Air Force One
Wondery.com : http://wondery.com/wondery/shows/secretscrimes/ ( to stream , share and download )
iTunes and Android Podcasts
High quality audio drama
Great voice acting and scene setting
A nice weave of fact and fiction with some conspiracy theory thrown in
Reminds of the classic US radio drama with product advertisement surprising our ears - but a price worth paying for this one
If you have no knowledge of the JFK assassination and the theories surrounding it - you may miss out on some of the things hinted at and not enjoy it as much
Air Force One
November 22nd 1963 – What happened between 1pm, when President John F. Kennedy was pronounced dead, and 2.38pm when President Lyndon B. Johnson become the 36th President of the United States? Air Force One radio drama looks to fill in the details of what could have occurred.
The people of Dallas gave the then President of the United States a warm welcome on that sunny day. But by 1pm the President was dead. A short while later Lee Harvey Oswald was under arrest. In the skies above, on board Air Force One the next President took the oath of office with Mrs Kennedy looking on – still with blood splatters on her clothing.
Much has been written about the events of those days. Many hours of film and tv have been produced examining what happened in the lead up to that day, some putting forward their own interpretation and theories of what occurred. Still today we enjoy, if that is the right word, chewing over the conspiracy theories on what did people see or hear from the grassy knoll to magic bullets.
Time for the new podcast to step in. “Secrets, Crimes and Audiotapes”, by Wondery, seeks to set a new standard for the next generation of Audio Drama with a focus on crime, mysteries, conspiracies and more. The second subject to be brought to our attention is the hour or so immediately after the assassination – Crime? Mystery? Conspiracy? – all three?
This is a original production with some well known actors. Stacy Keach ( Lyndon B Johnson ) and Glenne Headly ( Jackie Kennedy ) , the supporting cast and the high production values certainly raise it above the normal audio drama resurrected from the archives of early U.S. radio.
Based on research of the interviews and investigations that followed, this drama pulls out some of the minute detail of the events and not the well known and obvious fodder for the conspiracy theorist. These details embellished with emotions and some fiction thrown in, it is a complex and compelling listen. It explores the relationship between J.F.K. and LBJ – the public and the private views. It explores various conspiracy theories, expressed by the main characters, around who knew what when – who had control of the presidents security detail, was there a warning that was ignored that morning? Even the location of the presidents body is brought under suspicion.
What may take a second listen is understanding the relationships between LBJ and J.F.K and what drives LBJ and his wife ( played by Susan Sullivan ) to act in the way that they do.
Of course, with the capture of Lee Harvey Oswald the attention turns to those pesky Russians – did they do it? And it also drops in the quick one liners that hint at further conspiracies being formed – questioning whether Mr Oswald would ever take the stand…it leaves us to draw our own conclusions.
A well crafted story by British historian and writer, Christopher Lee, it holds the attention across its two episodes.
With productions of this quality. “Secrets, Crimes and Audiotapes” is one to keep an eye on, even subscribe to, and there is enough here so far to suggest that they may well succeed in their desire to create a new age of audio drama, not just for the US, but for the world.
Air Force One was created by Jarvis and Ayres Productions , directed by Martin Jarvis and Produced by Rosalind Ayres.
It was originally broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on 16th November 2013 : http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/proginfo/2013/47/r4-sat-air-force-one.html
Martin Jarvis and Rosalind Ayers have such a varied portfolio of audio , tv/film and video games attributed to them that their production company does not even need a website! Presumably those who need to know already have their number in their little black book.
Their personal imdb profiles will need to do instead.
Martin Jarvis : http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0419089/
Rosalind Ayres : http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0044011/
Production Team Previous Collaborations
Martin Jarvis , Stacy Keach, Glenn Headly and the sound engineers on Air Force One, Mark Holden and Wes Dewberry, are no strangers to one another. They had previously all worked together on the L.A. Theatre Works production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream which was recorded at The Invisible Studios in front of a live audience in February of 2013.
Stacy Keach, Glenn Headley, Martin Jarvis, Rosalind Ayres and Susan Sullivan are part of the L.A. Theatre Workshop Artist Advisory Council.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream : https://store.latw.org/plays/midsummer-nightaposs-dream-a/
The Invisible Studios : http://www.theinvisiblestudios.com/
What I like about Secrets, Crimes and Audiotapes that they also add their own value to the experience.
In this case they add a 3rd part to the series with an interview of Aaron from Generation Why on the conspiracies surrounding the death of JFK. Generation Why focus on crimes, mysteries, conspiracies and true crime.
Generation Why : https://genwhypod.com/
Images for this review :
LBJ Taking the Oath on board Air Force One ( public domain ) : https://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/69hd9OSYoEGqe6_eWExDxQ.aspx
JFK in Dallas on the morning of his assignation ( public domain ) : https://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Xs5WsjkCRE25DmP8rWOVkw.aspx
Where to find…
Air Force One is currently available from wondery.com to stream and download – Episode 2 : https://wondery.com/wondery/shows/secretscrimes/