Beyond the Neon


If you’re looking for the best 80s podcast out there, you’ve come to the right place. Beyond the Neon is the documentary podcast that gets beneath the veneer of 1980s pop culture, to understand why the decade was the way it was.

You can listen to individual episodes of Beyond the Neon using the players on this page, or through the platforms below:

Episode 11 – Satanic Panic Part Two: Panicky in the U.K.

In the second part of this special, Beyond the Neon explores how the Satanic Panic in the US spread to Great Britain in the 1980s. The show looks into how fears about music, board games, films and TV shows, were used to build support for religious crusaders looking to weaponise morality against everything from homosexuality and home video horror movies to suicide.

Episode 10 – Satanic Panic Part One: Storm in the U.S.A.

The first of a two-part special exploring the history and explosion of Satanic Panic that spread across America in the 1980s. Real-life criminal cases, dubious media reports, exploitative TV shows, foaming religious fanaticism, and outrageous claims… its all covered here.

Episode 9 – 80s villains: The death and rebirth of mythical evil

Villainy in 1980s popular culture and how the politics and social trends of the decade gave us a wealth of iconic bad guys. The corporate characters and entities that loomed large, the rock star vampires that replaced the traditional gothic monsters and the slasher megastars who crossed over into everything from TV and music to toys and video games.

Episode 8 – Occult Perceptions in the Home Video Era

In a special bonus episode, I present my academic paper created for the Gothic 1980s Symposium that took place in June 2019. Re-recorded and re-edited with illustrative clips, I explore how the aesthetic ‘gothic’ of 1980s cinema is less active than some of the other, more interesting gothic characters of the era.

Episode 7 – Late 80s Movie Branding and Advertising Perceptions

The final part of the Beyond the Neon film marketing trilogy looks at the end of the 1980s and how popular culture was reacting to the advertising explosion of the decade.

Episode 6 – High Concept and 80s Movie Marketing Magic

The second in a three-part series looking at film marketing in the 1980s, Beyond the Neon looks at how home video and the ‘high concept’ movie defined advertising approaches during the decade.

Episode 5 – 1980s Cinema and the Birth of Film Marketing

In the first of a three parter looking at film marketing in the 1980s, Beyond the Neon explores the history, language and landscape of cinema that led to the movie marketing we know today.

Episode 4 – Superheroes and Heroism in the Reagan Era

Exploring the superhero landscape of  the 1970s, how this translated to decade that followed, and how a new president changed the way Hollywood looked at heroism in comics, tv and film.

Episode 3 – The Transformers Phenomenon Part 2

In the second of this two-part epic, Beyond the Neon continues the story of Transformers from its toy and TV origins into comics and much more – including the celebrated 1985 animated movie, and its ongoing cinematic legacy in the Bayverse.

Episode 2 – The Transformers Phenomenon Part 1

Beyond the Neon heads into one of the most important toy franchises of the 1980s – The Transformers. Features interviews with The Toys That Made Us producer Brian Volk Weiss, writer/editor of The Transformers UK comic Simon Furman, and animation expert Dr Steve Henderson.

Episode 1 – Were the 1980s too scary?

Were the 1980s a place of harmless fun, or potentially damaging to kids? An exploration of the paranoia of the decades that led us there, the movies and shows of the day, and expert opinion on how our modern world shapes up by comparison.