After the flurry of activity that saw the first series of Tales go from a half-baked idea to scripts to finished episodes, it seemed that Season Two took a long time and twice as much work. Part of that probably stems from the fact that initially we had the background to the story half-conceived as a LARP setting anyway, so the difficult world building for Season One had been done years in advance - but there was more to it than that.
The second round of scripts took longer to write - Chris and I were busy over the summer with social events and family commitments (LARP season alone seems to derail everything), and we rapidly realised that we’d packed the series pretty tightly with complex framing, character progression, historical factoids and a huge amount of plot, all of which took quite a lot of careful arranging and editing to bring it to a state we were happy with. Add to that a real push on female representation and not one but two new regular characters, and it was pretty obvious we weren’t making things easy on ourselves.
The summer also made it difficult to get our expanding cast together, with various work commitments and holidays abroad meaning that there was often a gap of a month or more between recording sessions. I got quite obsessional about trying to get everyone along on the same evening to record together- but in the end that simply wasn’t possible and we had to record some lines separately. On the other hand, the pressure meant we got really good at recording lots of material in a very short space of time - by the end of season 2, we could get a quick rehearsal and two full episodes recorded in a single three hour session. And in the midst of it, Stoo got a new job, which meant we could no longer completely monopolise his time (though he seems to have removed "sleep" from his diary, if the pace he's continuing to edit at is anything to go by).
But despite all the difficulties, it’s all coming together beautifully, and we’re pretty damn proud of what we’ve achieved so far. All of us - writers, actors, art wizard and sound magician alike - have developed our skills immensely and in unexpected directions since we began work on this project, and the learning process is far from over. It's safe to say we've well and truly got the audiodrama bug, and (shhh - it's still a secret) Shadow Factories and We Evolve's second collaboration (guaranteed to contain neither Victorians nor tentacles) is now at the plotting-it-out-in-the-swingpark stage of development.
And what’s next for the Society? Next up we’ve got a selection of Patreon minisodes ready to record (including one very special one casting a light on a fan-favourite character often denied their rightful place in the limelight) and one or two giving a sneak peek at a few of the secrets coming up in Season 3 - and yes! There will be a Season 3, half of which is written already, with the second half flying off our keyboards as I write. Once that's out the way the grisly process of comparing diaries and swearing over doodle polls begins once again, and I can hardly wait.
But for now, put Halloween in your diary, pack your occult paraphenalia and book your train ticket to Edinburgh - because the Aletheian Society has work to do...