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How one woman’s private paradise became her personal hell

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How one woman's private paradise became her personal hell

Interactive true crime-style podcasts for armchair detectives to roll up their sleeves and play aren’t entirely new (see: Solve) – but the latest audio set sounds super juicy.

In cold tapes, Andrew Fairfield is a behavioral scientist who was murdered at his base in Antarctica during his long winter (a situation familiar to fans of the recent season of True Detective TV). There are 16 other people left on the base, all of them suspects.

Listeners are invited to help DCI Tessa McCallister reconstruct the victim’s audio diaries, secret recordings, police interviews and other compelling evidence. What’s more, those who solve the case have the chance to enter a competition where they could be named Super Sleuth 2024 at Crime Con London 2024 and walk away with a £10,000 cash prize (all those hours spent consuming real crimes could, literally, bear fruit). .

It’s one of our top picks of the week, along with Alice Levine’s crazy new show about a woman who bought a cheap island off Nicaragua and invited a Channel 4 camera crew to film a new reality series with her there, only for multiple disasters to unfold. …

Hollie Richardson
Television editing assistant

Picks of the week

Muhammad Ali, one of the subjects of Kate Griggs’ dyslexic thinking lessons. Photography: Photoreporters Inc/REX

The price of paradise
Widely available, weekly episodes.
The story of Jayne Gaskin, who bought a private island off Nicaragua at a bargain price, is irresistible. In 2002, the former Playboy Playmate was the unexpected star of Channel 4 reality show No Going Back, but Alice Levine brings the saga to a new audience in all its disastrous glory. It is the story of a family who left their comfortable English life behind, but soon became embroiled in controversies, corruption and kidnappings. Hannah Verdier

Deep Coverage: The Man With No Name
Widely available, weekly episodes starting Monday.
“We have a confession, but we don’t have any body.” Jake Halpern’s meticulously researched fourth season follows two federal agents who investigate a rumor that a teenager was bragging about killing a black man to join a white supremacist group. But who was the man? Can Halpern solve the murder in reverse? high voltage

Lessons on dyslexic thinking
Widely available, weekly episodes.
Courage, determination, heightened spatial awareness – all qualities that Muhammad Ali (pictured above) possessed and that presenter Kate Griggs identifies as forms of dyslexic thinking. In his fascinating podcast, he talks to his wife Lonnie about the skills that made him a champion. Other inspiring guests include wildlife presenter Hamza Yassin and author Liz Pichon. high voltage

The apple and the tree
Widely available, weekly episodes.
Storyteller Vogue Williams brings parents and children together for a heartfelt conversation in this warm and intimate podcast. The first is Sam, who has a sweet and understanding conversation about growing up gay in the Indian community with his brilliant father Lak. From coming out while watching The X Factor to his dad’s gay friends, he’s a beautiful chatterbox. high voltage

Cold tapes: winter is over
Widely available, weekly episodes.
A cold case involving the murder of a behavioral scientist at a remote base in the middle of the Antarctic winter is the setting for this innovative murder mystery game. You must try to solve the murder through a set of files, including audio diaries and police interviews, and if you solve the case you could win a cash prize of £10,000. high voltage

There’s a podcast for that.

Gloria Reuben and Jean-Claude Van Damme at Timecop. Photography: Everett Collection Inc/Alamy

This week, Virtue Graeme choose five of the best podcasts on bad movies, from the chaotic How was this done? to The Plot Thicks: The Devil’s Candy, ably produced by TCM.

How was this done?
One way to extract entertainment value from a terrible movie is to listen to smart people make fun of it. For more than 300 episodes, hosts Paul Scheer, June Diane Raphael and Jason Mantzoukas have demolished trashy movies. As actors working in film and television, they bring insider knowledge, unexpected empathy, and volcanic outrage to live shows that vibrate with infectious energy. Recent installments have punished the 50 Shades franchise a bit, while future episodes will tackle silly action flicks The Beekeeper and Shark Attack 3: Megalodon, as featured on their recent UK tour.

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Tearing up bad movies can be a guilty pleasure, but Norwich-based Sequelisers, currently in its 13th series, takes a more constructive approach. Jack Chambers-Ward, Matthew Stogdon and Tim Maytom focus on disappointing sequels, diagnose what went wrong, and then release an alternate version. The raucous tone has a strong friends-in-the-pub energy, with episodes routinely lasting more than two hours. But the expert hosts approach their task with enthusiasm and an emphasis on brainstorming creative solutions: Would the third Crocodile Dundee work better as an animated film? – keeps things fresh.

Free With ads
If jumping into a movie podcast that’s already racked up hundreds of episodes feels intimidating, the recently launched Free With Ads is a chance to start from scratch. American comedy writers Emily Fleming and Jordan Morris scour the growing world of free streaming services (those where unskippable ads randomly interrupt the viewing experience) in search of kitschy or shoddy movies to roast. So far, the fast-talking duo have shown a knack for exploring unexpected tangents while simultaneously firing off flashy films like Jean-Claude Van Damme’s Timecop and the unfortunate 2000 film Dungeons and Dragons.

The plot thickens: The Devil’s Candy
This podcast ably produced by Turner Classic Movies takes a different focus each season, most recently celebrating blaxploitation queen Pam Grier. But the second season looks at a notorious movie bomb, based on The Devil’s Candy, film critic Julie Salamon’s 1992 book about the making of the 1990 flop The Bonfire of the Vanities. Salamon was invited by director Brian De Palma to integrate all aspects of the ambitious production, from the casting process to the editing booth. His wry, thoughtful narration and recorded interviews with talents such as Tom Hanks, Melanie Griffith, Bruce Willis, and author Tom Wolfe add invaluable texture to a dizzying tale of Hollywood hubris.

Explosive helicopter
Not all movies that feature a helicopter exploding are bad. But if you were to compile a list of films in which a spinning bird explodes into a ball of fire, the results would be more surprising and awe-inspiring than the Palme d’Or. In his ongoing online project, London-based film fan Will Slater , has cataloged more than 800 films featuring helicopter roasting, from The Lego Movie to American Ninja 4: The Annihilation. On his monthly podcast, Slater and a guest sympathetically assess a film’s merits (or lack thereof) before approaching its crucial aerial conflagration scene. Despite the rather silly premise, the results tend to be relatively brief and surprisingly enjoyable.

Why not try it…?

  • Narrated by Salvadoran-American journalist Daniel Alvarenga, SMOKE: Murder and silence in El Salvador explores the violence and corruption that has long plagued the country.

  • As the television series nears its end, the official shogun podcast It’s worth a listen, hosted by a writer for the show, Emily Yoshida, as she chats with the creators and stars.

  • Pop Culture Momsin which bestselling author Andie Mitchell and television producer Sabrina Kohlberg talk to celebrities about balancing fame and motherhood, and remember the fictional mothers who inspire them.

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