Review of Canadia: 2056 – Season One

SFFaudio Review

CBC Radio - Canadia 2056Canadia: 2056: Season 1
By Matt Watts; Perfomed by a full cast
5 CDs – Approx. 5 Hours [AUDIO DRAMA]
Publisher: CBC Audio
Published: January 21, 2008
Product ID: ERART00217
Themes: / Science Fiction / Humor / Canada / War / Toilets / Audio Drama / CBC /

This entertaining sci-fi comedy series is written by one of Canada’s best-loved comedy writers, Matt Watts. The United States has launched an armada to destroy an alien threat. Canada sends the nation’s only publicly-funded spacecraft, The Canadia – a ship with a single purpose – to plunge the Americans’ toilets.

There are lots of audio dramas out here on the internet, but if you want to hear a professional piece of work that will make you laugh out loud, you should give Canadia 2056 300 minutes of your time. Matt Watts and the entire cast and crew of Canadia 2056 have created something special. The show is an absolute gem.

The Canadia of the series is a Canadian spaceship that has been sent to war with a United States fleet, which in turn has been sent to perform a pre-emptive strike on a planet called Ipampilash. Midshipman Max Anderson is the only American member of the crew, and his relations with all of the Canadians is central to the comedy of the show. I’m not a Canadian, so I’m certain that I’m missing the deeper meaning of some of the jokes, but the scripts are crafted and performed in such a way that I really didn’t feel I was missing out.

An example of this occurs in the very first episode. The captain of the Canadia (hilariously performed by Paul O’Sullivan) is choosing a voice for the computer. He goes through a few, then settles on a gravelly female voice. I found the scene funny without knowing what I was told later – the voice selected was Shauna MacDonald, who is known as the Promo Girl in Canada. Apparently, her voice was heard all the time on CBC, and the debate between the folks that wanted her off the air and the folks who wanted her to stay made her famous. (I’d have wanted her to stay, by the way. I adore her voice.)

Max Anderson (played by series writer Matt Watts) makes an interesting representative of the United States. He’s cowardly, geeky, selfish, and his mother is an admiral in the US fleet. He feels his way around the crew, and finds his place among them eventually. Holly Lewis was captivating as Amanda Lewis, the engineer that Max spends the most time with. There’s a lot of tension between the two, and it’s wonderfully played.

I could sit here and start listing my favorite moments, but it’s suffice to say that I loved these shows enough that I listened more than once. There’s a short list of audio drama that’s really excellent, and even a shorter list of comedic audio drama that’s really excellent. Canadia 2056: Season One is one of those, and I urge you to give it a listen. It’s cruckin’ fanatastic!

Season Two of Canadia: 2056 starts next week on CBC Radio! It looks like the first airing will be at 11:00pm, Wednesday, March 19th. Click here to keep your eye on the CBC Radio schedule.

Posted by Scott D. Danielson

Scott D.

Reviews Editor, SFFaudio

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