Without giving much away, this episode is very exciting and fast-paced, if somewhat gruesome. Much of what has been unknown is revealed. Logan/Wolverine (Richard Armitage) is much more present, appearing three times in the episode.
I’ve come to the conclusion that there are a lot of horrible people in the town of Burns, Alaska. Logan, on the other hand, is a character that can have both good and bad elements in any incarnation, with this podcast being no exception. We hear him in two flashbacks in Episode 9, with lots of growling, fighting, and spoken and shouted dialogue. Then, finally at the end of the half-hour and for the first time in the podcast series, we meet Logan in real time… “I’m right here, bub.” I am expecting him to play a major part in the action for the grand finale of the season.
On The Marvel After Show, there are two guests. First, Deru (Benjamin Wynn, Composer) talks about developing the main theme and all of the music for the podcast. Rather than scoring each scene, he decided to “create a library of music for the show that [they] could… dip into and use as… needed for each episode.” There were only one or two exceptions each week where the music had to be specifically scored, such as for particular action sequences. Of the characters, only the Prophet and Logan have their own themes played when they appear, both of which use glisses (sound glides from one pitch to another) tying back to the string recording done for the main title.
Also on the After Show is Chloe Prasinos (Assistant Director and co-Sound Designer), who is an experienced radio and podcast producer, but who prior to this had done only journalism and documentary work. But director Brendan Baker had worked with her on a documentary and felt that she would be the right person for this scripted show. Her role was all about creating sounds to produce a specific visual image for the listener. But in addition to helping to build the “immersive sound design world”, she found herself having a new experience. “…All of a sudden I was like telling Richard Armitage, … “No! Growl differently!”
In the previous After Show, actor David Call mentioned that he“fully blew [his] voice out” in Episode 9. After listening to this episode, it is obvious why. Prasinos, though, discloses that they also pitch-shifted his voice after the fact, “so over time we are able to automate and control the way that David Call’s voice sounds”, dropping it by 6 semitones. (Why is it that I would rather maintain the illusion and not know that the voice I hear is really not fully real?)
Prasino also reveals how they made the iconic “snikt” sound of Wolverine’s claws coming out. She explains that often the most realistic sound effect will be created through the layering of many sounds. For the “snikt” sound in particular, they drew knives along a steel sharpener, added an effect to simulate blood as the claws spring from the knuckles, “and then also [layered] the sound of Richard as Logan kind of like (phhh) wincing as they come out”.
Unfortunately, the After Show continues with the recurring bit of asking the guests to do their best Wolverine voice, and so the last several minutes are spent on this. I am really hoping that they are building up to a Monday interview with the Wolverine himself, Richard Armitage.