The BBC is one of the last bastions of quality radio drama, and with the Internet, they’ve taken storytelling-through-sound to the next level through the use of Flash animation with the serial adventure, “Ghosts of Albion.”
Written by Christopher Golden (“The Ferryman”) and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”‘s Amber Benson (who also directs the segments), “Ghosts” is set in 19th century London (called “Albion” centuries ago), where the legacy of mystical caregiver of the realm has just been passed to Tamara and William Swift. And with the help of the spirits of Lord Nelson, Lord Byron and Queen Bodicea, the Swift siblings will stand off the ancient forces of darkness that threaten to destroy the world. Demons, vampires and magical battles abound at a breathless pace.
Benson, Golden and the BBC have put together a highly entertaining production here, with the fast-paced seven-part story broken down into five-minute segments, so there’s never time for the story to drag. A lot of story has been packed into this series. As far as the animation goes, well, Flash is Flash, so the production is limited by the format. The characters and settings are well designed, however – Tamara is drawn to be a dead-ringer for Benson. Since the stories are more a radio play than anything else, the aural atmosphere is outstanding and, for the most part, the voice-actors are dead-on. (The only minor complaint is leveled towards Emma Samms, playing Bodicea a bit too formally). Anthony Daniels, playing Lord Nelson, is particularly entertaining.
The episodes are surrounded by plenty of supplementary material on the official site, including maps, character guides, and extensive history-lessons that tie-in to the major players, events and settings. This is one of those sites where you could get lost for hours.
There are rumors that “Ghosts of Albion” will be released to some degree on DVD near the end of the year. (Those truly interested in seeing the entire thing at length should check out the Moonlight Rising convention in upstate New York on the weekend of June 6, where GHOSTS will be shown along with Benson’s feature-directorial debut, “Chance.”)