Ava Minerva: The Colossus Of Ice

Distress Frequency
Distress Frequency
Ava Minerva: The Colossus Of Ice
Ava Minerva: Colossus of Ice VHS box art

This is the first Ava Minerva adventure. It takes some heavy inspiration from 1980s sci-fi, especially an underrated gem where space buccaneers are searching for frozen water. If you walked through a video store between 1989 and 1999, or if you were watching TBS at 3 in the morning around 1995, then you know you’re ready for a totally spaced adventure. That’s all I’ll say about that.

The Cast

  • Capt. Ava Minerva: Jenny Key
  • First Mate Guthrie: Keith Jackson
  • Countess Ru-Helboem: Alycia Yates
  • Overseer: Aaron Sinclair
  • Additional Voices: Tony Goins

Jenny Key knocks it out of the park as Captain Ava Minerva. I don’t have much more to add – just check the scoreboard.

Keith Jackson taped his performance at home – sadly, his audio quality was so much better than what I was getting. It’s better to have everything equivalently mediocre. Keith has a great voice anyway, and I really dug the accent he put on it.  Keith is one of the mainstays of a show called It’s All Been Done Presents, with starring roles in their segments, Privates, The Topnotch Tangler and Universe Journey. There’s plenty of Keith Jackson content when you get done here – please check it out.

Alycia Yates and Aaron Sinclair play the heavies in this piece, as the Countess Ru-Helboehm and the Overseer, respectively. Alycia was asked to go the full Disney villain on it, and she delivered. As for Aaron, I don’t know if you can chew scenery on the radio, but he sure did it. I’ve never heard someone pronounce the “H” in “Sword,” but somehow he does it.

Special thanks for Brent Bowman for our VHS-style box art!

About the Episode

I have no idea how the idea of a Colossus of Ice came to me. I was thinking about a certain classic 1980s sci-fi movie, and treasure, and then the Colossus loomed up, fully formed.

If I had to do it again, I wouldn’t start the series on a planet. It feels like a miss to spend that much time underground. But on the other hand – I did get a time platform.

This piece was produced during the pandemic, and boy was it tricky. We had to record Jenny Key twice – the first time, we tried to record it in a minivan and got a weird buzzing sound in the background. The second time, she recorded it at home in a pillow fort.

As I write this, we have two more Ava Minerva adventures in the can, and a few more planned. So stay tuned.

SFX Corner

These are items I clanged together to make swordfight sounds.

The swordplay SFX comes from an afternoon of banging metal things against each other in my kitchen. It’s been a while, so I forget exactly what went into the final product. I think it was bread knife vs. crowbar. I really explored the difference between a “clunk” and a “ring” on that one.

The time platform uses my trusty cider press SFX, which you can download from Freesound.org.

The sound of the ice statue cracking is actually a tree being cut down. It’s not ideal, but it gets the job done.

The following SFX are gratefully acknowledged:

R22-33-Tree Falls and Hits Ground.wav
Electricity 3
Chains 2
Spinifex Wind #1
Hatch Seal.wav
Sword being taken from scabbard
Marching 2.wav
Dripping, Fast, A.wav
Rusty Valve Turn (Close).wav
G15-18-Bulldozer Driving.wav

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