Quake – BBC Radio 4

“Made up of 12 short form audio pieces, Quake is set as the search for survivors begins after a deadly earthquake”(1) The first episode ‘Trapped Man’ was aired on BBC Radio 4 on the 14th of May 2017.  Quake is much more than a simple podcast, there is an animated version, readings, facts, and with a Virtual Reality headset you can “watch the first episode in 3D, as if an earthquake is actually happening to you”(2) Quake is such an innovative and fresh idea, “Quake is designed as something that can fit into whatever space you have available in the day, choosing episodes to suit or listening to the whole thing as a podcast”(3) Also as they state in the first episode of the podcast, you can listen to each episode in any order you want “allowing audiences to create their own narrative”(3)

The story of Quake is “inspired by the remarkable digital revolution in humanitarian efforts and the anonymous philanthropy of a global community”(4) in other words, Quake explores the way people come together after a tragedy on a large scale. The sounds and effects and voice acting convey such emotion and immersion to the listener, essentially taking them under the rubble with the characters or on the ground searching for survivors.  The use of headphones is essential when listening to this radio drama, as the use of ASMR to convey these situations really does bring the episodes to life.

Some people say that “The slow-paced visuals offer an extra dimension to each episode” (1), people also hold a different opinion of the series, stating that “The characters are too thin, the plot too linear” (2), and with a project such as this being an experiment, opinions like this could be a big detriment for the future of this and similar series. All in all, I highly recommend this drama, the innovative use of so many different media platforms and high-quality voice acting kept me hooked on the entire series.


(1)Quake, B. (2017). BBC Radio 4 Ventures into VR for Online Audio Drama Quake.
[online] VRFocus. Available at: https://www.vrfocus.com/2017/04/bbc-radio-4-ventures-into-vr-for-online-audio-drama-quake/
[Accessed 12 Nov. 2017].
(2)Pressreader.com. (2017). PressReader.com – Connecting People Through News.
[online] Available at: https://www.pressreader.com/uk/the-daily-telegraph/20170518/282385514446109 [Accessed 12 Nov. 2017].
(3)Jill Sherman, M. (2017). BBC breaks ground with virtual reality earthquake.
[online] Thetimes.co.uk. Available at: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/bbc-breaks-ground-with-virtual-reality-earthquake-53p58v9rc
[Accessed 12 Nov. 2017].
(4)BBC. (2017). Quake – Uncover the story – BBC Radio 4.
[online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/5XK8RMGYlHZ42n4YbRwJfKV/uncover-the-story [Accessed 12 Nov. 2017].

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