We know we always say this, but if you’ve not yet listened to The Hidden People, season 3, episode 22 (“Destiny Made Manifest”), we strongly suggest you do so before reading on!
It was released Thursday, March 2nd and there be spoilers ahead.
Latest from The Hidden People
This is the last you’ll be hearing of THP… for a little while…
As of next week, we will be starting our between-seasons newsletters until we release Think Fast in June. In these between-shows editions, we are going to have an ongoing series – fun lists of 9! (Obviously, we had to choose Wodan’s number!)
So, to start it off, here are 9 Things We Learned in Destiny Made Manifest!
As I write, I (Katie) have just finished work on my 66th episode of The Hidden People.
To mark the occasion, here’s a photo of me out recording for episode 1. I visited a local dog-walking spot, hoping to capture some barks and growls to turn into Barghest. (As is now common knowledge, I failed and ended up playing all the Barghest myself!)
I first met Megan and Chris Burnside in the summer of 2018, while they were recording the show’s first season with the cast. At that time, the 22nd episode of season 3 was as far as their original story planning for this initial run of three seasons could take us. So this coming finale represents an important milestone on a big journey of imagination.
Xander, Jordan, Stephen G, and Luna at the season one premiere
And it’s not long until you, who have journeyed all the way with us, get to hear it, too! See the Latest DWM News section below for all the details you need to join DWM’s interactive finale livestream this weekend, where we will be playing the finale, ahead of its public release, and sharing more of what’s coming.
But we are not quite there yet, of course. This newsletter will focus on our penultimate episode, season 2, episode 21 – “Cut the Cord” (released on the 16th February 2023).
So consider this your spoiler warning, should you be thinking of reading ahead!
We’ll also hear from Chris about endings – and we have season finale puzzles for you!
What was Mackenna’s given name from Liliana? Do you know? (And does it matter?) Continue Reading here.
Hello once again!
This week we discuss some of what we learned in the latest episode, which was season 3, episode 20 – “I Name Thee,” released on 2nd February. As ever, spoilers follow, so make sure you are caught up before you read.
Writer Alexa Fett Fisher is taking a turn in our Artists’ Corner. She’ll be talking about the art of pulling lots of information together and the joy of writing for familiar and admired actors.
We also show you behind the scenes of the recent recordings for a new DWM show and set you a musical guessing game.
Latest from The Hidden People
Oooh, we came so close to finding out two important names, didn’t we? Mackenna’s given name from Liliana, and who the Magister actually was. So close… yet not close enough… Click here for more.
Happy new year from all of us!
First off, apologies that we didn’t manage to keep the newsletters releasing during the holidays as we had hoped – several of us who help to make them were struck with winter viruses.
But we are back now, as is The Hidden People! And it is the final four episodes of the season! If you are not caught up with the show, beware of spoilers for episodes up to and including season 3, episode 19: “Ms Robot.”
And before we move on, let’s take a moment to recognize that this is the ninth newsletter. As you may know, NINE is a very important number in Norse mythology, and it occurs many, many times throughout The Hidden People, going back all the way to season one, well before we revealed the identity of the Storyteller. You can find nine, nines, and multiples of nine in places like the details of the Reaping and even in the other Mackenna’s prisoner identification number (you might say that she is one for nines).
Latest from The Hidden People
It was a few weeks ago, but you remember the picture of the DWM T-Rex puppeteering a smaller dino? It was obviously referencing the giant Marionette Mackenna (shudder, but boy did I have fun scoring that bit! – Katie).
If you are interested in how those puppet sounds were actually made – and hopefully it won’t entirely kill the creepy for you – here we go… Click here to read more
We hope this finds you well, wherever in the world it reaches you!
It is our penultimate newsletter of 2022, and we’ll be discussing events in season 3, episode 18 (“Never Let Me Down”), which was released on December 8th, so please consider this your spoiler warning!
We’ll also be hearing from Megan about her process, getting a sneak peek at new DWM shows, and meeting some more of the DWM dinosaurs.
We’ve spoken to the performers who play Riley and Robin. We complete this mini-series of cast interviews by hearing this week from Stephen Gogol, who plays Alfie.
We’ve taken away Alfie’s parents and now Riley; how has your approach to him changed over the seasons?
Starting out, I played Alfie very much the comic relief. I wanted to put humor in where I could, make straight lines funny if I could, and ultimately give a happy foil to Nissa and Mack. Over the seasons, season 3 especially…
We join you today with just five episodes left of this season of The Hidden People! Events are moving fast in our story now.
We have lots for you in this edition, including another interview with a great cast member, plus some wider DWM news. Katie will be in the Artists’ Corner slot this time around, temporarily booting out Chris for a week to discuss the use of BIG music in audio drama.
Your spoiler warning for this newsletter extends up to season 3, episode 17 (“For He’s A Jolly…”).
Last week we heard from Riley’s voice actor, Erin. This week, we catch up with Jacob Anderson, who plays our new most hated baddie, Robin Goodfellow.
Well, I’ve voice acted in a handful of indie video games that you can find on Steam or Itch.io. Recently I’ve been in a role-playing game called Killer Gin as a small number of minor characters, and most notably I’ve been voice acting regularly for the visual novel company Woodsy Studio since 2015, and I’m actually reprising my original role with them as the sycophantic and coy Reuben Jeridar in their upcoming remake of “Serafina’s Saga”!
DWM Newsletter #6
Hello and sorry.
If you know why we’re sorry, you won’t need telling.
If you don’t know, then I suggest you get caught up on THP up until the latest episode, which is season 3, episode 16 – “A Piece of Fate,” (released on the 10th November), before reading on!
Happy belated Hallowe’en!
You find us getting spooky in some spooky woods right now… and on that note, before you read on, beware of the scariest things of all – which are spoilers, obviously! This time around, spoilers will be up to and including THP season 3, episode 15, which was released last Thursday 27th October.
We learned a lot about the legend of Morgan/Morgana last time! To add to the interesting picture constructed on “What the Folk(lore),” I present some further Morgan trivia for you.
My (Katie’s) first encounter with a version of the character Morgan was when I read T.H. White’s The Sword in the Stone, aged 9-ish! So, I looked at Wikipedia to see what other versions were out there… and I counted 367 fiction series, books or short stories from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries listed there that contain some version of the legend of Morgan!! I might have miscounted, though. There were a lot.
In the 19th century, the ratio of depictions of Morgan as a morally good character to evil Morgans was about even. However, in the 20th century, the ratio seems to be about 18:1 evil to good. The 20th century idea of Morgan seems to be fearsome and terrible.
Hello from all of us!
If you’ve not caught up with The Hidden People up to the latest episode (which is season 3, episode 14, released on 13th October), beware of spoilers before reading on.
Speaking personally here, this is a part of the plot that I was waiting on for… a while. (Yes, I don’t get told a lot of what’s going to be in the scripts for a season until they are finalised, so I get to enjoy some of the twists, too!)
I, like many of you, had been vaguely curious about Nissa’s parentage and the potential for a supernatural backstory since… a while ago. For example:
“I know who your father is, Nissa.” (season 1, episode 3 – “Official Statements”)
“We aren’t afraid of you –” / “She speaks the truth, Magister.” (season 1, episode 15 – “Two Roads Diverged”)
“And you looked me right in the eyes and said that he…told you who your father was.” / “Oh.” (season 2, episode 16 – “Date and Switch”)
“I… genuinely do not know why the computer is beeping.” / “She doesn’t have the power to do this. None of them do.” (season 3, episode 6 – “Two Truths and a Lie”)– The Hidden People
How much I enjoyed, then, reading this so very human story as the payoff to these teases. I should have known. This has never been a story where fathers are the special ones. It is an… anti-patriarchal story.
I found much authenticity in the portrayal of Nissa absorbed in processing her mortality, both in the script and in Luna’s sensitive performance – which made me believe in the many thoughts and memories constantly happening under the surface of this super-intelligent person.
This is one of the many occasions on this show that I found myself adding music to express some of what I felt was suggested but not spoken in the dialogue. From the notes I sent to Chris about my first draft of this episode:
‘All music [in the second half] is derived from the new, more subdued and contemplative, development of [Nissa’s] music that I introduced in her scene with Shaylee in the previous episode. As you will hear, I wanted to give her a tune, and eventually – perhaps rashly! – decided to use vocals for this, to represent Nissa’s unspoken private thoughts. The final version of it has some fuller textures and a lot of internal movement – I was thinking of mental restlessness, turmoil?’
Hello again! October already, and The Hidden People is now two episodes into the second half of season three. Meanwhile, writing and dialogue editing are still going on behind the scenes on future DWM shows, while I – as ever! – am bringing up the rear as I complete all the work of the whole team on season three of THP.
As always, if you’ve not caught up with The Hidden People up to the latest episode (which is season 3, episode 13, released on 29th September) beware of spoilers before reading on.
Does Alfie have superpowers, then?
And if it could possibly be true, what on earth might they be?
And why (and how) did he acquire them?
I’ve seen some superb Alfie-related theories out there over the years…
“Alfie is a halfling” … “Alfie was sent by the Hidden to spy on Mackenna” … “Alfie is a werewolf” … “Alfie is the season 1&2 narrator with his voice disguised” (OK, so not that one, I guess!)
Suggest your favourite theory now that we have this new development, and if we get any wild ones we’ll run a poll to find out if there is consensus on this serious and important issue!
In honour of Alfie, here is my favourite depiction of him, in Bitmoji form, made by Emily Kallenberg! Can you possibly guess which one he is? 😉
As a bonus to Patreon supporters, check out the next Patreon post to hear how difficult it can be to play a character with a specific voice and get your lines right.
I thought we’d try out something new!
It’s wonderful that so many of our listeners are creatives themselves, and we love to talk about creating.
We’d like to think out loud about some of our favourite ideas, techniques, and approaches to storytelling – and we hope you find them interesting and/or informative. Please join in the conversation!
Chris (our lead writer) is going to share thoughts on writing each week. Here is what he says on how to handle all the information when constructing a loooong story.
Callbacks. When you make as many episodes as we have so far (57 released episodes so far, not counting bonus episodes!), you run into some benefits and drawbacks. On one hand, we have been able to do so much worldbuilding over the past few years; the worlds of Mackenna Thorne and the Hidden People are well-established at this point, with dynamic characters arcs and rich backstories (will we ever learn the truth about the Fried Chicken Story?), but this also creates the problem of memory. How can we expect you, our loyal fans, to remember all of these details? Even the writers struggle to keep all of the lore straight!
The answer is to put information into two categories: essential and supporting. Essential lore is the stuff you need to know all the time. This includes the basic character traits of the cast, like how Mackenna defies authority, Thomas is a softie, and Alfie is a goofball. Other essential lore would include the magic we use most often, like stepping sideways. We made a very specific sound effect for that and use it regularly enough that the audience cannot forget what it means; it’s in nearly every episode.
Everything else becomes supporting lore. This is the stuff that you may or may not remember, like the rules for entering Arcadia, the dream Nissa’s mom had, or how Fack got her barghest. You might not remember any of those details, but that’s okay! They served their purpose at the time, and they aren’t necessary to remember in order to keep enjoying the show. But sometimes, we need to dip into the supporting lore. When we do, we also need to remind you about it. You might have forgotten that the Storyteller (Big W) didn’t know how Alfie could trick Ailsa waaay back in episode nineteen of season one. We knew this was going to be VERY important for the future, but it wasn’t something we needed to constantly remind you about. So we just brought it up again when it became relevant in the most recent episode.
And here’s the big secret about supporting lore: sometimes, we WANT you to forget about a detail we planted early on so that we can surprise you when we bring it back later and connect it with the story. Perhaps, for example, some other seemingly random details from back in season one will soon become very, very important.
Ooh, what can I tell you about next week’s episode?
It contains some of the music I’ve had the most enjoyment from writing this season, a new development of the music for possibly my favourite character. (Possibly.)
Aaand let’s give you a line or two from it, shall we? Gold star if you can correctly guess which two characters say this in the next episode:
“It’s need to know.”
“Yeah, and my unbridled curiosity and thirst for knowledge need to know.”
Until next time,
Katie and the DWM creative team