The Bunker is a British dark comedy/drama/variety podcast by Definitely Human. It is a fake radio show (think Welcome to Night Vale) set in the post-apocalyptic ruins of London. Twelve episodes of varying length were released in 2014-15, followed by a Christmas special in 2016, along with some short sketches exclusive to the Definitely Human Patreon.
A hundred years after the end of the world, three immortal survivors - Dave, David and Tom - are still sealed in an underground bunker. Too scared to explore the nightmarish wasteland outside, they pass the time by hosting a breakfast radio show, featuring news, interviews, music, call-ins and other features from both before and after the apocalypse. As their routine is disrupted by internal tensions and external threats, the hosts are forced to confront the reality of their new world, with heartbreaking consequences.
This podcast contains examples of the following tropes:
- After the End: The precise nature of the Big Headache is not described in detail, but it seems to have incorporated elements of almost all the popular apocalypse varieties, including nuclear war, environmental disaster, and robot uprising.
- Amazon Chaser: Dave's "type" is "mostly terrifying savages." This includes Katie and one of the bandit women who captures and threatens to kill him.
- The Apocalypse Brings Out the Best in People: Played with through each of the hosts and how they respond to their new circumstances.
- Bilingual Bonus: Lee Yan Chak, a regular caller to the show, has an interesting subplot of his own if you understand Cantonese.
- Control Freak: David is the de facto boss of the Bunker and will go to considerable lengths to ensure things are done his way, to the point where the others are sometimes hesitant to make decisions on their own for fear of pissing him off.David: I know I've been a bit of a control freak.
Tom: (nervously) What? You? No...
- Crapsack World: Played with. Every episode brings more news of horrible death and suffering in the Wasteland, and David is very firm in his stance that it is this trope, but Tom seeks to prove him wrong.
- The Cynic: David, to Tom's idealist.
- Distaff Counterpart: Not far from the Bunker is the Outpost, a similar refuge for survivors from the old world - namely Molly, Alexis and Nina, whose personalities, viewpoints and relationships echo those of the Bunker boys. They even host a near-identical radio show. The Bunker and the Outpost are vaguely aware of one another, but have never made contact.
- Downer Ending: Played brutally straight. After everyone finally leaves the Bunker, we learn indirectly that they were shot and killed almost immediately.
- The Fog of Ages: David, who has lost most of his treasured memories after all those years in the Bunker.
- Freudian Trio: A highly dysfunctional example, with apathetic Dave trapped helplessly between Tom's uncontrollable emotions and David's pathological frostiness.
- Humans Are Bastards: Or so David tells Gertrude. To be fair, he does tend to be proven right.
- The Idealist: Tom, to David's cynic.
- I Owe You My Life: Teenage reporter Emma Stirling serves as the Bunker's eyes and ears in the Wasteland, and is particularly loyal to David, since he rescued her from a bear trap. Never mind that it was his bear trap.
- Large Ham: Kallo. Apparently that's just how he talks in real life.
- Living Forever Is No Big Deal: Mainly Dave, who in the first episode forgets what "getting older" even is.
- MayflyDecember Romance: Both Dave and David have romantic interests around four hundred years younger than them.
- Off to See the Wizard: It's subtle, but Word of God confirms that Katie's story is littered with Wizard of Oz references (her pet wolf is Toto; Nala is the cowardly lion; Adam is the tin man and Jon is the scarecrow).
- It's made more explicit in the Christmas special, when Adam and John receive a real human heart and a real human brain respectively.
- One Steve Limit: Averted by David Knight and David Price, both named for their actors. To make it easier, the latter is usually shortened to Dave (although as a unit they are sometimes referred to as "Davids").
- Really 700 Years Old: The occupants of the Bunker, the Outpost, Jonathan Day, Marion the Eternal, and a handful of other survivors with large stockpiles of youth pills. These relics of the old world are sometimes regarded as powerful, mystical beings and referred to as "The Ancients" by those who were born after the Big Headache, who are unaware of the existence of youth pills.
- Reset Button: Lampshaded with the Archaeologist and the Deus Ex Machina, which completely fails to restore the world to its pre-apocalypse state.
- Resurrective Immortality: Arguably displayed by David, who dies for most of episode nine and is fine by the end of the broadcast. Only very briefly addressed, and it's unclear whether or not the others are similarly affected.
- Running GagBit insulting.
- Spiritual Successor: Definitely Human's next podcast, MarsCorp, is a more straightforward comedy drama - and set on a different planet. However, the two shows take place in similar (though not identical) universes, reference one another, share many common themes, and feature mostly the same cast. Dave, David and Tom even play characters with their own names again, although these characters act and sound very different to their Bunker counterparts.