Between the metaverse of Mark Zuckerberg and the fear of a great blackout, we could almost say that Manuel Bartual (Valencia, 42 years old) has stayed Biotopy, the science fiction sound story that was born to alleviate their first hours of confinement during confinement, in more science than fiction. “When I started writing the podcastI included a series of curfews when we still didn’t have that in Spain. There are times when I tell myself that I have to push the machinery more so that it really is fiction, “recalled the screenwriter and cartoonist with a relaxed attitude on the phone this Monday.
The project, which was born as a self-production, has just released its second season under the cover of Podium Podcast – part of PRISA Audio, the transversal platform of PRISA, publisher of this newspaper. In the advanced technological research and development center in which the story is set, also called Biotopia, the impossible lost its meaning long ago. It is checked by the listener with each delivery, which pretends to be a newsletter about the news of the laboratory.
And that in this microworld inhabited by scientists for four decades, everything happens with such a resounding naturalness that it generates its good doses of black humor: accidents in laboratories, imminent meteorites, an artificial intelligence called AmaIA and human sacrifices to celebrate the patron saint festivities. . The direct reference for this dystopian There is no one living here it is Welcome to the future, the series about a family in the Spain of the XXII century that Bartual himself drew in his day for the satirical magazine Pride and Satisfaction.
All in Biotopy it remains wrapped in an aura of permanent apocalypse, thus resorting to “that fascination we have for knowing what could end us, something that always gives a lot of play in fiction”, comments its creator, who has also signed this summer sanctuary, a futuristic sound fiction with the writer Carmen Pacheco.
Bartual began to write and record Biotopy together with the dubbing actress, singer and publicity announcer Nikki García (presenter of The World Today 24h), who had a small home sound studio. They were completing the chapters week by week, telematically. From the third on, he already had a global image of where he wanted to take this story. The second season began to be recorded with an entire script already written and with the supporting actors working from the Podium Podcast studios.
The voice of García and others that could be heard last year in the first installments, such as Ingrid García-Jonsson and David Pareja, are joined in this new batch of episodes by those of Carlos Areces, whom Bartual has known since his common stage in magazine Thursday, and Cristina Gallego, the impersonator of Isabel Díaz Ayuso in The intermediate of La Sexta.
In the first season, the listener accessed the newsletter of this crazy scientific community because those responsible for Biotopía had so decided. After a series of events, they decide to keep their communication signal private, but the Podium Podcast intends to hack it and share it with the rest of the world, as shown in the trailer for the second batch of episodes that accompanies this article and in which some participate. of those responsible for PRISA Audio.
Bartual, also director of a dozen short films and a long and promoter of unpublished formats, such as fiction and mystery threads on Twitter since he published the story of his strange vacations in 2017, has been posting content related to the unreal center on the internet of investigations where this is set podcast. It already has its own website and a profile on social networks, where the followers of this series in audio format can gather more information about what happens between chapter and chapter.
At the beginning of November, the universe of Biotopy it was expanded with a live show, at the invitation of the Mal del Cap Festival in Ibiza, dedicated to new narratives. Those responsible proposed to Bartual and his team to come and give a talk about the podcast, but he proposed to create an independent and self-concluding micro-story capable of entertaining both regular listeners and those who have not heard any of his episodes. “I didn’t want it to be a simple recording around a table and some microphones; I preferred to add a theatrical component to it ”, explains the creator. It was the first step for Biotopy take the leap to the stage. He already plans to repeat the experience in 2022 in several rooms in Spain.
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.