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The Magnus Archives is a horror/drama fiction podcast put out weekly by Rusty Quill Productions beginning in 2015 and running to the present. It portrays the travails of Johnathan Sims, the new head archivist of the Magnus Institute, as he records and catalogues weird, supernatural testimonies from people touched by very odd forces. The Magnus Institute is a two centuries old group situated in London dedicated to the studies of the supernatural. They'll take anybody's statement, though whether they believe them is another matter.

At the start of the series Sims is taking over the archives from Gertrude, who left under mysterious circumstances, and discovers that the archive is using several different organizational schemes that make finding anything a nightmare. He begins slowly trying to untangle the mess while taking new statements and recording old ones that are showing excessive degradation. He's also a cynical, prickly, paranoid bastard who can't help but add pointed remarks about the implausibility or unfalsifiability most statements at the end of each recording. As the series progresses and he discovers more the paranoia ramps up and he begins recording all of his work conversations ... and he may be right to do so.

The Magnus Archives is formulaic in the sense that it tends to follow a pattern. Somebody encounters something supernatural and they last long enough to make a statement to the archive. Sometimes the afterword confirms that the person died soon afterward, sometimes they've disappeared, and sometimes their lives just go on from there. While there are themes appearing from one story to the next the threat level, victims' reactions, and nature of the encounters vary wildly. Sometimes it's a full on slasher movie and other times just creepy. Sometimes the witnesses are raving and others they're depressingly subdued. Episodes run from fifteen to thirty minutes in length. If I had to praise it on just one point it would be the very restrained use of creepy music. It's rare and when it is used it's soft enough that you can miss it. If you like supernatural horror with a side of psychological-drama I'd give the series a pretty hearty endorsement.


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