Halloween is the launch pad for a new sci-fi podcast from the iHeartPodcast Network with a TV adaption already in the works. The Second Oil Age is a scripted podcast that takes listeners to 2186 and a post-energy crisis world in which humanity’s thirst for oil is satisfied through a bargain with a mysterious deep-sea species. The 10-episode podcast will be published every Tuesday and Thursday.
The story follows Synøve Pan, voiced by Angèle Masters, a specially-conditioned agent of the UDEX Oil Corporation as she investigates the disappearance of an oil executive on the deep-sea Atlas Station. Her investigation propels her and listeners into a vortex of action, intrigue and horror.
Written and created by Stuff to Blow Your Mind and Invention host Robert Lamb, Second Oil Age alludes to classic deep-sea sci-fi films, such as “The Abyss” and “Leviathan,” while addressing contemporary technological and environmental anxieties.
Conal Byrne, President of the iHeartPodcast Network, told Deadline that narrative podcasts take more time to write, cast and create, but he pointed out the process remains faster and more cost-effective than creating video content. “We actually think there will be an explosion of high-quality audio drama content in the next few years and this could potentially become one of the dominant genres in the medium,” he said. “The reason for this is simple, there really is nothing to match the power of the human imagination. The ability of the theater of the mind to kick in and fill out a fictional world is a truly amazing thing and we think that audio drama, or fictional podcasts, will tap into that in a big way.”
Podcasts also continue to feed ideas to television and movie studios and Deadline reports The Second Oil Age is already shopping the story for a television adaption. The Hollywood agency UTA is in talks with producers about licensing the intellectual property. “Podcasting is an incredibly good medium to test intellectual property for TV and film because you can move quickly and cost-effectively,” Byrne said, adding that iHeart’s goal remains to make an “amazing” podcast series first and foremost.