December sees the arrival of Dan Dare at Big Finish Productions, courtesy of a new audio production from B7 Media starring Ed Stoppard as Dan Dare, Geoff McGivern as Digby, Heida Reed as Professor Peabody and Raad Rawi as the Mekon – and today sees a special pre-order offer to buy the new production at a special price on the company’s web site.
Big Finish are perhaps best known for their Doctor Who ranges of plays (with its various spin-offs) but they also produce a wide range of audio drama featuring the characters from Sherlock Holmes, Blake’s 7, Dark Shadows, 2000AD (Judge Dredd and Strontium Dog), Terrahawks, The Avengers, The Prisoner, Survivors, The Omega Factor and more.
“My first introduction to Dan Dare was at the age of nine through the pages of the legendary comic 2000AD,” says Big Finish Managing Director Jason Haigh-Ellery. “He was the pilot of the future and artist Massimo Bellardinelli brought to life a whole new world that I was previously unaware of. Dan Dare quickly became one of my favourite comic strips and I missed the character terribly when his adventures came in an end after two years of fighting the Mekon and the Star Slayers. Now I have the chance to be a kid again — as B7 Media and Big Finish Productions brings to life one of the UK greatest comic book heroes, but this time as full cast audio productions. I can’t wait!”
Big Finish Executive Producer Nicholas Briggs — who also has a role in the stories – adds: “We’re delighted to be releasing Dan Dare: Pilot of the Future on the Big Finish site. I’ve been a massive fan of Dan Dare for years. The way B7 have reinvented it is spot on. They’ve lovingly nurtured the spirit of the original to create something new and exciting that still manages to stay thoroughly faithful to all the beauty of the original. I would have loved to have played the Mekon, so, rather fittingly, I got to play an alien who really wanted to be the Mekon!”
B7 Media Producer and Director Andrew Mark Sewell observes: “Ever since my father first introduced me to Dan Dare I’ve been captivated by his space adventures – so brilliantly realised by the creative genius that was Frank Hampson. It also ignited my fascination with mankind’s quest to journey beyond our blue planet and explore strange new alien worlds. With the world of film and television drama now seemingly dominated by American comic book heroes, Dan Dare has always stood out as the definitive ‘British’ comic book space hero — a bright light of optimism that captured the hearts and imagination of a generation.
“The opportunity to realise Dan Dare for audio, and to partner once more with Big Finish, was an opportunity too great to turn down. Audio is unquestionably the perfect home to deliver truly epic Dan Dare audio adventures that are the embodiment its comic book inspiration.”
As we reported previously, the Dan Dare audio adventures stars Ed Stoppard (The Pianist, Joy Division, Brideshead Revisited and Youth), who has been cast as the intrepid ‘pilot of the future’ Colonel Dan Dare; Geoff McGivern as Digby (McGivern is best known to science fiction fans as the original Ford Prefect in The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) and Heida Reed as Professor Jocelyn Peabody; Reed currently plays Ross Poldark’s first love, Elizabeth, in the hit BBC drama Poldark.
The writers on the series are Richard Kurti and Bev Doyle (Going Postal, The Martian Chronicles), James Swallow (Star Trek, Doctor Who, 24), Simon Guerrier (Doctor Who, Sapphire and Steel), Marc Platt (Doctor Who, Oz) and Patrick Chapman (The Martian Chronicles). Series script editor, Colin Brake (Bugs, EastEnders) has written the season one finale.
The first volume, containing three stories (Voyage to Venus, The Red Moon Mystery and Marooned on Mercury) and a disc of extras is out in December 2016, followed in February 2017 by a second volume containing Reign of the Robots, Operation Saturn and Prisoners of Space along with another bonus disc.
• The normal pre-order price will be £20 on Download and £25 on CD (unlocking an instant download on release), but in a Dan Dare Day offer today on 12th September, for the following 24 hours, each release can be pre-ordered instead for £15 and £20 respectively. This offer ends at mid-day tomorrow, Tuesday (UK time) — and the clock’s ticking!
• Listen to the latest Big Finish podcast, which includes Dan Dare Audio Adventures interviews with Ed Stoppard (Dan Dare), Geoff McGivern (Digby) and Raad Rawi (The Mekon) – plus clips!
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War” and “Dan Dare”.
He’s the writer of “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.