In March 2014 we created a 12-part post-apocalypse podcast called The Bunker, a scripted comedy podcast series with over 60,000 downloads to date. Now The Bunker is nearing its final episode, and we’ve set our sights on the heavens, and more specifically, Mars.
The year is 2515 and Earth is a barren wasteland. Luckily, a terraforming colony was established on Mars at the end of the 21st century to make the red planet a safe haven for humanity. Unluckily, that colony was MarsCorp.
After 444 years of gathering dust in the storage room, Station Supervisor E. L. Hob (Helen Watkinson) is awoken from cryosleep and tasked with getting the terraforming mission back on track (and saving MarsCorp from its own catastrophic incompetence).
In each half hour episode Hob and her laid-back assistant, Jim (Matthew Woodcock), attempt to tackle the day-to-day problems at MarsCorp, such as health and safety, education, security, terrifying man-eating monsters from hellish dimensions and team building days.
MarsCorp is a 12-part science fiction comedy podcast series. We plan to launch the show at the end of 2015, and we will release a new 30 minute episode every two weeks.
YOUR GUIDE TO MARSCORP
The MarsCorp mission was launched by the totally-not-shady conglomerate, Happiness Inc. in 2070. It was designed to be a colony that would terraform the red planet, so that by 2100 humanity could finally realise its dream of drinking skinny-frappe-latte-cinos in Happiness Coffee Shops all over Mars.
Progress has been a little slow though, and when we catch up with MarsCorp in 2515, terraforming completion is at precisely 0.0%.
Having a human community isolated on a distant planet for hundreds of years has led to some odd systems developing. There are strict social and professional hierarchies on Mars denoted by colours - Yellow is the highest, for management, and Orange is the lowest - which people are born into and don't move between. There is also no trade on Mars, as the shadowy Resources Department manages the economy.
But it’s not all bad, Mars is totally devoid of gender, racial and sexual inequality, in fact most Martians don’t even understand these concepts. It is also very difficult to be either rich or poor on the base, as everyone is given a specific function. So while there is a rigidly enforced class system, the employees/citizens of MarsCorp are more or less equal (and equally stuck).
E.L. Hob - 29 - Station Supervisor
Born on Earth, Hob was a dynamic young go-getter in Happiness Inc. She asked the hard questions and wouldn't stop until she got the answers. This was a problem for the company, so they sent her to MarsCorp.
With her past life on Earth now long gone, Hob is determined to make something of her life on Mars, all she needs to do is understand the bizarre social system, change the entire work ethic of the base, and battle monsters, plagues, robot uprisings, shadowy sects and middle management interference.
Jim Lake - 35 - Assistant Supervisor / The 'OK' Man
A family man with a zen approach to life, Jim is well known and well liked by everyone at MarsCorp. His last job was to visit every employee on the base twice a week and ask if they were 'OK'. Their answers weren't important.
Base Manager, Martin Mann, believes that Jim's popularity and knowledge of the base makes him the perfect assistant for Hob - and the perfect unwitting spy for Martin.
Martin Mann - 44 - Base Manager
Martin was one of the top accountants at Happiness Inc., head of treasury for the guns, tobacco and organic food division. But after some financial irregularities, which couldn’t actually be proved, the company decided that Mars Base 1, a closed economy with no trade, needed an accountant.
Despite arriving on Mars in 2122, Martin’s CryoPod lay unopened in the storeroom until 2505, when the medical department went looking for a rumoured stash of Creme de menth. Due to a technicality, Martin was made base manager, but his reluctance to get his hands dirty has brought the base to breaking point. So, like any good, responsible manager, he finds someone to pass the buck to. He wakes up Hob.
Tom Dalling - 34 - Chief Technology Officer
The many robots and computer systems are an essential part of MarsCorp. If they all stopped working everyone would literally die in less than an hour. It's Tom's job to make sure this doesn't happen.
This would be stressful enough, but couple it with a person obsessed with perfection, and you get a man on the edge of a breakdown. There's only one thing that keeps Tom balanced, and that is his greatest creation: a robot son, who happens to be planning a revolution.
David Price - 30 - Messenger / Trader
As a messenger, Dave was citizen class Orange: the lowest of the low. But his time shuttling messages between people and departments made him notice the shortages and surpluses on the base. So he came up with a completely new concept for Mars: trade.
Hob realises the importance of Dave's unofficial operation and makes him Mars's first trader. If there's something you need, whether it's a new lamp, an oxygen purification unit or a litre of vodka, Dave can get it for you... for a price.
David Knight - 28 - Student / Prisoner
David had a lot of potential. As a student, he was tutored by the Head of Science, the almighty Colin himself, and it looked like the department would be in safe hands for years to come.
Unfortunately David and Colin attempted to use their combined talents to take over the universe. Things got “messy”, Colin disappeared and David was locked away in solitary confinement, becoming MarsCorp’s first ever prisoner. But with Hob needing his expertise to do her job, David is given a second chance.
Bonnie Clarke – 38 – Communications / Social SecretaryBonnie is in charge of base communications. This sounds like a lofty and important title, but it mainly involves reading out messages over the base wide comms system. She also takes responsibility for organising certain social events.
Of course, the citizens of MarsCorp have no way of turning off Bonnie’s endless announcements and it could be argued that her role is essentially that of a propagandist, but at least Bonnie uses her authority wisely. Just kidding, she totally abuses her power.
£2 - GO TO MARS - Get a place on Gorilla’s very own mission to Mars! Your name (or a small picture of your choice) will be attached to the exterior of our sophisticated MarsCorp 2 rocket, joining our mission to be the first podcast on the red planet. In the unlikely event that the mission fails, you will be celebrated as someone who dared to dream.
£5 - ORIGINAL DIGITAL ARTWORK - Join the Mars mission, plus get hi-res digital downloads of original artwork from The Bunker and MarsCorp, specially formatted to be used as a phone or desktop background.
£20 - MARSCORP MUG - Pretend you're a heroic pioneer with MarsCorp, fighting monsters and doing essential admin, by drinking out of the very same mug they use on the base! Beautifully branded with the MarsCorp logo, it will bring you closer to the core business values of Happiness Inc.
£30 - OFFICIAL BUNKER T-SHIRTS - Limited edition Bunker podcast T-Shirt with elegant custard cream biscuit decal. It looks great, it feels great, it tastes great, but don’t eat it, it’s a t-shirt. Mens' medium and large and womens' medium sizes available.
£100 - WE WILL KILL YOU! - We will write a special death scene for you, record it and send it to you! Options for your untimely demise include; monsters, spontaneous combustion, fire, spiders, plague, poorly stacked boxes and more! We'll even write you a moving, officially approved, MarsCorp eulogy, which will be read by David, David or Tom (example below).
£200 - WE WILL KILL YOU... ON THE SHOW! - We will write in a character who is named after you and will appear in an episode of the actual MarsCorp podcast. You and your friends and loved ones can then listen in horror as that character is killed off before having their official MarsCorp sanctioned eulogy read out!
£300 - WE WILL KILL YOU... ON THE SHOW... AND NAME A PART OF MARSCORP AFTER YOU! - This is for those who really made the MarsCorp mission a success. Your horrific death will not be marked with a simple, company eulogy, your spirit will be forever immortalised by having a part of the base named after you. Options include the [Your Name] Memorial Canteen, Store Cupboard, Foosball Room, Corridor, Toilet, Launch Pad and many more!
£1000 - FIRST EPISODE DEDICATED TO YOU - Wow, you're basically a one person space program! To celebrate your contribution to the MarsCorp mission, we will dedicate the very first episode to you or your company, with a message at the beginning recognising you as the sponsor (Our last show, The Bunker, has been downloaded over 50,000 times to date). This basically puts you up there with Neil Armstrong, Yuri Gagarin and that dog that went into space and died, in the pantheon of space pioneers. MarsCorp salutes you!*
*Salutations will not be recognised by Happiness Inc. or subsidiaries.
Risks and challenges
We plan to release a new episode of MarsCorp every two weeks, which means we have to produce the entire twelve-part show ahead of time. So we just have to write, record and edit six hours of content in seven months! Easy! The real challenge will be budgeting, because four thousand eight hundred pounds is the lowest amount of money we can make the show for. So we might end up on a diet of super noodles for those seven months. Which is fine, we love super noodles!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (33 days)