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Summary

The hit hopepunk sci-fi thriller starring Anya Chalotra and Chance Perdomo.

When the cryptic Parallax puzzle appears online, it quickly becomes the world's most talked-about conundrum. A complex, multi-level cipher, it has the brightest minds on the planet baffled: but who created it, and why?

Sixteen-year-old Sabrina is obsessed with cracking it - but when she does, she discovers it isn't a game. Caught up in a sinister global conspiracy, she becomes involved with a mysterious international task force, and is recruited to hunt down a serial killer who may not be from this world.

Joined by geeky New Yorker Benny, the second solver of the Parallax, Sabrina embarks on a dangerous journey that turns her world upside down and sees her questioning her past, her parentage, and everything she's ever known....

A fast-moving, heart-stopping story about finding yourself while finding a killer, this blockbuster drama combines edge-of-your-seat storytelling and powerful sound design to create a totally immersive experience. And for those who want to dig deeper, there are also several 'Easter eggs' scattered within the story, in the form of puzzles and pop culture references planted by writer Brett Neichin. A must-listen for fans of Doctor Who, Stranger Things and The OA, The Cipher stars Anya Cholatra (The Witcher) as Sabrina and Chance Perdomo (Chilling Adventures of Sabrina) as Benny, with a stellar cast including Enzo Cilenti (Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell), Hera Hilmar (Mortal Engines), Olivia Popica (Tyrant), Samuel Adewunmi (The Last Tree) and George Takei (Star Trek).

NB: Contains very strong language and violent scenes

Production credits
Produced by Emma Hearn
Director and Executive Producer: John Scott Dryden
Commissioning Editor: Jason Phipps
Commissioning Producers: Rachel Simpson, Ella Woods and Eli Sessions
Written and created by Brett Neichin with additional writing by Janina Matthewson
Script editing by Mike Walker
Music by Benbrick and Mark Henry Phillips
Editing & Sound Design by Steve Bond
Sound Assistant: Makashe Ogbon
Assistant Producer: Eleanor Mein
Trails by Jack Soper
Recorded at Sonica Studios, London
A Goldhawk Production for BBC Sounds

Cast
Sabrina - Anya Chalotra
Benny - Chance Perdomo
Harry - Enzo Cilenti
Isabella - Hera Hilmar
Mr Ahmed - Nabil Elouahabi
Dr Usman - Cyril Nri
Efrat - Olivia Popica
Lucy - Molly Harris
Janitor/Ken - Akie Kotabe
Fergus - Samuel Adewunmi
Ian - Kerry Shale
Sara - Nina Yndis
Katrin/Diane Trumbo - Clare Corbett
Lucy Rabbit - Molly Harris
Quentin - Carl Prekopp
Vincent - Dave McRae
Lynn - Leanne Best
Dr Aoki - George Takei
Japanese Girl - Chloe Okada-Howells

Other parts played by Stephen Mitchell, Philip Desmeules, George Georgiou, Ayeesha Menon, John Scott Dryden, Hugo Dryden

First broadcast BBC Sounds, 26-29 December 2020

©2021 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd (P)2021 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd

Critic reviews

"Pulse-pounding, breathtaking...like an HBO mini-series for the ear." (LA Weekly

What listeners say about The Cipher

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couldn't stop listening

i hurd of this a while back so put it in my wish list. wow what an adventure from start to finish i was on the edge of my car seat as i listened to it on my journey to and from work.

such a cleaver story with twists and turns that keep you guessing. the voice actors did an amazing job and everyone involved in making this audible drama. this will sit in my favourite folder and will deffo revisit it again. hope the story continues with part 2 due to the cliffhanger. these storys are why i joined audible and may they make many more .

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Spoiled by the intros and endings of every chapter

By chapter 4, I had enough of the chapter beginnings and endings.
it seems like a pod cast or series, and needs some editing.

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  • Rebecca Kinney
  • 15-07-22

Sci-fi to the extreme

Wonderful writing and an amazing performance! I highly recommend other works by Janina Matthewson.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-04-22

Hope they continue this!

Well done!

I really hope the story continues. So many plot lines to unfold. Good job.