The Truesdale Show Goes Live!
Last week saw the launch of the Truesdale Show, a much-anticipated comedic drama podcast, written and created by Creative Writing undergraduate Kitto Maddrell and involving collaboration with around 50 Falmouth University students.
Truesdale is a marine biology comedy podcast featuring LGBTQ+, mental health and environmental themes, and is inspired by the Sherlock Holmes adventures.
Dr Mike Truesdale and his intern Scott Hopkins live on their houseboat the Earle. Avoiding their lives and responsibilities back home in England, they sail the Philippines in Dr Trues' ex-WW2 British baker class minesweeper.
In this article Kitto outlines the project ethos and mission.
One of the main facets of Truesdale is its LGBTQ+ nature. It has an incredibly and unapologetically queer team behind it and was born out of a dissatisfaction with most media representations. There is a great problem that LGBTQ+ characters aren’t often actual characters, they are their sexuality and their identity and nothing more. Their story is an awareness campaign or purely about the struggles, and while these stories are necessary, it’s okay to want more. To want trans detectives and pan heroes. We should have heroes, not tokens.
Scott, the deuteragonist of Truesdale, is a 20 year old trans man played by a trans actor. He is an integral character in the show and gets fifty percent of the show time. And -importantly - his life is not defined by being trans, he has personality, a past, hobbies, aspirations - y’know, stuff ‘normal’ people have. While Scott is trans, that is also not his sexuality. Scott is asexual and in a relationship.
Truesdale himself is pan and a member of the LGBTQ+ community regardless of his dislike of groups and societies in general, but again this is not the be all or end all of Truesdale; he’s a marine biologist, a novelist, and a pretty awful father. He is also aromantic, something we will delve into in the future of the show but for now is something he has yet to fully articulate.
We made a decision early on to talk about their identities and sexualities explicitly in episodes and to be open about it and have it feature but otherwise, well, they’re just people. We need to normalise LGBTQ+ characters, to stop fetishising them or cutting them out of cardboard. The plot shouldn’t have to revolve around someone being gay or trans anymore, they should be able to solve mysteries or engage in court room drama, or just about any genre really. Well, no, not JUST about, definitely EVERY genre. For too long we’ve been a genre and film category of our own.
It was also a deliberate decision to adapt the Sherlock Holmes stories with queer characters due to the nature of it having often been used as queer baiting in past portrayals.
We also have numerous explicit queer characters with queer casting, not to mention people involved at all levels of production.
I guess to some degree this is what you would call a polemic against the current prevailing media culture, so to end I will sum up once more:
We deserve detectives, spies, and super heroes.
Kitto is the creator of Truesdale, and the scriptwriter for Series One. She is a 20 year old English and Creative Writing undergraduate. She currently has two other podcasts in development: ‘Dying Light Detectives’ and ‘Consenticles’.