Friday 3 April 2020

The Glam Gizmo - Podcast Review

What: The Glam Gizmo
Launch Date: 28 March, 2020
Written and produced by: Tom Denham
Featuring: Clint Facey and AJ Winters

The Glam Gizmo is the newest podcast out of the SYN stable and it takes off like a rocket. Created by writer and engineer Denham, The Glam Gizmo is sci-fi comedy horror filled with all the best Scooby Doo style plot points and effects needed to keep us guessing and keep us laughing at the same time.

Full of a certain macabre humour, the best thing about The Glam Gizmo is the characters. Whilst the two leads, Max (Facey) and Lucy (Winters) are Everyman characters, the supporting characters are a total hoot. They are ghoulish and gruesome in a hilariously loveable way.

The set up is fairly straight forward. Oliver Keppel (Stefan Bradley) has created a device which rips holes between different dimensions and strange phenomena are crossing over into our world. In this first episode it is the snakeman Boltizor (Anthony Bradshaw) who is into puppet taxidermy and is stealing people's skin and covering them in felt.

The puppets Bumble and his friends are a hoot and the character Soup Of The Day (Michael Langan) could be straight out of Hitchiker's Guide To The Galaxy! Denham even makes a cameo appearance in this first episode as Dr Paradox. He saves the day but then leaves the rest of the work up to his new unwitting recruits, Max and Lucy.

The sound design is pacy and creative and I really enjoy how Denham keeps us shifting from scenario to scenario with no warning. It keeps us wondering what is going to happen with only the odd moments of feeling a bit lost.

Denham is an engineer not afraid of processing and he has a lot of fun with characters although I do find myself wondering how he is going to keep up the originality with this pace of story. That will be part of the fun and magic to be explored along with the story as I keep listening.

I do have a few little niggles. I think there is a bit of overprocessing at times - such as the introduction - when it is hard to understand what is being said. Denham needs to remember audiences are hearing these words for the first time and they pass by quickly. It is an issue if what is being said has important plot information.

I also found Facey to be a quite dull and lifeless Max. He lacks urgency and energy and, at times, steps out of his character reality to telegraph the joke. For example, when he is told he might be evicted he sounds disinterested rather than stressed, and when Max tells Lucy he didn't know she had a bike Facey sounds like he is delivering a punch line. It is funny, but not for Max. If other cast were doing this it would work, but all of the other actors are playing the truth in their world so Facey needs to do that as well.

This is not a big hurdle though, because there is so much going on and the story has been set up so every episode (dropping on Saturdays) has guest artists who will help this hapless duo seek out the Keppel Machine and repair the rift between dimensions, restoring order to the world.

The show is around 30 minutes which is a good length. You get a nice chunk of story which doesn't put a dent in your day. And you get a whole lot of laughs with sci fi and crypotological jokes.and just enough blood and guts to keep the cynical amused!

4.5 Stars

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