The rise of the fictional podcast drama is truly on with many great examples already having been set and new, big-budget series coming out what feels like almost every week. Batman Unburied is the first original podcast drama from DC led by their most-popular hero. It’s high budget and it’s filled with some big names voicing the characters.
Batman Unburied intrigued me for a few reasons: firstly because I’m a big nerd and love all things superheroes, especially Batman. Secondly, it repeatedly popped up in the top list of fictional podcast dramas on Spotify, so I knew I had to listen. My final thoughts are mixed, to say the least.
Batman Unburied plot – 4/5
Batman Unburied is a sweeping story that sometimes feels like the writers weren’t really sure where they were going with it. There are 10 episodes that range from 20-40 minutes and the first two or three episodes are quite confusing as you’re hearing about how Bruce’s parents are dead but then we’re also experiencing scenes where they aren’t When you’re just listening to this and can’t visually see it, it’s quite tricky to understand why this is.
Once the story does find its rhythm and the writers seemed to grab hold of some of the odds and ends to help direct you through the plot, the action ramps up and it gets really quite good. The production value within this podcast, despite clearly not being able to see anything is probably about as good as these audio dramas come. There are great sounding crashes, explosions, stereo sound, the engine rumbles background noises and more that add to your immersion. No sound is forgotten. This adds to a plot that really starts to rumble along in the final third.
If you’re a Batman fan at all, you’ll be able to appreciate some of the nods and the name drops in here as they try to incorporate a good number of villains without doing so for the sake of it. The production company aren’t afraid to take slight diversions in plot points too, introducing very well-known villains into a universe where Batman has never heard of them. Overall, once you hit the end of the 10th episode, it won’t have blown your mind but you’ll come away very impressed having felt like you’ve listened to quite a good TV series.
Batman Unburied characters – 5/5
When producing a podcast drama, you’ve really got to get voice actors who are going to put their all into creating a personality purely with the character’s voice and this has been done brilliantly here. One of people’s favourite things about Batman is the outlandish and often crazy villains we encounter throughout the comics, animations and, more recently, the live-action movies. There are a few different villains in Batman Unburied and they’re all voice-acted incredibly well. They sound animated, lively and really add to the immersion that you’re listening to a whole scene, not just people in a booth.
Bruce Wayne/Batman is played by Winston Duke (who you’d recognise from Black Pantha) and he does a great job of playing the brooding and serious Wayne and Batman – also, if it’s the same guy, he does a fantastic job of Batman’s voice, going with Christian Bale’s style of a throaty, deep voice.
All round, the cast in this podcast drama are absolutely fantastic. With the bonus of the immersive and high-end sounds, this creates for an audio experience that will have you feeling truly involved int ehd rama unfolding.
Batman Unburied final rating – 4.5/5
Batman Unburied is the first big-budget audio drama I’ve completed. After a slow and confusing start, it really picked up and resulted in a fantastic audio experience that truly immerses you in a series filled with drama, cliffhangers and some clever writing that eventually results in a very interesting story. Some fantastic characters punctuate the story with brilliant performances from the voice actors. If you’re any sort of fan of superhero stories or looking to get into fictional podcast dramas, Batman Unburied would be a fantastic place to start.
Looking at other fictional podcast dramas? Here are my reviews for some others.