Podcast Review: The Mysterious Secrets of Uncle Bertie’s Botanarium

(Credit: Grant/Flickr)

The Mysterious Secrets of Uncle Bertie’s Botanarium is a 12-part adventure series from Stitcher and South Coast Shenanigans. The tale begins by introducing listeners to Lord Joseph Banks the aristocratic, idle, opportunity squandering, squillionaire botanist. Accompanying him on his day out and about in the market town of Damp Rot is his servant Solander. As the gentleman and his servant are about their business they find themselves in a cheesemonger’s shop. The proprietor presents Lord Banks with a very “special” cheese. The cheesemonger instructs Lord Banks to smell the cheese and rub it on his face before he retires for the evening, only after he has rubbed this cheese on himself can he then consume it.

The cheese is certainly special as Lord Banks wakes from his cheese dream determined to find his Uncle Bertie’s Botanarium. Once again accompanied by his faithful servant Solander, the duo find themselves in the Botanarium, and it is here that they discover his uncle Bertie’s magnum opus. As Lord Banks flips through the book he reminisces about his uncle. Poor uncle Bertie was ostracized for his botanical beliefs, and never returned from his last voyage. He perished at sea. Lord Banks decides to set off on an adventure to demonstrate just how ahead of his time his uncle Bertie was in his botanical beliefs. The bottom line is, botany is serious business. Thus, begins Lord Banks’ great adventure.

The Mysterious Secrets of Uncle Bertie’s Botanarium, features Jemaine Clement of Flight of the Conchords, as Lord Joseph Banks.

This series is ridiculous and delightfully reminiscent of the BBC’s audio production of The Adventures of Sexton Blake. Fast talking and full of alliteration this series is a treat. Season 1 is available in its entirety, while season 2 has just premiered. This is one audio adventure you won’t want to miss.

Republished from The Quill print edition, Volume 107, Issue 21, February 7th, 2017.