This article examines what the relationship between audio drama and radio drama might illuminate about both forms. Drawing on some 40 podcasts and other audio forms that take a serial structure, I explore the rise of audio drama podcasts since 2015 and situate them in both a more recent historical context since the late 1990s and in a broader history stretching back to the first Golden Age of radio. By listening closely to key works on Serendipity, Homecoming and other podcasts, I argue that contemporary audio has profound potential to change both how we listen and how we relate to the sound media of the past. This is Part One of a two-part series.