Penumbra Podcast introduces new twists on classic tropes

By Megan Murphy

Copy Editor

The Penumbra Podcast takes two well-loved genres, film noir and sci-fi, to create a dynamic experience that captures the listener’s attention. The podcast takes the form of an old-fashioned style radio show, where a mysterious narrator leads the audience into a thrilling tale. The main story-line follows Juno Steel, a private investigator from Hyperion City on Mars, but there are also stand-alone stories released in between his adventures that feature unrelated characters that have their own stories to tell.

The premise of the show is “stories you recognize told in ways you won’t expect”, according to the website. While the main series and single episodes fit mostly into sci-fi, mystery, horror, and/or fantasy genres, the characters drive the plot into fascinating and unexpected directions.

The strongest aspect of the podcast is the storytelling. The world building and voice acting are absolutely phenomenal. The creativity and care that have gone into this podcast are undeniable. Even the stand-alone stories have extensively detailed worlds, such as the Second Citadel story which, over the span of around an hour, tells a fantastic story about two brothers who are desperate to prove themselves and a knight who faces her own struggles in gaining respect among her peers. In another stand-alone episode “Home”, the story of a girl reluctant to move from her childhood home turns into a chilling experience when the house doesn’t want Lily to leave either.The Penumbra Podcast

The characterization is one of my favorite parts of The Penumbra Podcast. Each character has a detailed, rich backstory and personality that makes them both relatable and highly entertaining. At the same time, the characters are quite dissimilar to most characters in mainstream media. Despite fitting well-used archetypes, these characters manage to reach out and connect to an audience that often feels under-represented in popular culture.

The various characters cope with mental illness and disabilities while also not being defined or controlled by them. The titular character of the main story-line, Juno Steel, is not only bisexual, but also non-binary, meaning that he doesn’t identify solely as either male or female.  For people who often do not see themselves in media, having so many characters that are relatable is an unexpected bonus within such a high-quality work of art such as The Penumbra Podcast.

The Penumbra Podcast is available to download and listen to on iTunes, YouTube and Google Play, as well as on their website

The second season is currently airing.