No - it's not a film, and it's not even a television series! 'We're Alive: A Story Of Survival' is in fact an audio drama, whose episodes come as free downloads. Podcasts are often misunderstood or overlooked, and it's a shame as they have much to offer. They're usually free to download, and you can even get apps that automatically update the latest episodes to your smartphone if you want. And despite the name, you don't have to have an iPod to listen to them - any computer, smartphone or MP3 player should be able to play them.
We're Alive takes the familiar zombie apocalypse scenario, and creates a tense drama with surprisingly high production values. It follows a group of survivors (three army guys plus a mixture of civilians) holed up in an tower block of flats, battling against the rapidly increasing numbers of the undead, inner conflicts within the group, and another threat which is even more dangerous.
The obvious comparison people will make will be 'The Walking Dead' television series, but to be fair 'We're Alive' came out the year before that. It's influences would seem to include zombie movies from the 70s, online gaming, and Old Time Radio dramas ("And now a word from our sponsor.."). The use of character narration, particularly in the early episodes, gives a slight film noir feel, too.
The characters are likeable and believable, thanks to a well-written script and good voice acting from professional actors. Each character has a combination of strengths and weaknesses, and each has a purpose in the story. As the story unfolds, they learn, relate and develop in a convincing way. As a listener you feel as though you really get to know them, and it's hard not to care about what happens to them. At the same time, the 'enemy' also adapt and develop as the story continues, ensuring things do not become stale or predictable.
The production values are excellent. The sound effects are particularly impressive, and the use of well chosen music really builds atmosphere. At times it sounds more like a big budget movie than an audio drama.
There are four seasons of 12 chapters each, with an overall story arc. Each chapter is made up of three 15-20 minute parts. I find this a really convenient size, especially as I usually listen during short car journeys or while walking the dog. I've just finished the first season, and I've been very impressed indeed. The character development and storyline kept me hooked from the first chapter, and I'm not surprised to hear the show has built up a strong and devoted following. For those who have never explored the world of podcasts, I highly recommend you give this a go, you won't be disappointed. It is available for free on iTunes and Zune, and has its own IOS app if you prefer to listen that way. Previous episodes can also be downloaded from the official website at http://www.zombiepodcast.com/episodes/ 5/5