The Wireless Theatre Company released the second episode, Phase 2: Umbra, of their new alternate history series Red Moon at the start of February. If you didn’t catch the first episode, Phase 1: Moonrise, it’s available free, and we summarise it here.
In Phase 1: Moonrise, we first met Eddie Sloper (Philip Bullcock), working as a clerk in London, whose job involves double checking paperwork from the American Moonbase, Eagle-1. Writer Robert Valentine does a good job of creating this alternate London. Starting with the Russian landing on the moon in 1968, we get a kaleidoscopic view of the next eleven years as the Cold War escalates into the weaponising of the Moon, with both the US and the Russians intending to litter the satellite with a vast number of nuclear missiles. We also get little snips of alternate 1970s history, but still end up in a world with Maggie Thatcher (Georgina Periam) as Prime Minister. Meanwhile, we learn Eddie has a past in the secret services, and while he wants to keep his head down, conspiracy rears its ugly head.
Onto Phase 2: Umbra and not only do we get plenty of Eddie’s backstory in MI5, but we also meet former colleague Quirke (Joe Riley) and astronomer Dr Susan Madison (Yasmin Holness-Dove). We also get insight into US fun and games in the form of Lt Gen Atherton (William Hope). All this as Eddie gets drawn back into a world of phone taps, clandestine meetings and veiled threats. It’s a good build and adds to the story without rushing.
The creation of this London is handled well, with nice use of news clips, cult references and even a passing reference to a new Doctor Who! From the creators of the widely appreciated Springheel Jack, it’s a change of setting, but on this evidence just as intriguing.
The Wireless Theatre Company released Red Moon Phase 2: Umbra on February 1st; full details are available on their website https://www.wirelesstheatrecompany.co.uk/product/red-moon-phase-ii-umbra-copy/ for this and the rest of this series, and including the free first episode, Phase 1: Moonrise.
More Spooks than sci-fi, Red Moon is already delivering an intriguing mystery and promises to build well as the series develops.
RED MOON PHASE 2: UMBRA / AUTHOR: ROBERT VALENTINE / STARRING: PHILIP BULLCOCK, YASMIN HOLNESS-DOVE, JOE RILEY, WILLIAM HOPE, GEORGINA PERIAM / PUBLISHER: WIRELESS THEATRE COMPANY / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW