to British sci-fi, be it Hitchhikers or Doctor Who, and I feel High Strangeness slots very nicely into that category. The comedy beats are an important part of the story, and I really enjoyed the dark humour or deadpan moments, which given the events in the story, are a natural fit and complete the overall aesthetic.

In terms of the general production, it was very good across the board. The sound mixing and editing worked really well, and the use of sound effects and music was used to really enhance the story moments and character performances. For a full-cast production, this was certainly one of the best.

Stripping away the genre and production aspects from the narrative, you are actually left with a highly enjoyable story packed full of great characters. The pacing of the story is fantastic, and the quality of the writing quickly establishes the characters and events enabling you to just sit back and let events unfold.

When it comes to the performances, Sophie McShera and Adam James are two incredibly capable leads for the series and with both of their characters being at totally opposite ends of the scale, this ‘odd-coupling’ works really well. McShera brings so much warmth and drive to Cassie and James is able to really hammer home that boy scout American agent vibe but has just enough twinkle in his eye to not be afraid to bend the rules when necessary. The two leads are supported by the incredibly talented Mandeep Dhillon – who I absolutely love – and Dhillon’s role as Cassie’s best friend and fellow investigator Amanda has great significance in the story and is a constant presence, which I really think adds to the production. As for the supporting cast, there are also brilliant performances from Nina Wadia, Kevin Eldon, Javone Prince, and Niky Wardley. – but to be honest, there isn’t a bad performance in the entire production, as even the smaller parts were performed wonderfully.

High Strangeness is a uniquely British and incredibly hilarious sci-fi adventure series packed full of great character performances and a truly entertaining story.

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