The crossroads of sci-fi geekdom and comedy geekdom are about to expand by an entire universe. Pulling in top-tier talent from that particular crossroads, Voyage to the Stars aims to boldly go where podcasts have never gone before. And before you scoff at yet another podcast, be aware. This one comes equipped with accompanying comics, games, merch, and everything in between.
Comedy/sci-fi queens Felicia Day (Supernatural) and Janet Varney (Stan Against Evil) lead an ensemble cast that also includes regulars Colton Dunn (Superstore) and Steve Berg (The Good Place). Their group of misfits fumble their way through a wormhole and proceed to look for a way back that doesn’t destroy the galaxy.
Chatting With Janet Varney
Pure Fandom got to sit down with Janet Varney recently for an exclusive look at what to expect from Voyage to the Stars. Having worked with series writer and producer Ryan Copple on Escape!, Janet knew as soon as she heard his vision that she wanted to come aboard. “The only problem,” Varney said, “was that, having worked in comedy for years, I kind of knew too many people who would be perfect to bring along.”
Once the core group came in, however, Varney said that everyone clicked right into place. And the show immediately took shape. So those numerous comedic resources turned into guest stars.
As the crew explores the reaches of space, Voyage to the Stars promises to bring on an all-star list of guest stars. Tom Lenk (Buffy), Chris Williams (Silicon Valley), Nyima Funk (Key and Peele), and numerous others have already been announced as voice talent popping up on alien planets. According to Janet Varney, “The guest stars will show up for a couple of episodes at a time, so they got to really inhabit the roles and bring the to life. They stick around for more than just a quick guest spot.”
Varney’s character, a cynical A.I. named Sorry, “is tasked with serving and protecting her human crew, but sort of feels superior to them. So she likes to toy with them a bit. Poke around in their brains and see how they work, what they’ll do.” The action of the podcast takes place as a series of recorded logs, either in the form of Colton Dunn’s captain’s logs or Felicia Day’s science logs. So we can expect a “found footage” feel to the podcast.
Expanding the Experience
But we can expect much more than that. Voyage to the Stars is partnering with Twitch to stream programming from an official channel during the weeks following the launch. The cast will jump on, along with special guests from the comedy world, to offer viewers takes on each episode. The full VTTS experience will also eventually include live shows, gaming, and animated shorts (not to mention comics and card game that are both in the works).
Although the show follows set storylines and arcs, the cast improvised the bulk of each episode. According to Varney, “We had certain marks to hit, but the rest is mostly improvised.” She described the experience of improvised podcasting as sort of awakening a Ghost Muscle within the body. And then we both decided that was a really weird analogy. But we still sort of liked it.
“I wish I could tell you what to look forward to,” Varney said. “But, to be honest, I haven’t heard it all put together. I just know that I laughed until I cried while recording it. And, you know, listeners can look forward to that. We’re all hearing it for the first time, sort of, along with Janet. We’ll experience it together.”
Where You Can Find It
Voyage to the Stars premieres today (February 12th) and will be available wherever you consume podcast content. However, Stitcher Premium subscribers will get exclusive bonus content. We can expect 17 half-hour episodes to roll out weekly. And if our chat with Janet Varney is any indication, it’s going to be fun as hell.