Having previously tackled ghosts and mysteries, The ParaPod returned in 2017 for its third series, this time covering some of the best known conspiracy theories that have fuelled discussion on some of the darkest internet forums over the years. As always it was up to Barry to convince us that these theories are real using his hilarious trademarked mixture of misinformation and confusion.
The ParaPod is a twice-Chortle Awards nominated podcast hosted by two stand-up comedians, Barry Dodds the gullible believer and Ian Boldsworth the voice of reason.
If you've been an avid follower of The ParaPod from day one, or you're a fan of Ian's various other projects, then you'll know that since the last series Ian has dropped his stage name, Ray Peacock and has reverted to his given name.
Throughout the ten new episodes, Barry covered off some interesting conspiracies and thanks to his lack of proper research and Ian's constant interruptions, it was a brilliant listen every Wednesday, in fact, it was a highlight of the week.
Some of the topics Barry covered in the series included claims the Earth is flat and the JFK assassination. Barry also questioned whether the moon landings were faked, pondered the existence of the Illuminati and investigated the nature of chemtrails, amongst other conspiracies.
At the mid-point of the series things got a little surreal as Barry introduced us to the story of the Highgate Vampire, which wasn't a conspiracy, other than the fact some deranged lunatics on the internet think Keanu Reeves is a vampire.
The problem with this episode was that Barry did too much research and drowned us in alleged fact. The episode at times was a tough listen, however Barry's insight into the unexplained occurrences in Highgate did result in the claim "she got possessed by the vampire, and Seán Manchester did an exorcism and she turned into a spider."
Luckily, Barry's standard of research wasn't as good as in the vampire episode throughout the whole series and in episode 9 his poor note-taking skills resulted in a bit of a racist outburst when talking about the conspiracy that the whole country of Finland doesn't exist.
Barry was explaining how the claims about Finland were orchestrated by the Japanese to obtain fishing rights and went on to read from his notes "the deal was that the Japs could go and fish..." instantly realising that the term "Japs" isn't cool, Barry apologised blaming an abbreviation in his notes for the slur.
One of the most enjoyable topics covered in the series was Barry's analysis of chemtrails, the long-running belief that the world's governments are pumping chemicals into our skies through the exhausts of planes.
It's a common conspiracy theory, one which has been discussed in great detail online and in countless YouTube videos but when Barry got his hands on the topic it took an unexpected turn.
While talking about the effects of the sinister spraying, Barry made the bold claim, "they're pumping stuff out, hormones. Mens balls are shrinking."
This is all based on Barry's belief that in 1970s porn men had bigger penises, specifically John Holmes, who at the height of his career, had his penis insured by Lloyd's of London for $14 million, that apparently worked out at $1m per inch.
Barry says "you don't see penises like that any more." But Ian disagreed, "everyone didn't have a cock like that in the 70s, that was one man who had an unusually large penis, that's why he was a star in the porn industry."
And it got more weird as Barry then went on to discuss his observation that women's genitals were hairier in the 70s, clearly oblivious to hair removal technologies.
Hair density wasn't the only revelation Barry made about his opinion of women's bodies this series, some how in episode six he ended up talking about the type of adult entertainment he's into, "the sort of porn I like is normal people."
Barry says he's not really into the false, perfect models you get in professional pornography and prefers a more down-to-earth, amateur porn star, why you might ask? Well because... "I like seeing someone with a wonky tit."
As always Barry provided many laughs, some intentional and some as a side effect of his story being ripped apart by rational Ian, who was as smart as ever... perhaps a little too smart, could he be part of a controlled opposition?
Probably not, but if anything was being covered up in this series of The ParaPod it was the failure to include two of the biggest conspiracy theories of all time.
I'm quite a fan of conspiracy theories, I enjoy learning about them because the warped, circular logic of the conspiracy theorist amuses me, so I'm well read on a lot of theories and there are many that I'd love to hear Barry's take on.
The two topics I would have really liked to have heard Barry and Ian debate in the podcast are 9/11 and the Roswell Incident. Ian did explain their absence from the series, stating that they're just such big topics that it's too much to tackle in a one hour podcast, which is fair enough. Perhaps something for a future "unspecial special?"
In the previous two series Barry came out with some amazing quotes such as "I'm not a torturer, I'm not gay and I'm not a tortoise" and described Derren Brown as being "about as close as we've got to the Devil on Earth."
In the new series Barry didn't disappoint and came out with some funny, ridiculous and surprising quotes which are sure to come back to haunt him for years to come.
Here's just a few of my favourite Barry Dodds words of wisdoms from the last ten episodes, or should I said "Doddisms."
"Nobody's quite sure how you join The Illuminati, it's a bit like Costco."
Episode 2 - The Illuminati
"Fannies were much hairier back then. When I see a hairy fanny now I react like when I see a hot air balloon, I think, 'oh, I haven't seen one of those in ages'."
Episode 4 - Chemtrails
"The government puts stuff in the water that makes toads gay."
Episode 9 - Conspiracy Coach Tour
"In the last couple of years, we've been mucking around with science more than we should have."
Episode 10 - The Mandela Effect
Barry and Ian announced in the last couple of episodes that as of the end of this run they have no plans to make any more podcasts in the series but they have teased a forthcoming movie.
It's not yet known what the movie will be about, but based on the teaser trailer it looks like The ParaPod will be going back to its roots and delve back into ghosts and ghost hunting.
There's no release date or information on where the film will be available as of yet but the date at the end of the trailer reads "MMXVIII" perhaps a subtle clue to expect the movie next year. Until then, Barry and Ian are asking for fans' help to make this project become a reality. They asked podcast listeners to donate just £10 to help fund the production and in exchange supporters' names will be included in the credits.
If you want more from Barry and Ian, then you can help by donating now, I'm sure anything you can offer will be gratefully received, click here to donate
If you've enjoyed this series of The ParaPod as much as I have then I urge you to donate
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