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The SCP Foundation is a fictional umbrella for the nightmares that haunt us and the ways we deal with them. Equal parts Wiki-based fiction community and cross-section of modern horror evolving in real time it’s an astonishing achievement and one that’s led to numerous spin-off projects. Here’s Gavia Baker-Whitelaw over at The Daily Dot with an excellent rundown of some of them, as well as what the SCP does.
Created by Pacific S. Obadiah with a cast and crew including Vin Ernst, Michael Miller and Mather William the show takes everything you’d think wouldn’t work on audio and uses it to weave precise aural nightmares. What you get is an SCP file, detailing a subject under containment, what they are, how they were discovered and any offshoot research that their presence at the organization has led to. Names are redacted, most of the time, and the show makes a point of hinting at other files. Files which you can in turn look up and be drawn further in. This isn’t a ‘go here for bonus content!’ scam, far from it. Every episode is a door into the SCP itself. A door you don’t remember opening and one that will absolutely lock behind you.
What I’ve always loved about SCP as a concept is what I love about this show. It’s an idea I find myself encountering a lot, that of the ‘ragged singularity’. It’s not that the future is on the way, it’s that it’s continually arriving and in some cases has been here for a long, long time. The artifacts and creatures the SCP encounter, and that the show details, are often living proof of that. The future has teeth, the future is patient and the SCP’s job is to understand it before it can attack. That’s vastly compelling, and the show captures that tone perfectly.
Any episode is a good jumping on point but for me, the highlight so far has been SCP-049-The Plague Doctor. The story of a polite, well-educated French doctor who is not even a little human anymore it features a superb central turn from Karim Kronfi as SCP-049 and an able foil in Audrey Cassil’s Doctor Hamm. It’s also worth noting the show clearly works extremely hard on representation, and the way Doctor Hamm’s character is presented was as impressive as it was welcome.
The SCP Archives is clever, versatile horror audio that combines the format of it’s text with the format of it’s delivery to create something that feels streamlined, clever and deeply unsettling. It’s one of my favorite podcasts right now and you can find it here and on all good podcatchers.