Science, History and Adventure: What More Do You Want in a Podcast?


The Adventures of Sage and Savant are a conglomeration of science, history and adventure. The heroes, Dr Petronella Sage and Professor Erasmus Savant, travel through time, and there is some serious research behind these adventures. The whole series is built on trying to blend what is known in physics today, set the adventures in the Victorian era--with a gloss of Steampunk--then thrusting them into historical settings. The podcasts are adventures, rather than history or science lectures, so the website includes the research behind the episodes.

In the latest episode, EP 10: The Accidental Tourist, Dr Sage, played by Eddie Louise, travels back in time to Pompeii on the day Vesuvius decides to explode. Knowing her history, the doctor is faced with her impending doom and the knowledge that the people she meets will inevitably die. There is nothing she can do to save them, which provides her assistant, Abigale Entwhistle played by Emily Riley Piatt, no end of consternation. Dr Sage includes an interesting tidbit of science as she explains to Abigale why they cannot use their future knowledge to save anyone in Pompeii. Rather than death by suffocation under the mountain of volcanic ash that would bury the town for hundreds of years, we now know most died instantly of extreme heat, with many casualties shocked into a sort of instant rigor mortis. Even if they could provide someway to prevent against the extreme heat, anyone who survives would suffocate under the ash. It is this inclusion of contemporary scientific thought that makes the episodes so fascinating.

Leveraging modern knowledge of history, podcast author Eddie Louise, drops in tidbits to color the time period to which Sage and Savant travel. Sappho was a Greek poet, but had quite a following in early Roman times. A brief mention by Hilaria (another nod to history as Hilaria was a common Roman name, equating to the modern name Joy), played by AnneMarie Gomez, regarding Sappho provides not only a moment of comedy&mdashpondering if Abigale might be a follower of the poet&mdashbut gives us a glimpse into the life and times of everyday Pompeiians. Eddie Louise also gives a nod to the uncle of noted Roman Historian Pliny, who escaped the falling debris by tying a pillow to his head. Abigale tells her friend Hilaria to grab a pillow which prompts the comment about Sappho. The Narrator, played by Justin Bremer, doesn't let us know if Hilaria made it out alive, but Dr Sage needs herself and Abigale to not, so they can return to their own bodies in their own time.

The way Sage and Savant travel through time is a method they call transmigration&mdashtheir conscious minds are pulled from their own bodies and shifted into the bodies of dead people. This reanimates the dead until such time as that body dies, which forces the conscious mind to revert back to its original host. The website has references supporting these concepts. Current theories of quantum physics suggest quantum objects can travel back in time. There are even theories that our thoughts are not physical, but quantum objects. Our brains are simply the environment that allows those quantum objects to function. Put these theories together and our thoughts, or the quantum objects containing our thoughts, can travel through time.

Although we cannot yet travel through time in this manner, science fiction speculates about what ifs, and this podcast does just that. The Adventures of Sage and Savant pose a variety interesting concepts intermingled with facts. By including a solid background of science and historical fact in their episodes, the places we need to suspend our disbelief are much easier to accept.

The cast and crew for Sage and Savant have produced ten episodes this first season (although episode 7 is a special double episode for Christmas) and hope to have 2 more, with their final episode a double episode as well&mdashfor a total of 14 podcasts. Their fan base is rapidly growing, and I suspect it has a lot to do with the intricate way fact and fiction play so well together.


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