Introducing TOPIA Season 02


Cracking life’s mysteries

Expect wings, feathers, fins and limitless legs. Plus, tales of metamorphosis and unbreakable characters doing eggcellen good stuff to put Earth back together again

Welcome to Season 02 of TOPIA.

It’s inspired by the humble egg.

And a cracking good read.

Did the universe hatch from a cosmic egg? Can gamers save the world’s weirdest parrot from extinction? Which species hasn’t had sex for 80 million years? Does the octopus stretch our moral universe? Just how hungry is The Very Hungry Caterpillar? And is there anything funnier than a politician being hit by an egg? (Well, yes, but it’s up there.)

We’re going to answer all this and more in Season 02. Perhaps it came before the chicken, perhaps not, but in TOPIA’s case, The Egg came second.

game of thrones the egg bobby palmer

As a symbol of mystery and ultimate metaphor, the egg or cacklefart – as it was known in Britain in the 19th century – can be found across cultures, continents and millennia, from Finnish epics to Polynesian mythologies to the ancient texts of the Egyptians and the Zoroastrians (whose Persian god may be at the heart of Game of Thrones).

Dalí’s muse and Hitchcock’s nightmare, you don’t have to look hard to find a city’s original ovum curiosity. I am writing this from Barcelona, home to a 15th-century dancing egg festival. Every spring, Catalans blow an egg’s innards out of a hole in its ass, then whack the hollow shell on a fountain to ‘dance’, suspended in the water jets. Odd? Yes. And not one for vegans. But it’s magical too, as symbols of life and creation, originality and mortality, and transformation and regeneration often are.

Like TOPIA, the egg stirs imagination as a celebration of life itself. And that’s why it’s the focus of our Season 02 (Autumn-Winter 2022).

Animated video by TOPIA

Every week, we’ll publish new interviews with unbreakable characters – from the worlds of culture, nature, design and travel – who are smashing the status quo and creating cracking solutions to fix our broken systems. Because, as sure as eggs is eggs, you can’t make an omelette without breaking some eggs.

tony wu shooting star
Spy on a spawning shooting star (you’ve never seen anything like this before) thanks to Tony Wu

We’ll be asking them to pay it forward by bigging up – or “egging on” – other brilliant people and projects we should know about.

Can conservation and creativity go hand in hand? In S02, every egg matters as we follow our winged, feathered and finned friends across the globe, from cross-continental cuckoos, magnificent vultures and dragons “with a propeller bum”, to gender-fluid clownfish, zombie sex slave barnacles and fried egg jellyfish.

When it comes to the birds, the bees and the fishies, TOPIA’s S02 is an evolutionary rainbow of patriarchy-smashing revelations and sexual cannibalism that includes insights about Darwin’s obsession with the barnacle penis. (Imagine a sort of X-rated Mr. Tickle.)

Book Giveaway!

To commemorate the TOPIA S02 podcast with British zoologist and National Geographic explorer Lucy Cooke, we’re giving away one copy of her book, Bitch: A Revolutionary Guide to Sex, Evolution and the Female Animal. Find out more.

This season is full of hidden messages and images in the form of ‘easter eggs’. For more competitions follow us on Instagram and Twitter and sign up to our newsletter – A WORLD OF GOOD.

In TOPIA, the joy is in the mashup. Click on The Rabbit Hole on every page – as many times as you like – to scramble the magazine and find inspiration in a different feature each time.

Disclaimer: To be totally honest, this theme was inspired by watching a pigeon smash into a window by the Sagrada Familia. Almost as instantly as it slammed to the ground, a seagull swooped it up and devoured it. After spending far too long pondering whether I could base an entire season on ‘roadkill’ (short answer: no), I had a Humpty Dumpty moment dropping an egg bap over the wall while chatting to a neighbour. Consider the theme hatched.

Eggy, not neggy

Like your stories sunny side up? I love to overegg the pudding, so get ready for some eggs-quisite puns in Season 02.

Because if anything is going to save the world,
it’s us falling in love with it.

Lisa Goldapple editor

Lisa ‘over easy’ Goldapple

Just some of the eggs-ellence to expect this season
– plus more special guests

Get heroic with conservation legends

Three experts, one big question

Nature’s talking – can you listen? 

The power of human creativity

Fall down the rabbit hole

Filmmakers and entertainers cut deep 

Tales that sting – just a little bit

Curated by brilliant insiders

Rocking for a cause

The indie storytellers fixing media 

Stories of rebirth from chaos

Travel different

Presenting mini-worlds of drama

Editor’s notes with Lisa Goldapple

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