The first season of the show was released on March 22, 2015, with Key and Peele’s Keegan-Michael Key voicing the lead, and a second season released on September 22nd, 2015. The podcast is nothing less than riveting to listen to, and unless this writer is mistaken (always a distinct possibility), framing a fictional narrative through a podcast is a relatively new concept, one that should be mined further as it can tell a visceral tale akin to a movie or tv show, at a fraction of the cost. Any listener familiar with podcasts like This American Life or Radiolab will recognize the distinct, and thoroughly human feel Hunt the Truth has, employing off-kilter musical cues, and layering voice overs with interviews. The performances are delivered in a manner that genuinely seems off-the-cuff, the actors occasionally fumble over their words or stutter, selling the idea that you’re listening to a podcast that just so happens to take place in a fictional sci fi world.
“How far did it go? Where did the truth even begin?” – Hunt the Truth
The most fulfilling aspect of this podcast is the dark angle it takes, delivering the challenging story about war and ethics in heroism that Halo 5's marketing implied. Themes of freedom vs. security, journalistic ethics, government corruption, and even socio-economic prejudices loom large over the proceedings. By episode 7, where this writer currently is, it’s impossible to not draw real-world comparisons. In the Halo Universe, the UNSC (United Nations Space Command) and Spartans triumphed over an invading alien race, The Covenant. Yet Hunt the Truth presents a world where the forces that serve and protect us sometimes do so through dark and muddied tactics, ultimately calling into question their own legitimacy as protectors. Something many real-world journalists have been grappling with since America's War on Terror began. It’s casually mentioned in Hunt that most forms of digital communication in this universe are monitored by the government, though this isn’t a source of outrage or protest, it just is. It’s an unsettling notion we could be on this path when our real-life leaders are increasingly making justifications and excuses for mass data collection and surveillance programs.
“When you let those in power operate in the dark for long enough, sometimes the dark creeps in. Without checks and balances it’s in our nature to cut corners in the name of efficiency, trim off pieces of our humanity, a chunk at a time. Justifying every cut until eventually all you're left with is horror.” Our intrepid reporter proclaims at one point.
Hunt the Truth is one of the most interesting stories this writer has experienced in a long time, tackling the uncertainty of information disseminated by those in power, presented by top-notch voice actors in what is basically an untapped medium for fictional narratives. And it’s got killer intro music to boot. Do yourself a favor and check it out.
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