Podcasts have come up as one of the leading mediums of entertainment and storytelling in the past few years. And it comes as no surprise that a number of shows are being made that take inspiration from these podcasts. One of these shows is Netflix’s Archive 81, based on a podcast of a similar name. The mystery-thriller has enjoyed tremendous success in the past weeks, but it sure deviates from the original story several times.
Daniel Powell and Marc Sollinger’s podcast Archive 81 serves as the base material of the Netflix Original. But the show has taken the liberty to bring about a few changes in the story. Here, we will look at some major differences that we saw in the show. Some of these were necessary changes, but some just come off as rather redundant.
Melody’s sexuality is different in Netflix’s Archive 81
One of the major changes that we saw in the show was the different sexual orientation of the lead character, Melody Pendras. She is indeed the person who is at the center of everything, as the creator of the tapes in 1994. So it never really made sense to change her character’s sexual orientation. In the podcast, Melody is a happy lesbian woman, who even has an amazing wife named Alexa, who at one point killed a man trying to open a portal to save Melody. The show appears to be trying to establish a relationship between Dan and Melody.
Besides that, Melody comes off as a rather one-dimensional character in the Netflix Original, more of a damsel in distress. Melody becomes an object or a motivation for the progression of men. As soon as Dan learns about her being alive in The Otherworld, she becomes a medium for his heroic arc. Dan says, it is “what his father would’ve done.” It is a little sad to see the amazing character of Melody from the podcast turn into something completely different.
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The podcast has audio cassettes and not VHS tapes
This is one of the required changes for the show, as the change in medium would definitely not work if the show kept audio cassettes. Sure, the restoration of audiotapes has its own creepiness that we experience in the podcast, but watching melody’s life being played in the videos was a great experience as well.
Another enforcer of this change might have been Netflix itself. As one of the most controversial and widely known shows of the streaming network follows a similar format. Yes, we are indeed talking about 13 Reasons Why, where audio tapes are used to relive the past and also make the present horrible.
The addition of Christian theology is only present in the show
The angle of Christianity and Satanism is something that works as a foundation stone for the show. The establishment of The Vos Society and their devotion to Kaelego can be traced back to their Christian beliefs. But surprisingly, the podcast never uses Christianity as one of its themes. The podcast focuses more on the gods and entities from the unknown cosmic world, which takes the characters further away from reality.
The show also taps into Melody’s experience with the Church, especially when a father from the Church tries to perform an exorcism on Jess.
To learn more about the difference, we suggest you listen to the podcast and stream Archive 81 on Netflix. Let us know if you find more interesting ones too!