OngoingWorlds blog

News & articles about play-by-post games, for roleplayers & writers

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Fifty Shades of Blue

Celebrating the 50th Blue Dwarf Podcast.

Blue DwarfThis article was written by Mr Tenn Pup (Jack) AKA Alex.

Wow! I can’t believe it’s only just over a year since we first pondered the possibility of a Blue Dwarf Podcast. David Ball put the notion to me in September 2012 by means of a tentative tweet. A few test-‘casts ensued (embarrassing Chris Barrie influenced murmurings from myself – a couple are still available online, if you know where to look), while David researched the best way to go about hosting and publishing the stories. A bit of skilled nudging and some excellent behind-the-scenes organisation from Mr Ball, and we’ve somehow managed to publish fifty already!

To my relief, during the planning stages David decided that to record all the posts from the very beginning would be a ridiculously arduous task, and when I remind you that Blue Dwarf began back in 2000, you’ll understand why. We reckoned a good place to start would be about a year or so prior to the point we were currently writing (March 2011, if you want to get precise), and the very first audio-tale (written and voiced by our own Good Shepherd, Andy ‘Jay’ Longman) was published as recently as December (last December, obviously, no time-drives were engaged). Since then our little crew has vomited a plethora of colourful adventures into the ears of willing Dwarf fans around the globe, and we have many more recorded and ready to go. Oh God, so many, many, more.

Painful, but worth it.

When I asked for his views on the First Fifty, aforementioned long time Dwarfer and all-round awesome mod-dude Andy (Baron Von) Longman, who you may also know as Captain, cum ace pilot, cum rogue time-cop Jay Chrysler, told me this:

“50 podcasts. Got to be honest, there have been times when I didn’t think we’d manage 5! It’s not that easy to record these things. Sure, it’s already written but it’s finding a quiet moment to sit and record. You start it off, and **** up the first sentence. You delete and restart and get a quarter of the way through and the phone (which you may be using to record) rings. You delete and start again and get halfway through when the cat strides in and loudly announces its arrival. Then, when you finally reach the end on the 16 hyper ballillionth take, you get tongue tied on the last sentence! It can be a total nightmare! Time consuming and frustrating. But, if people are enjoying them, it’s worth it! We’ve got A LOT more to come!”

It really can be a painstaking process, and the pain doesn’t stop at the recording, ah heyall no. If, for example, you’re suffering from a cold or other respiratory ailment as (if you believe the stereotypes) us geeks tend to, and as a result happen to be more congested than a certain popular children’s TV mammoth, the editing can suck the proverbial oversized one. A ‘caster must of course also remember to edit out any snuffle or goof resultant swearing. I’m not exaggerating when I say that a ten minute podcast, which – all being well – you may’ve swept through in a jiffy, can still turn into hours of compulsive editorial obsession.

The fact that it can be hard work makes it all the more awesome that people are putting their time and effort in to bring these wicked adventures to life, and I personally think that effort really pays off. Like Longman says: Worth it.

Dwarf Fans Unite.

If you’ve not yet dipped a toe into the audio world of the Big Ole Blue, perhaps these kindly words from Antony of Scuttercast (half-inched from his iTunes review) may persuade you to brave the mutha-ship’s chilly corridors and life-form abundant bowels:

“Although I am not a contributor to the Blue Dwarf RPG itself, I was asked to read out and record a couple of these episodes. However, when I was sent the stories for me to read out, I was really impressed with the episodes…and I can’t wait to actually hear them in context with the rest of the story.

As a huge Red Dwarf fan, I found the style of writing very much put me in mind of the novels and I could almost hear them being read by Chris Barrie….It’s just a shame I couldn’t get the two episodes I recorded to sound like they were read by Chris Barrie.

Overall, a great perception of elsewhere in the Red Dwarf universe. Can’t wait to hear the rest!”

I can’t wait to hear the rest, either. We’ve been on some uber-exciting (and frankly, bizarre), adventures over the last couple of years, and it’s going to be a lot of fun recording the outstanding stories and releasing them into the podosphere for your aural pleasure.

Good readin’ makes good listenin’.

When asked if he had anything to say about the podcast, avid Blue Dwarf reader and listener Chris Janiver (the Ongoing Worlds member known as 11121519518) sent me this smashing comment:

“What I have to say about the Blue Dwarf podcast is pretty much as follows:
It is brilliantly voiced, and the listening quality is just as good as the actual posts.
I guess that’s it. I should know about the posts, seeing as I’ve almost gotten up-to-date on them.”

He’s working his way through all the posts. From the beginning. Remember the part where I mentioned they started in 2000? Now that’s dedication.

Boss-man.

Of course, no article about the BD podcasts would be complete without a few words from Blue Dwarf (and Ongoing Worlds) creator, David ‘Onion’ Ball. You may know him as pompous Royal Ambassador Seymour Niples. Here’s what the man himself had to say on the fact that we are now a snazzy fifty ‘casts in:

“I’ve always been incredibly proud of the stories that we’ve written together on Blue Dwarf, and I’m so glad that now we’re immortalising them in podcast form so that I can listen to my favourite bits over and over again. 50 podcasts is quite a lot to get through! It was a lot of work and I’m really pleased with everyone who’s been involved in recording them!

Recording can be difficult, and is more time-intensive than I ever imagined! But it’s fun, and it’s great to hear everyone’s voices enacting the stories of my favourite characters 🙂

Aw! “… What a guy!”
Backslaps all round. A massive well done to everybody involved.

The contributors so far consist of:

  • David Ball
  • Andy Longman
  • Rebecca Tordoff
  • Andy Jones
  • Andy Locke
  • Antony James
  • And me.

If anybody else would like to record some of the outstanding stories to help bring us up to the present, that would be excellent. You don’t have to be a Blue Dwarfer, or a professional, just someone who enjoys a good sci-fi comedy (and at times drama/thriller/horror) romp, can string a verbal sentence together, and would like to have a go at audiobook style narrating.

If you think you’ve got what it takes, please contact me via alexsolvay@snakebite.com or Onion via david@ongoingworlds.com with a sample recording. Thank you in advance!

You can listen and subscribe to the Blue Dwarf podcast in the following places:

  • iTunes.
  • Feedburner.
  • For those who prefer not to use these feeds, you can also listen to the podcasts via the Ongoing Worlds YouTube channel (Blue Dwarf playlist here).
  • And via the Blue Dwarf Site (Podcast page here).

Happy listening!


Jack (MTP) can be found wandering the corridors of Blue Dwarf as Alex. IRL he walks among monsters, writes a bunch of nonsense, plays with pictures, and records the occasional voice-over.

  • Ralazie

    Ah yes. Eleven has been reading for ages. Actually, Eleven has made it up to 2007 right now. I keep teasing because there is still 3 years left too read. But then Eleven made the point that it took a month to reach 2007, so, I felt stupid. I should listen to the Podcasts; they must be good.

  • 11121519518

    I meant to comment on this article when I actually read it, but I forgot. Rockin’ article, bro. (Made even awesomer because I’m in it. >:D) But, seriously, dude, good job.

    • Alex

      D’aw fanks.

  • Embrystical

    I’ll have to look into this…

  • Embrystical

    I only just figured out what MTP stands for. Facepalm.

    • Embrystical

      Just took my seventh shot at recording my sample. Probably smeg again, but I’ll get my sister to listen to it and check for me. Can’t stand to listen to my own voice again. Freaks me out.