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Creators: Kc Wayland & Shane Salk

Writer, Director, Show Runner: Kc Wayland

Dates of Release: 2009-2014

(The side-story continuation Lockdown was completed in April 2016.)

Listened to it… on the bus in Seattle While… traveling to and from work.

Available on: iTunes (free downloads as a podcast), Nerdist (stream individual episodes for free) & Audible (purchase individual seasons of the series)

Plot (from werealive.com & Goodreads): For Army Reserve Soldier Michael Cross, the world as he knew it ended in an instant. One minute, he’s in college, and in the next, rioters are roaming the highway around him, breaking into cars, and literally tearing people apart. Three reserve soldiers, believed to be the last remaining armed servicemen in the area, set out to secure an apartment building and rescue any survivors. If they stand together, perhaps they will live long enough to see things change. This is the day the dead walk. This is the world of We’re Alive. 

Rating: 5 out of 5 Dogwoods

 

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Review: We’re Alive is a zombie apocalypse audio drama that ran for 4 seasons between 2009 – 2014. A side-story continuation, Lockdown, completed its run as a podcast mini-series in April 2016. I just finished listening to Season 1 of the series, and I am already hooked!

Army sergeant Michael Cross (Jim Gleason) is pulled away from his studies on a college campus in the L.A. area when he’s call up to duty to deal with violent riots. Those riots turn out to be the rise of the undead. In the chaos, Michael is reunited with his army buddies Angel (Shane Salk) and Saul (Nate Geez). Banding together, the three men search for a safe haven, uniting with survivors Pegs (Elisa Eliot) and Riley (Claire Dodin), and eventually stumbling across gravelly voiced veteran Burt (Scott Marvin). The crew of survivors hole up in an apartment tower block which they turn into a fortress.

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In Season 1, the series immediately establishes its credentials a high quality audio drama with fantastic sound effects and voice actors. The production values are cinematic in scope, and it is truly a “theater of the mind” in the sense that the audio is wholly immersive. It is told in a way that makes you feel like you are in the room with our characters, frantically running, fighting, and firing on the zombies as they attack. Trust me – listening to this podcast is the most exciting way to ride the bus or train.

Season 1 can feel a little generic; a zombie apocalypse survival story with a military bend. That being said, however, Season 1 ends with a huge cliffhanger, which I will not mention here for fear of posting spoilers. Also, from what I have read about the rest of the seasons, the story deepens: we bond with our main characters; the zombies mutate into a range of monsters, from lumbering behemoths to smaller and faster creatures; the creatures seem to be guided by a “hive mind” intelligence; and who is the tattooed figure who seems to appear as a watcher and leader of the undead army at key moments in the story?

If you are looking for a new twist on the zombie or end-of-the-world survival story, this might be for you. If you are a fan of radio drama, then you definitely have to check it out.

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