Cuando Juan Y Tula Fueron A Siritinga (Lit. When Juan And Tula Went To Siritinga) is a Spanish radio series mixing elements of science fiction, fantasy, adventure and far too much meta and science fiction and fantasy references and Geek humor to take itself too seriously.
The story follows Juan from Olarcos, a centuries-old dowser with the body of a child from the Eastern Empire located in the Gemini constellation brought to the desert planet of Siritinga along with Tula, a jackal-woman from Salaquarim who shares a mind bond with Juan and is pretty much his protector.
Siritinga is a desert planet located between two galactic empires: The Eastern Empire and the Western Empire. Most of their inhabitants live in the Great Gorge of Siritinga, a crescent-shaped opening told to have been created when the dragon Flamynbaar got burned by Tingar, the blue sun of Siritinga and maintained by the mole-like Viborx. Siritinga is ruled by El-Jormaz from Saralham, a powerful warrior brought to bring order after a bloody conflict between the local chieftains creating the disruption of the then-ruling organization of The Three-Port Council.
El-Jormaz is the one who has called Juan and Tula, since mysterious quakes and water scarcity may disrupt the delicate balance and bring ruin to Siritinga.
Meanwhile, the male narrator, who seems to start narrating with funny or overdramatic voices tends to get easily distracted by the sassy and snarky comments of the female narrator, making hilariously hard to continue the story. Will they manage to be in check before the God of Radio Serials leave them without a job?
Political intrigue, sword and sorcery, airships and galactic empires, meta humor and nerdy references.
First of all, I have to say is, why don't wee see more of this? It's full of elements we have seen before (Insectoid Queens, Orcish Race, Merchants' Guilds, Airships, Gender-morphing humans, sorcerers with child-like body and half-animal warriors) nonetheless it does it with such gusto and imagination that really enthralls you and make you feel there. This is something new where adventure and mystery lies around the corner. A sense of wonder, that's it. It brings you that sense of wonder we all have as a child before we can see the patterns in plots and the tropes in tales. It does have tropes, lots of them, but we most remember they're tools and a knife can cut and a hammer can hammer but both can get used to built a boring little birdhouse or the Louvre.
It's all how they are used.
From the nest city of the Alcotán Guard (they're bird people who work as the Siritinga law enforcement) to airship captain Moona Tirrel, one of the most powerful people in Siritinga who like all the Atar-Tingar (the closest thing to humans around) her gender changes any of the twenty seasons Siritinga has due to the planet's erratic spinning it's all haunting.
Nonetheless, it falls from some shortcomings: Sometimes the Meta-humor and geek references overshadows the world-building and undermine the seriousness of the story. It's not that its bad, its uneven. It feels it has a plot too complicated to simply be a comedy and the humor feels too distracting from the plot instead of being part of it. Also, I think the format (10 minutes-long episode weeky) may have also affected it since it makes difficult to really maintain the audience up and coming. Nonetheless, for me, it's a gem on that small but memorable mention in the Spanish Language Science Fiction and Fantasy.