Serial (iTunes, Google Play)
Murder investigation is a podcast genre all of its own these days.
Atlanta Monster, West Cork, Someone Knows Something are just some of the literally thousands of series available.
The one that sparked widespread interest, though, was undoubtedly Serial, which was released back in 2014.
Reporter Sarah Koenig’s series became a viral sensation that had everyone talking and begging to find out the answer to one question – who killed Hae Min Lee?
As this addictive series unfolded, she discovered there was no easy answer.
In 1999, in Baltimore, a young student went missing. After a few weeks, her body was found in a city park.
She had been strangled and her ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed, was charged with her murder, convicted and subsequently sent to prison for life.
He has always maintained his innocence.
To reveal more would be to spoil Sarah’s investigation.
This probably isn’t what you’re expecting – Serial isn’t just a real-life whodunit. There are difficult interviews with grieving relatives, forensic examinations of mobile phone records – and it also asks difficult questions about justice.
The first series of Serial proved podcasts weren’t just a niche interest – the audience of 175 million would make all but the biggest sporting events hugely envious.
There have been two follow-up series, but neither were quite as fascinating as the original.
The Allusionist (iTunes)
The definition of words sounds like a boring subject for a podcast – but The Allusionist proves this isn’t the case.
It explores why we use words such as “squillion” for huge numbers, why the definition of the word “sanctuary” used to be very different, and the bodice-ripping language used in Mills & Boon…
Dreamfinders (iTunes, Google Play)
Disney is absolutely massive – making billions from movies, games and its theme parks. It’s this last subject which is explored in this podcast series, and it’s a unbelievably rich topic.
Nathan Hartman sits down with authors, actors, dancers, photographers, YouTube creators and other artists of every conceivable shade to discuss how Disney has inspired them.