B7 Media have announced plans to crowdfund a third volume of its critically-acclaimed Dan Dare: The Audio Adventures, coinciding with Eagle comic hero Dan Dare’s 70th anniversary in 2020 – and we can exclusively reveal the cover art for the planned new series.
Cover art for Volume Three has again been provided by Doctor Who comic artist Brian Williamson, who has delivered a powerful image featuring his take on Dan Dare, Peabody, Digby and a menacing Mekon, as well as other dangers ahead for the legendary comics space hero…
“After all the love and enthusiasm shown for the first two volumes of Dan Dare: The Audio Adventures, we never stopped planning to round off the series with Volume 3,” says series director and producer Andrew Sewell. “With his 70th anniversary next year, it’s time to launch our campaign to get the Colonel and his crew back in – and on – the air!”
A pre-launch page is already live on IndieGogo to build interest in supporting funding for three new 75-minute audio adventures, which will, if successful, again star Ed Stoppard as Colonel Dan Dare, Geoff McGivern as Digby, Heida Reed as Professor Jocelyn Peabody and Raad Rawi as the Mekon, who have all agreed to return.
The final covers have been designed by Dan Fox.
The new series has been storylined by Colin Brake (Bugs, Doctors, EastEnders), with B7 Media building on the critical success of the first two series, available as box sets, with some episodes also aired on BBC Radio 4.
Dan Dare was originally created by Manchester born artist Frank Hampson and Eagle comic editor the Reverend Marcus Morris. The character first appeared in the Eagle comic story “Dan Dare, Pilot of the Future”, from 1950 to 1967 and was dramatised on Radio Luxembourg between 1951-1956.
Described as “Biggles in Space”, the original incarnation was seen by some as the British equivalent of Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon. He was a post war hero at a time of austerity and global uncertainty.
Since then Dan Dare has returned in various guises to suit different generations but this new series retains the heart of the original.
“Dan Dare is the exemplary British adventure hero”, script editor and writer Colin Brake told SciFi Bulletin last week. “Like his aviator predecessor Biggles, he represents the best of British qualities: courage, determination, stoicism and a wry sense of humour.
“At our first writers’ meeting for the new Dan Dare Audio Adventures, we had a fantastic time talking through the first six adaptations that would make up Volumes One and Two but that was just part of our discussion. We also spent hours talking through the details of the wider Dan Dare fictional universe, about ambitious plans for future episodes and new challenges for Dare and his friends.
“… Volume Two concluded with Dan defeating and capturing the Mekon, but this was merely a chapter ending, not the end of the story. Even when writing that epic finale, I was thinking about, and seeding, story possibilities for sequels…”
Officially announced at the Lakes International Comics Festival last weekend, the full Crowdfunding campaign will become active in late November 2019, with perks on offer that will include an exclusive opportunity for three key investors to be an extra in each new episode. There will also be a Limited Edition 70th Anniversary 12 CD booklet (for investors only) and of course, passes to the Launch Party.
“I had an absolute ball directing the first series of Dan Dare and can’t wait to get back in the cockpit of the Anastasia for another thrilling series of stories,” director and producer Andrew Mark Sewell told Sci-Fi Bulletin, “as I’ve always said that in an era of such uncertainty we are certainly in need of a hero like Dan Dare to lift our spirits.”
Series producer Helen Quigley added, “Sci-fi and audio drama are two of my passions, so to be part of the team behind Dan Dare’s audio adventures is an absolute honour. The first two volumes were epic and exciting to listen to, so I’m very much hoping fans of audio, comics and Dan Dare agree to help us with the third and get him off the ground yet again!”
The first new adventure – “All Treen Must Die“, like past stories, taking its name from an original Eagle strip adventure – opens with the preparations for the trial of the Mekon, but after an audacious prison break Dan and his crew find themselves in a race to catch their alien nemesis before he can reach his old home on Venus. “Operation Dark Star” will reunite Dan with his Uncle Ivor, who leads Dan and Digby on a mission to a space station hidden near Pluto guarding a stable Einstein-Rosen bridge, a wormhole through space/time. But an old enemy has taken charge of both the space station and the wormhole…
Meanwhile, Peabody is on a voyage of discovery of her own. Tasked by Sir Hubert to investigate a power struggle in the boardroom of her employers Eagle Corporation, she uncovers a series of shocking secrets that threaten to change everything…
In the final adventure – “Terra Nova” – the crew of Anastasia travel though the Dark Star wormhole and reach the alien planet Dan’s father found years ago. Terra Nova is revealed to be a battleground; the last planet holding out against the alien Vora’s apparent unstoppable advance across the known universe.
“With all the planets of our Home Solar System at risk, can the Mekon and Dan find a way to work together to stop the Vora once and for all?” Colin asks.”Or will it take the ultimate sacrifice to carry the day?”
• Dan Dare Audio Adventures on AmazonUK (Affiliate Link)
Dan Dare © Dan Dare Corporation
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.