The first two episodes of Season 2 of the podcast dropped on Monday and, wonder of wonders, this time the show actually does seem to feature Wolverine! Last season, those (like me) who were listening for Richard Armitage were left disappointed, as the show was all about tracking Wolverine — meaning that he was generally on the periphery and rarely heard through the spoken word. In interviews, he seemed surprised that he was in it only briefly, because I guess he was in the sound studio grunting and breathing and being tracked. Hmm. Not quite the same as having dialogue.
In any case, I’ve still got my Stitcher Premium subscription from the first season — expires on April 11 of course, so I’ll probably end up letting it renew so I can catch the whole season. I tuned in on Monday, while I was off sick from work. No real spoilers, but just to set up the story… It starts right up with Logan (Wolverine/Armitage) on the phone leaving a voice mail for lost love/ex-lover Maureen (Rachael Holmes), who seems to have gone missing. He goes to Louisiana to try to find her and there meets up with teenaged Marcus Baptiste (Rodney Henry) who has lost not only his mother, but in fact his whole village, and it looks like there are more disappearances of both mutants and humans. Weapon X, of course, is also in the picture, with Agent Sally Pierce (S2: Christina Bennett Lind) hot on Logan’s trail. Logan reluctantly teams up with Marcus, each of them adding something to the partnership.
I’m not quite as impressed with the sound this time. (I talked about the Season 1 sound here — beside the picture where Richard is biting someone’s leg!) Apparently, the studio is smaller, and maybe that is why the voices are a bit hard to hear sometimes and seem to be overlapped by the other sounds. The story seems pretty good, though, and looks to be a road trip/investigation, with both Logan and Marcus looking for something they’ve lost. Other than Wolverine/Logan himself, though, I’m not overly invested in the characters yet. We’ll see.
I’ve become a bit of a fan of audiobooks (surprisingly to me — but more on that in another post) and I particularly like Richard Armitage reading to me in his own natural accent, using various additional voices as required by the story. I can connect that voice and accent to the actor in my mind. Somewhat similarly, while watching Berlin Station, I can see that that American accent is coming out of RA’s mouth and so I can connect it the the actor. But the Logan American accent and voice is so gruff and deep that I just can’t understand that it’s RA! It is perfectly appropriate for Logan/Wolverine and RA has done an amazing job with that voice, but my brain just won’t make the connection beyond the character to the actor!
For comparison purposes (and gratuitous Armitage), have a listen to
look at these:
1) 30-second clip of English accent with gratuitous windswept Armitage:
2) 22-second clip of American accent with gratuitous shirtless Armitage:
3) The S2 podcast trailer, featuring a deeper, gruffer, American accent with invisible Armitage:
I feel like this voice is pretty hard on RA’s throat, too, and wouldn’t really be sustainable as a long-term thing. You can really hear the the roughness in his voice in this interview by Bleeding Cool in the podcast studio. Richard comes into the room at around 21:30 and starts to answer questions with the others around 24:30.
Unlike last season, there is no Marvel After Show, so the interviews above will have to do. That podcast had extremely annoying hosts, but now and then provided some nuggets about the making of the show and also had one interview towards the end of the season with Richard Armitage.
I am looking forward to what next Monday’s episode will bring. If you’re interested and haven’t listened to season 1 yet, Wolverine: The Long Night is now available for free on the various podcast platforms. Episodes 1 and 2 of the second season, Wolverine: The Lost Trail, can be listened to at this point with a free trial on Stitcher Premium, and presumably the whole season will be free later in the year on other platforms. (Not sure if the two episodes are free anywhere else right now… chime in if you have the answer.)