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BBC Audio presents the immersive, multifaceted sci-fi drama Forest 404
By James Whittington, Monday 23rd November 2020
Forest 404 Cover

BBC Audio are pleased to present an impressive and captivating environmental thriller, Forest 404, in a remarkable feat of audio publishing. Forest 404, publishing 21st January 2021, is a dystopian sci-fi drama series with an all-female cast, starring Pearl Mackie (Doctor Who) as the lead, with original theme music by Bonobo, comprising of 9 drama episodes, 9 accompanying talks, 9 immersive soundscapes in 3D binaural sound and a bonus 'making-of' documentary.

The piece is set in the 24th century, after a data crash called The Cataclysm. Pan (Pearl Mackie), the protagonist, is a young woman with a boring job labelling old sound archive that survived the crash. She uncovers a set of sound recordings from the early 21st century that haunt her. They are recordings of rainforests, places which no longer exist, and Pan feels compelled to hunt down the truth about how the forests of the old world died. All the time pursued by the agents of the new world's ruling powers.

The principle proposition is an emotional prompt: to imagine the world we know today as a thing of the ancient past, to picture a scenario where all we have left of the earth's verdant ecology is a few audio files. The big question at the centre of the tale is: what are we willing to lose, and who are we willing to become?

The accompanying talks look at the issues raised by each episode, with a diverse range of speakers: musicians, bio-futurists, anthropologists, tree-climbers. Each talk explores the themes uncovered in the drama to bring the fiction back into our present reality with titles ranging from "Why should I listen to trees?" to "Would you vote for an AI government?" and "What is death in the digital age?"

Each drama episode is also complemented with an immersive soundscape, mixed in binaural sound for a 3D headphone experience. In a study conducted by the National Trust in 2019, it was shown that when asked to relax with woodland sound for one minute, people said they felt 30% more relaxed, 25% less stressed and 20% less anxious. You can hear the sound of the Sumatran rainforest, the songs of whales, a chorus of frogs, and a full playout of Bonobo's specially-composed theme music. These sit alongside some more experimental soundscapes later in the series as the narrative unfolds.

This release includes an exclusive bonus documentary episode, which looks at the making of the programme and features interviews with the writer, Timothy X Atack. It also discusses the findings of The Forest 404 Experiment: a related project in collaboration with Exeter University and the Open University, which assessed the effects that different natural sounds have on mental health and well-being, and used many of the natural soundscapes featured in this programme.


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From Jennifer Kent comes The Nightingale
Posted on Saturday 23rd January 2021
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Posted on Saturday 23rd January 2021

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Doctor Who is back on Target
Posted on Saturday 23rd January 2021
dalek

BBC Books has announced seven new titles in the Doctor Who Target range, all publishing on March 11th each with new cover art by Anthony Dry.

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Posted on Saturday 23rd January 2021
Hellraiser Judgment Blu-ray 2D

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Posted on Monday 18th January 2021
POSSESSOR_BD_2D_PACKSHOT

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New music from John Carpenter - Alive After Death
Posted on Saturday 9th January 2021

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Posted on Saturday 19th December 2020
His Dark Materials Season 2

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Sniff out The Bloodhound in March
Posted on Saturday 19th December 2020
The Bloodhound Blurray cover

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An American Werewolf in London - Limited Edition Zavvi Exclusive Steelbook with slipcase Blu-ray
Posted on Saturday 19th December 2020
An American Werewolf in London exploded pack shot

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Monster Hunter - Brand new trailer
Posted on Saturday 19th December 2020

Sony Pictures UK has made available a new trailer for Monster Hunter, starring Milla Jovovich.

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Posted on Saturday 19th December 2020
Fireball XL5 LP Cover

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More rare Japanese gems from Arrow Video in 2021
Posted on Saturday 19th December 2020
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Arrow Video have done it again!

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