Dan Dare Audio Adventures stars Ed Stoppard, Geoff McGivern, Heida Reed and Raad Rawi are the cover stars of the new issue of Vortex (Issue 94) from distributors Big Finish.
With Volume One of B7 Media‘s audio revival of the pilot of the future out now, producer and director Andrew Mark Sewell takes fans through the imposing process of bringing such a much-loved and iconic figure to new adventures and fans.
“In many ways I think that Dan Dare is perfectly suited for audio,” he feels. “The success of the original Radio Luxembourg audio adventures is no accident. Given the elaborate and visionary universe that Dan Dare inhabits in terms of audio you’re not limited by budgets, only your imagination to realise it.”
“We’ve kept the feeling of the original characters, staying true to their roots and the solar system they live in,” notes development executive Patrick Chapman, “whilst updating the tone for today’s audience. We wanted to give fans of the original the heroes they love, but in a new, vibrant version, a big space adventure that’s thrilling and strange and exciting.
“In terms of its technology and setting, we’ve brought it up to date. For instance, a lot has changed in the world of real-life space travel since 1950, and so the human tech in our series has moved on. The alien tech is still imaginatively speculative, as it was back then.”
Getting the tone and feel of Dan Dare right has been of utmost importance to Andrew, the Vortex feature notes. He reveals: “I’m an infuriating perfectionist and have a habit of constantly revisiting what I’ve done, thinking of ways in which we could improve what we’ve recorded. “That said, these new audio adventures have come together brilliantly.
“For me. the writers and cast have been pitch-perfect in capturing the characters and sense of derring-do adventure that for me epitomises the original Dan Dare comic strips. Combine that with the exemplary sound design work of Alistair Lock and Wilfredo Acosta and you really could believe you’ve taken a Voyage to Venus!
Describing the first three stories released as a “joy” in one of the first reviews I’ve seen, Edition Online says that while there are references for comics readers to pick up on, “these new adventures stand on their own merits as a breath of absolutely fresh air.
“The series assumes you know none of what’s come before and starts Dan Dare fresh from a 21st century perspective, determined to make new fans for the Pilot of the Future.”
This project is one I’ve very much enjoyed being part of, helping shape the universe with an amazing creative team headed up by lead writers Richard Kurti and Bev Doyle. (Warning: strange Mekon-like appearance by me in the following short film, which may scare younger readers).
As a side note, the new Dan Dare premise draws on a take on a new Dan Dare comic series I worked up back in 2014, assisted by artists John Ridgway, Joe Pimental and Australian designer Lucas Bowers. I’m delighted to report I’ll be revealing more about that attempt to bring Dan back to comics in an issue of Spaceship Away in the New Year along with publication of a test strip by Joe and John.
• Vortex Issue 94 (and past issues) is available to download now from bigfinish.com/vortex
• The Dan Dare Audio Adventures are available here from Big Finish