In late 2012 I co-founded the production company Chaos Theatre, which aimed to create long-form comedy content for the web. A year later we released our first audio sitcom: A Brief History of Time Travel.
Across six 30-minute episodes, we brought together professional actors, comedians and musicians for sci-fi comedy fun inspired by the likes of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Red Dwarf, and other stuff you already like. We even secured a very special guest star: Robert Llewellyn of Red Dwarf himself. The reviews were good, we made back our money, and the profits will fund Chaos Theatre’s future ventures.
In total we produced 6 x 30-minute episodes of fully scripted comedy, 6 x 20-minute Behind-the-Scenes podcasts (including commentary, outtakes and deleted scenes) and a companion book, all of which can now be downloaded for free at the official A Brief History of Time Travel site. As well as heading production, my responsibilities included writing episodes 2 & 3, co-writing episodes 1 & 6, and script-editing episodes 4 & 5. I also directed all six episodes with my co-writer, Seb Patrick.
The series was scored by indiepop outfit MJ Hibbett and the Validators, and the theme tune they composed, entitled “I Want to Find Out How It Ends”, was released as a single and can be purchased on Bandcamp. You can also watch the video on YouTube.
A short dialogue clip from Episode 3, When in Rome. Temporally-adrift CIA employee Nina Seventeen and her incompetent colleague Oscar Quantum (speaking from the future), discuss re-arresting some temporal fugitives. (It may not be clear from this section, but any crackling you hear is ambience for the location.)
Next, a script extract (also from episode 3) where bumbling everyman lead Eric, psychotic inventor the Professor and temporal enforcer Nina discuss refuelling the time machine. Note that Eric isn’t being mean when he calls Nina ignorant – he’s covering his own ignorance from earlier in the episode.
Below is a page written especially for the ABHOTT Companion. It shows information notionally extracted from the Chronological Intelligence Agency’s Employee Prospectus, with testimonials from three of our supporting characters.
Finally, a picture of the ABHOTT Companion Book. Click on the image and you can read another exclusive piece of in-universe material, originally created for our Facebook page – Oscar Quantum’s mission report for his time on board the RMS Titanic. Red Dwarf fans should note the form number in the top left!