Sarcastic Voyage - Radio Plays - Mary Madison: Kill the Front Page

Hard-talking reporter Mary Madison is back, pursuing the perpetrators of a sinister hypnosis plot


  • The next logical step for Mary after Bury the Lead, we thought, was to team her up with, if not an equal, at least a colleague. We'd always thought of Mary as our version of Batman (tenacious, focused, largely unstoppable), so we turned to the amazing "World's Finest" three-parter from Bruce Timm's Superman animated series for inspiration. You probably won't find much in the way of actual direct influence in this, but it's definitely there.
  • Ruth Russell was based largely on Torchy Blane, the protagonist of a series of "fast-talking girl reporter" movies from the 30s and, weirdly, the original inspiration for Lois Lane. (Weirdly because of the aforementioned — we weren't intentionally trying to tie every aspect of this to Superman.)
  • Our first story had a noir feel to it, so we wanted to do something a little different with this one. We were going for a bit of a Hitchcock vibe. I'm not sure we entirely pulled that off, but it definitely took us to someplace new that, on the whole, we were pretty satisfied with.
  • By total coincidence, Marvel's Agent Carter TV series dropped the same week we released this radio play. Both stories involved women dealing with the aftermath of World War II — specifically, being asked to step back from the useful jobs they had while the men were away at war and resume their roles as wives and mothers.
  • I really like how this opening sequence unfolds, with the music and credits intercut with Mary doing her Mary thing. It might be the most — for want of a better word — cinematic thing we've done in this medium.
  • Making Ruth polyamorous and bisexual was a deliberate choice — it served to further distinguish her from the probably asexual Mary and it's another attempt by us to be better with representation.
  • King's insanity will be clarified in Citizen Crotch but I don't think that information is essential to understand what's happening here. The war's over and he's being a misogynist jerk, is the gist of it.
  • Also we later learn he was deaf, which is why the hypnotizing whistle didn't affect him. This is a detail we probably should have made more clear in this story.
  • "Avagadro Way just past sixth" is a dumb math/science joke.
  • I'm pretty sure all of the cops in Mary's city are Irish.
  • "Lovesick nun" is a thing that Amanda insists is a trope. She's wrong. We would address this in greater detail with an actual “lovesick nun” story in episode 4 of Sarcastic Voyage Theatre some years later.
  • Once again, Tordovia stands in for every offensive foreign power in movies and TV. Thanks, country we made up!
  • Ruth's love of eggs comes from Amanda's equally powerful obsession with eggs.
  • Ruth having been in the war was inspired by No Job for a Woman, a fantastic documentary about female reporters during World War II who snuck off overseas to cover the action.
  • Mary and Ruth trying each other's tactics in the third act is one of my favorite things that Amanda and I have ever written together.
  • Making the typically goofy Tordovian accent sinister was a major challenge, and Sabrina was completely up to it in the torture scene. But then she also completely sells the comedy of "those ropes were no match for my untying!"
  • The Tordovian film being shown at the end is "Diving!," one of the first sketches starring Tordovia's own Frank and Sandra.


Duncan Boszko - Agent Nelson

Mark Boszko - O'Shaughnessey

Dave Fields - Harold King

Brian Lynch - Herbert

Caitlin Obom - Starlet

Kara O'Connor - Ruth Russell

Nicole Santora - King's Secretary

Amanda Smith - Mary Madison

Sabrina Snyder - Spradley

Jason Wallace - Ambassador Kutch

Ron “AAlgar” Watt - Governor Chapman

Written & directed by Amanda Smith and Ron “AAlgar” Watt

© 2014 AAlgar Productions